Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

Last Saturday we decided to take a hike in the beautiful Frijoles Canyon of the Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos National Laboratory “up the hill” from Santa Fe. I had not experienced the pandemic claustrophobia that has caused so much anxiety; I guess I was just too busy. Anyway, it was a lovely cool … More Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

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

It’s Not Just About Climate: The New Great Transformation is a Total Existential Threat and Opportunity

All the policy talk around the “climate emergency” is either technical with reference to the effects of carbon pollution, emissions-reduction goals, or political with reference to cost, employment, or other policy matters. But the predicament we face in confronting the climate emergency is far greater and more complex than usually imagined. Public climate-change policy leaders … More It’s Not Just About Climate: The New Great Transformation is a Total Existential Threat and Opportunity

Our Political Predicament and the New Great Transformation

Humanity, indeed the entire Earth System, now experiences not merely an evolutionary transition, but a full-blown New Great Transformation, unlike anything before. Already traumatized by a history of change, we find no simple answer to the need for both individual healing and societal transformation. The current rise of hate groups, neo-fascists, and bizarre conspiracy theories … More Our Political Predicament and the New Great Transformation

It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge

With all the crises and stress in our family and in the world, we decided to spend a good part of Christmas day watching old Christmas movies. First, we watched the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart, which I had not seen in decades. Then we watched the 1984 version of “A … More It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge

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

The Mobility Illusion

Mobiliy, it would seem, is king. I have always loved to ride, drive, fly, and travel. Early on, racing my bicycle around the neighborhood or taking a longer trip through the orange groves in the foothills sufficed. Soon enough I wanted more. Those Boy Scout camping trips in the mountains and deserts of Southern California … More The Mobility Illusion

No New Normal Now

I hear a lot of talk these days of “returning to normal,” after “this coronavirus thing blows over,”—as if nothing else has changed. We will not return to normal; what we thought of as normal is gone, if it ever existed. Nor will we arrive at some “new normal,” either bad or good. Change is … More No New Normal Now