Anyone who reads much about current affairs is likely aware of the most recent report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). I have criticized the IPCC reports in the past, mostly because they have consistently underestimated the heating of the planet and the ecological and climate consequences of man-made disruption of the climate. … More The Global Caste System and the Climate Crisis
Overpopulation has been an on-and-off issue for many decades. With the publication of Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb in 1971, the issue came to a head…for a while. Then, with the apparent hopelessness of controlling population growth through public policy, few talked much about it for several decades. The idea of population control languished, … More Is the Over-Population Crisis a Non-Starter?
The trajectory of police violence against mostly young Black and Brown men has taken many turns. It finds expression in diverse situations. However, we cannot fully understand it without looking beyond the immediate murderous actions of particular officers in the heat of the moment. The violence of authority runs much deeper than that. Predatory Authority … More Predatory Authority and the American Culture of Violence
I guess ‘atmospheric rivers’ have been a thing with climate researchers for a while now. Despite closely following the news in climate science for a couple of decades, I had not heard of them. Then, suddenly California was hit by a series of severe storms that they are calling an “atmospheric river.” The L.A. Times … More Wait, What? Atmospheric Rivers and Us.
Many thoughtful comments by knowledgeable critics of COP27 and even institutional actors who recognize the climate crisis but fail to take serious climate action, reflect one fundamental underlying dilemma. Great ideas mean nothing unless converted into action. I am often amazed by the superficial clarity of statements of what must be done to avert or … More Global Triage: How to Optimize Opportunity While Mitigating Madness and Risk
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