stacked stones

In this in-depth interview, iconoclastic Czech-Canadian scientist Vaclav Smil offers a sobering view of the precarious climate future of the planet.

Photo by EliasSch via Pixabay.com

Photo of Greta Thunberg

In this September 23, 2019, video, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg chastised world leaders for failing younger generations by not taking sufficient steps to stop climate change. “You have stolen my childhood and my dreams with your empty words,” Thunberg said.

Cover Photo of The Road

In The Road, a father and son traverse a bleak landscape after the apocalypse. The father knows he is dying.  He knows they can’t survive another winter so they head south through California toward the coast.  All of Cormac McCarthy’s great fiction is grim—All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing. But no other book by McCarthy is so unremittingly grim as The Road. It won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was adopted as a film in 2009.

Cover photo of the Dog Stars

This superb post-apocalypse novel compares well with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but is somehow less unremittingly grim. The protagonist Hig has survived the pandemic that killed everyone he knows.  He lives in a small abandoned airport with his dog and one other man, a veteran sharpshooter. Then he finds a woman he loves.

Joanna Macy

In this talk given at The Resilience Gathering, Joanna Macy guides us how to suffer with the world and make responsible decisions that take into account our interconnectedness with all that is.

Nate Hagens photo

In this keynote address given at The Resilience Gathering, Nate Hagens addresses the environmental impact of the current economical model and possible solutions.

For more information check out energyandourfuture.org

storm clouds over mountains

In this article originally published by Ecosophia, John Michael Greer writes:

What will happen is that the annual cost of weather-related disasters will move raggedly upward with each passing year, as it’s been doing for decades, loading another increasingly heavy burden on economic activity and putting more of what used to count as a normal lifestyle out of reach for more people. With each new round of disasters, less and less will get rebuilt, as insurance companies wriggle out of payouts they can’t afford to make and government funding for disaster recovery becomes less and less adequate to meet the demand. Rural areas in the US that are unusually vulnerable to weather-related disasters will quietly be allowed to return to 19th century conditions, and poor neighborhoods near the coastlines will be tacitly handed over to the slowly rising seas. Meanwhile, the people who are expecting grand technological breakthroughs or grand social movements or grand apocalyptic disasters will be left in the dust by events, wondering what happened.

image from Ricardo’s Photography at Creative Commons

Waves enveloping lighthouse

The Global Polycrisis is the sum total of all stressors affecting planetary health. It’s an unprecedented global systems problem. We need to understand it in order to respond as wisely as possible.

The Global Polycrisis is framed in many ways:

  • The global problematique: A common term in policy circles
  • Limits to growth: Focus on planetary ecological limits
  • Civilizational collapse: If it happens, will it take us back 50 years, 100 years, or 1,000 years?
  • Techno-optimism: The belief that technology will lead to a better future
  • The End of the World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI): “A catastrophic event that destroys the existing institutions and norms of society.” (Oxford Dictionary)
  • Consciousness change: The belief that spiritual or meta-cognitive shifts can change the world
  • Community resilience: Focus on helping communities prepare
  • Emergency planning: A universally accepted frame that can lead to exploration of the Global Polycrisis

As we face the Global Polycrisis, we see these issues and challenges:

Issues

The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.

William Gibson

Biosphere stressors

  • Climate crisis, biodiversity loss and more

Societal stressors

  • Poverty, unsustainable economic growth, pandemic diseases and more

Technology stressors

  • Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) pollution, displacement of people by robots, Big Data threats and more

The greatest threat we face

The Global Polycrisis is far greater than any individual stressor. Most institutions—governments, corporations, international institutions, and civil society organizations—avoid thinking about the Global Polycrisis. Read more.

Responses

Avoidance and denial

Let’s not think about it” doesn’t solve anything.

Being prepared

If we prepare, future shocks may prove more survivable.

We care about all four forms of resilience work. Read more.

Real hope

In many ways, the human condition is improving. Countless efforts to build resilient communities are underway around the world. Read more.

The upside of down book cover

The Upside of Down by Thomas Homer-Dixon takes the reader on a mind-stretching tour of societies’ management, or mismanagement, of disasters over time. From the demise of ancient Rome to contemporary climate change, this book analyzes what happens when multiple crises compound to cause what the author calls “synchronous failure.” But crisis doesn’t have to mean total calamity. Through catagenesis, or creative, bold reform in the wake of breakdown, it is possible to
reinvent our future.

The uninhabitable earth book cover

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.