The Ideology of Utopian Dreams Confronts the Looming Dystopian Future

Ideologies defend the status quo; utopias propose perfect futures to replace the difficulties of life in the present. Strangely, sometimes the two get all mixed up together. That is the case today. The corporatist culture frames a utopian future as its ideology used to justify “staying the course” of the present globalized economy of endless … More The Ideology of Utopian Dreams Confronts the Looming Dystopian Future

In the Air Again: Expectations and Complications of Global Travel

I was not ready for more travel, though I had to go to L.A. for a doctor’s appointment a couple of days ago. An airline ticket was actually cheaper than a half-hour telephone consultation, which insurance does not cover. Not that I don’t like traveling; I do. But it is, after all, part of that … More In the Air Again: Expectations and Complications of Global Travel

On the Urgency of Abandoning Lifestyle

I never liked the term, “lifestyle.” It reflects an extreme version of the American obsession with personal individualistic consumerism, which ultimately is at odds with the hard facts of life on planet Earth. The unattainable “lifestyles of the rich and famous” promoted and enthusiastically accepted in the industrial era are built on illusion and propel … More On the Urgency of Abandoning Lifestyle

Dumbing Down America Degrades the Nation and More

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

To build a sustainable world, academics need to tear down the Ivory Tower

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

Renewables Transition: It’s Happening, But How, and is it Enough?

The report of the latest “Bloomberg New Energy Finance” (BNEF) annual summit in New York proclaimed on April 14, 2015 that fossil fuels had already lost the race against renewables. “The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil … More Renewables Transition: It’s Happening, But How, and is it Enough?

Individual Climate Ethics and Social Action

Climate action: can we do it ourselves? If we recycle everything we can, take shorter showers, and install some solar panels, will that prevent the looming climate chaos? We could buy an electric car and low-emissions consumer products, maybe even go “off the grid.” But would that be enough to avoid climate catastrophe? Sorry. Absolutely … More Individual Climate Ethics and Social Action