Rethinking Modern Infrastructure: The Vulnerability of Complex Systems

The COVID-19 pandemic is not so much about the characteristics of a virus as it is about the organization of modern societies. The modern infrastructure of hyper-mobility allowed the virus to move rapidly all over the world. Without that infrastructure, the pandemic could not have happened. The Black Plague in the Middle Ages, when mobility … More Rethinking Modern Infrastructure: The Vulnerability of Complex Systems

No More Time to Kid Ourselves: The Climate Emergency is Now

Brian Tokar has written an excellent synopsis of the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report (AR6) on the state of Earth’s climate. The latest findings of climate science clearly delineate the worsening conditions that are forcing us into today’s generally unacknowledged deep human predicament. The report just released is the first of three parts. The IPCC has … More No More Time to Kid Ourselves: The Climate Emergency is Now

Who Survives and Who Does Not: Civilization Lost in a Wilderness of Mistaken Mental Models

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

Risk On Risk Off: Likely or Unlikely, Catastrophic or Not

“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

Building Back Better: Deferred Maintenance vs. Emergency Response

Now that I have read President Biden’s “fact sheet” on his infrastructure plan, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, I have to wonder whether it will devolve into an “upgrade” to “modernize” business-as-usual. What we need is a genuine emergency response to the converging crises of climate, a crumbling main street economy, and the continued enrichment … More Building Back Better: Deferred Maintenance vs. Emergency Response

Here is Why Economists Cannot Hear Ecologists

HERE IS AN INSIGHTFUL HYPOTHETICAL DIALOG BETWEEN ECONOMISTS AND ECOLOGISTS OVER SEVERAL DECADES, WHICH EXEMPLIFIES THE CULTURAL STALEMATE BETWEEN IDEOLOGY AND SCIENCE. THAT IS WHAT STIFLES PROGRESS IN FACING OUR CLIMATE/ECOLOGICAL/EXISTENTIAL CRISIS TODAY. (I inserted a few links for reference.) A completely made up story about the history of economics and ecology By Katy Shields … More Here is Why Economists Cannot Hear Ecologists

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

Healing the Trauma: from Person to Planet and Back

Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the contradictions of American society and political culture lay exposed in the aftermath of the chaotic but organized seditious assault on the Capitol building in Washington, DC. On January 6, in the failed attempt to prevent the constitutionally mandated congressional counting an acceptance of the votes of the electoral … More Healing the Trauma: from Person to Planet and Back

Dress Rehearsal: Failed Pandemic Response is the Harbinger for Climate Chaos Policy Failure

“Nobody could have seen it coming or how bad it could be.” Wrong! Epidemiologists and virologists saw the earliest warnings of the global danger of the COVID-19 pandemic and warned the politicians. Even I, with my modest background in epidemiology, knew as soon as I saw the characteristics of this novel corona virus that its … More Dress Rehearsal: Failed Pandemic Response is the Harbinger for Climate Chaos Policy Failure