An article in Psychology Today, posted by Ray Williams on July 7, 2014, delineated a long list of indicators of the decline and fall of culture and education in the U.S. in recent decades. Diverse measures of that decline led the author to conclude that, as I would rather put it, “American Exceptionalism” is in fact a … More Dumbing Down America Degrades the Nation and More
California could be the turning point. Or not… Growing numbers of Americans seek to live a parallel life by limiting their consumption as much as they can to low and no emissions products. But so much more is needed. California has led the nation in some of the steps it has taken against global warming, … More Is California BERNing?
Avoiding societal collapse means building bridges between science and the rest of the world. [Please note: This article is republished with permission from the site, ensia.com. It was accessed at: http://ensia.com/voices/to-build-a-sustainable-world-academics-need-to-tear-down-the-ivory-tower.] Anthony D. Barnosky @tonybarnosky Professor of integrative biology, University of California, Berkeley Elizabeth A. Hadly @LizHadly Stanford professor and global change scientist Paul R. Ehrlich President, Center for … More To build a sustainable world, academics need to tear down the Ivory Tower
We are so used to the idea that we must each have the freedom to choose, well, just about everything in our lives. We imagine that we are independently constructing a “life of our own.” We have, in our minds at least, an inalienable right to choose and to live our own unique “lifestyle.” That … More Climate Imperative, Freedom, and Democracy
The corporate mass media were briefly all agog about the agreement reached in Paris for the world’s nations to reduce green house gas emissions and save the planet. COP21 was widely declared a success, then quickly ignored. But really, what was accomplished? A very slick propaganda pitch by the world’s political elites, that’s what. Yet, … More False Hopes and Disingenuous Agreements: COP21 and Climate Catastrophe
What’s in a word? Or phrase? Well, a lot sometimes. In the case of anthropogenic alteration of the complex ecological and climate systems, it all started with “global warming.” It was a simple and accurate term. The emissions of primarily carbon dioxide by the steady increases in burning of fossil fuels throughout the industrial era … More Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Climate Crisis, or Catastrophic Climate Destabilization: What Shall We Call It and Why?
I ran across a publication on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Website the other day. It seemed useful on one level and very disturbing on another level. Its title is, “Community-Based Adaptation to a Changing Climate.”  The eight-page document by the EPA Office of Policy, describes various effects of global warming on local community … More Climate Crisis Confusion: Mitigation or Adaptation
You can find just about any message you’d like to hear about climate change. The gloomiest of fatalists: “It’s too late; we’re doomed; party on.” The science denier: “It’s the greatest hoax ever to deceive the American public; those scientists are just making these claims to get grants.” The suburban consumer: “It’s not my problem; … More Can We Get There from Here? Stalling on the Path to Species Survival…or Not
We all labor under certain illusions, some modest and minor, others enormously majestic. Social illusions have always been with us. We tend to think of the myths of “primitive” peoples as illusions and our own beliefs as facts. But that may be the biggest illusion of all. Some of what at first appear to be … More Magical Thinking: It’s Everywhere and Getting More Dangerous
Learning is usually an exalted concept – in the abstract. But the practice of learning does not often measure up to the ideal. That is clear in the way we treat our schools. Social learning reflects the failures and deficits in personal learning. Power fears truth. Institutions perpetuate the prejudices and magical thinking of their … More Racism and Climate Denial Are Positive Feedback Loops