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?
The Green New Deal (GND) may or may not have much chance as a framework for drafting realistic climate legislation. Not only does a slavishly Trumpist Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, defy Senate tradition and democratic principles to fight any proposal the president does not like. He and his Republican cohorts block anything the Democrats propose, just … More Speaking the Unspeakable: Climate Reality vs Industrial Culture
Today, we live in a world of illusion more than ever before. We cannot be certain where much of the ‘information’ we are exposed to comes from or how accurate it may be. The lie is the new normal. Deception has grown as politicians and corporate CEOs ignore calls for transparency. We must do our … More Transparency, Transgressions, Bots, Trolls and Hackers
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
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
With the fall of the Soviet Union and various other communist states, the victory of capitalism seemed assured. Ronald Reagan took on a God-like aura, anointed by Margaret Thatcher. The “Iron Lady” affirmed that there was no such thing as “society,” and there was no alternative to unfettered growth of neo-liberal capitalism. All was well … More The Ideology of Predatory Capital: Social Illusions and Planetary Reality
The Industrial Era has provided prosperity for many in the nations that industrialized first. In many ways it has also involved the plunder and pollution of both Body and Planet for over 200 years. After beginning to improve material existence for industrialized nations, especially through the 1950s and 1960s, the broadening participation in prosperity began … More The Big Climate Blunder and Its Antidote: Risking Everything for What?
The Next Great Transformation is inevitable. We live in a world that is changing, and that change is accelerating and increasingly undeniable, despite the efforts of the fossil-fuel and related industrial, financial and media elites to cover up the hard facts of climate science and economic failure in a shroud of denial. The direction of … More Apocalypse When? Revealing the World, If We can See It
If you are familiar with the history of science you have probably heard of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In it, Thomas Kuhn describes how science progresses not by gradual evolution but by revolutionary transitions or “paradigm shifts” between “normal science” and new models of reality. Normal science chips away at small areas of ignorance … More Tipping points need Paradigm Shifts: Paradigm Shifts are Tipping Points
We humans are both rational and emotional beings. The mix between the two can produce some strange and amusing results. Conventional economics assumes that all human behavior is rational in the sense that everyone chooses only actions that serve their best economic interests and the result is the best overall outcome for everyone. Yet all … More Errors, Mistakes, and Stupidity: Why Magical Thinking Can Be Deadly