COP27 did not disappoint. Disappointment implies that one had expected something positive. After decades of dodging the action question of the necessity of major reductions in carbon emissions and therefore producing and using fossil fuels, there had been (and still is) NO indication that any nation would commit to action. Thus, they did not disappoint. … More The Legacy of COP27: COP28 and Chronic Failure
Well, that depends. I know of nobody who considers the climate emergency a cheery optimistic prospect to look forward to. On the other hand, some get their buzz from the strangest things—the pain and suffering of others, the death of some creature who did them no harm, the wasted lives of victims of mass incarceration. … More Is the Climate Emergency a Buzzkill?
The “deep state” has gotten a lot of press lately, mostly bad since it is deemed anti-democratic. Why is nobody talking about the “shallow state”? I’ll define what I mean by that in a minute. But first, let’s be clear about what the ‘deep state’ really is. Recently the radical right weaponized the concept of … More The Deep State or The Shallow State: Is That the Question?
The necessity of rapidly reducing fossil fuel production and use is now a given in the constellation of societal actions necessary to achieve anything near the rather naïve institutional targets for global average temperatures not to exceed 2.0 or 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Some still hope that we can achieve these levels by … More Fossil Fuel Production, the Corporate Economy, and Consumer Culture
I just read an article in Illumen.com by Julia Steinberger, titled “Individuals and social pressure: how to change the world.” Dr. Steinberger is Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. At first, I thought that I was going to disagree with her because I felt that what we really need is social … More How to Make Big Change: Our Primary Predicament
As industrial civilization unravels, the illusion of abundance is taking a hit. With destabilized agriculture, climate, and ecosystems, all sorts of supply chains will experience growing unpredictability at levels we have yet to imagine. Then we must choose what we consume far more carefully than we do now. The idea that the global industrial consumer … More Quality vs. Quantity in a World Out of Balance
Yes, Vladimir Putin is universally despised as a ruthless war criminal, too well trained by the KGB, a narcissistic sociopath far more skilled than Trump in the dark arts of genocide and general destruction. Yet, there is so much more to the story. During his reign over the ‘new’ Russia, the West’s strategy of containment … More The War on Ukraine is a War on Planet Earth
More and more people are moving closer to an “climate action now” mode today. They realize that the climate crisis really is an emergency. That, after all, is what emergencies are all about—action that people must take now or all is lost. Recognition is the important first step, but it is only the beginning. Many … More What does “Climate Action Now” require of us? Much more than you think.
Kenyan climate activist, Elizabeth Wathuti, presented the moral case for global action to reduce the suffering and chaos that have already taken many lives and visited starvation on millions. The government and corporate delegates to COP26 listened respectfully, and they did nothing.
You cannot change large numbers of people’s beliefs or behaviors by giving them lots of facts and rational arguments, especially when the issue is political. Beliefs and behaviors are deeply rooted in our social relations and commitments to others and to the groups we identify with. Peaceful protests in the streets can certainly get the … More How to Make Climate Action Work