Granola Shotgun is about the places we live and how our lives are changing due to external reality. This blog is meant to offer practical examples of how people and places can thrive in the face of turbulence and change. I’ve explored many great neighborhoods (and more than a few duds) and interviewed some pretty amazing folks from Istanbul to Hong Kong to rural Nebraska. If you’re a lefty liberal (that’s the Granola) or an arch conservative (that’s the Shotgun) I think you’ll find stuff of value here.
I draw inspiration from several well established websites.
Kirsten Dirksen and Nicolás Boullosa at Fair Companies present beautifully edited videos on individual people who are living better than average lives – often involving a lot less money, less debt, less physical space, and generally less “stuff”.
Chuck Marohn at Strong Towns presents highly persuasive explanations for why our current set of financial arrangements are failing and are ultimately unreformable at the federal, state, and municipal levels. Only a complete change in the way we occupy the landscape and fund public infrastructure and government services will work moving forward.
Janaia Donaldson and Robin Mallgren from Peakmoment.tv do excellent videos about community resilience and relocalization.
James Howard Kunstler is my absolute favorite cranky social commentator. No sugar-coating here. Check out his blog and podcast at Kunstler.com and read his books – starting with “The Geography of Nowhere” and the “World Made By Hand” series.
Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen at Rootsimple.com are so cool and have so much fun with DIY home projects that I desperately want them to be my next door neighbors – if only we didn’t live in different cities…
Rob Hopkins at Transitions Network launched the Transition Towns movement. I’m not a “joiner” myself since I lack the required social skills to work effectively within a group, but I do love this approach to reskilling and relocalizing.
Nicole Foss at Automatic Earth resonates with my concerns about finance and the economy. She’s also charming and lays out practical guidelines for how individuals can take action and navigate the murky waters of these uncertain times.
Chris Martensen at Peak Prosperity also has many great insights and preparedness strategies for adapting to the new economic reality.
I love Wendy DeWitt. Check out this presentation on food storage and home preparedness. Wendy DeWitt I have totally embraced the practical commonsense solutions for unexpected hard times that Mormons have carefully developed over many years. I live in earthquake country and we’re all subject to the same vicissitudes of unemployment and other random difficulties. Call this strange bedfellows since I’m a seriously lapsed Catholic and “confirmed bachelor” from San Francisco… but I’ve always had pleasant experiences with Mormons on a one-to-one basis.
Sharon Astyk is the Jewish version of Wendy DeWitt. Same, same. Resilience.org I love her book “Independence Days”.
I believe these are the best strategies for moving forward in a world characterized by a volatile contracting economy and ineffective political arrangements. As you can see I’m all over the map in terms of my political persuasions. Whatever works… so long as we aren’t waiting for “Them” to fix things for us, or punishing “Them” for screwing up. This is about getting your own house in order regardless of external events.