I just read an article in an online journal countercurrents.org called, “How bad can it get?” In it, Robert Hunziker describes a book by Bill McGuire, Emeritus Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London. McGuire, a highly respected scientist, does not mince words in describing what he calls Hothouse Earth (Icon Books, … More How Bad can It Get? Reality Transformed
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
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
Have you ever been lost in the woods? Or just in an unfamiliar urban neighborhood? As it turns out, getting lost is not that uncommon. However, most of the time things work out because we got lost within the familiar bounds of civilization. We can rely on others to give us some directions. Today, industrial … More Who Survives and Who Does Not: Civilization Lost in a Wilderness of Mistaken Mental Models
Ideas can get away from us, even take control of our lives. Sometimes, a great idea can become destructive when taken to its most extreme form. Life is full of ambiguities and imperfections. If we take our great ideas out of this context, they can become dysfunctional, stupid, and even dangerous. So it is with … More Freedom, Responsibility, and the Absurdity of Autocracy
“Risk on” and “Risk Off” are terms heard among stock market traders, analysts, and investment advisors. They indicate whether the speaker feels that risk is high or low for investing in markets or in a particular stock. Risk is always a matter of degree, except under conditions of certainty—and when does that happen? Yet, “risk … More Risk On Risk Off: Likely or Unlikely, Catastrophic or Not
It is not difficult to see the several consistencies between the COVID-19 pandemic and the Climate Emergency. You can find them in more than one dimension. Some involve the trajectories of the crises, while others reside in the human response or lack thereof. Things like acceleration and lagged effects are important for understanding crises that … More Too Late and Too Soon: Corona-Climate Crisis Consistency
Do you pay attention to the tech news, especially in relation to the financial markets? The idea of self-driving cars and trucks and their near and long-term prospects gets a great deal of attention among the pundits. But why? Okay, at one level it reflects the growing operational power of artificial intelligence (AI)and neural networking … More Autonomous Vehicles: Why?
In a number of posts, I have discussed various social illusions such as the idea that the extractive industrial consumer economy could just keep growing permanently, as so many economists implicitly insist. That deeply flawed illusion rests on some equally defective assumptions. Many people also believe that as industrial materials reach a state of depletion … More Let’s Get Real: What is Sustainable in Markets, the Biosphere, and Society?
We usually think of something as fantastic if it is so wonderful and amazing that it seems like fantasy. I suspect that is where Walt Disney got the idea for his “Fantasy Land” and the other fantastical components of Disneyland, Disneyworld, and all those animated entertainments. Much of it suggests unbounded human futures through industrial … More Facing a Fantastic Future: Fantasyland, Apocalypse, or Hopeful Realism?