Rethinking Modern Infrastructure: The Vulnerability of Complex Systems

The COVID-19 pandemic is not so much about the characteristics of a virus as it is about the organization of modern societies. The modern infrastructure of hyper-mobility allowed the virus to move rapidly all over the world. Without that infrastructure, the pandemic could not have happened. The Black Plague in the Middle Ages, when mobility … More Rethinking Modern Infrastructure: The Vulnerability of Complex Systems

Why the Billionaire Space Race Matters, or Not

Much of modern technology is a two edged sword. Think nuclear power/bombs, fossil-fueled industrial-consumer abundance/waste, chemical (eg.,plastic) products/pollution. There are many more. Various modes of transportation (air, land, and sea) have allowed humans a vast capacity for mobility unavailable before the industrial era, but always at a cost ignored or denied. One of the features … More Why the Billionaire Space Race Matters, or Not

The Infrastructure Illusion: Historic Neglect and Crucial Confusion

The confusion is palpable as it is widely ignored. We have a new, slightly progressive administration headed by Joe Biden, the empathetic traditional former long-term senator. He knows how to “reach across the aisle” and make deals with Republicans. But wait, those senators were the Republicans of old, who were actually willing to make compromise … More The Infrastructure Illusion: Historic Neglect and Crucial Confusion

Living in Ugo Bardi’s Seneca Effect

Ugo Bardi is an Italian scientist who studied hydrogen energy technology while on a post-doctoral assignment at the University of California, Berkeley. After his research with the team at Berkeley revealed the seemingly intractable problems of converting hydrogen energy to electricity in any practical way, Bardi moved on to other topics of research back home … More Living in Ugo Bardi’s Seneca Effect

The Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn versus the Modernist Dilemma

I don’t remember where I read the “Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn,” but it made enough of an impression that I saved it. I guess it was the contrast with our modernist illusions that got my attention. We live in a world that is culturally detached from the factual world of physical, … More The Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn versus the Modernist Dilemma

Healing the Trauma: from Person to Planet and Back

Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the contradictions of American society and political culture lay exposed in the aftermath of the chaotic but organized seditious assault on the Capitol building in Washington, DC. On January 6, in the failed attempt to prevent the constitutionally mandated congressional counting an acceptance of the votes of the electoral … More Healing the Trauma: from Person to Planet and Back

Earth System Discontent with Civilization

Climate scientist Dr. Andrew Glikson’s brief assessment of our global prospects in his article, “How long for civilization?” is uncomfortably right on target. He begins his short essay, published the day after Christmas, 2020, with an epigram consisting of Albert Einstein’s famous statement, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over … More Earth System Discontent with Civilization

Past Perfect, Present Imperfect, and Future Extreme

Yes, we do live in interesting times, which does not mean that we understand very well our place on time’s arrow. We pine for an idyllic past, misinterpret what is going on right now, and imagine a utopian future that cannot be. If only the experts will come up with impossible new technologies and materials … More Past Perfect, Present Imperfect, and Future Extreme

Climate Action that works IS Social and Economic Justice

In a recent blog post on the Corespondent.com, Eric Holthaus’ observations were as astute as ever. I frequently hear advocates for social, economic, and climate justice argue for the inclusion of justice actions along with climate action. As an extension of fossil-fueled empire-building following colonial confiscations and brutality, the global political economy was founded in … More Climate Action that works IS Social and Economic Justice