Why the Extinction Rebellion is Needed, and So Much More

My enthusiasm and hope for the prospects for the growing Extinction Rebellion to raise awareness of the converging Earth Systems crises got me to read its founder Roger Hallam’s book, Common Sense for the 21st Century. I had been studying what I call “The New Great Transformation” for my own book, At the Edge of … More Why the Extinction Rebellion is Needed, and So Much More

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

The End of Economism

The globalized corporate economy of perpetual growth already produces too much and has done so for a long time. In the process, it excludes more and more people from participating in that production. That means growing numbers of people do not have the income to consume what industry produces. Certainly, something has to give. Not … More The End of Economism

To Transform Society for Survival, We Must Liberate Ourselves from the Endless Growth Economy

The global corporate economy of perpetually growing extraction, production, consumption, and waste, has already produced far too much. It has done so for a very long time, with increasingly inequitable distribution. Consumption and waste not only exhaust non-renewable resources; they contaminate the complex adaptive living systems we call ecosystems, that is, our habitats. The only … More To Transform Society for Survival, We Must Liberate Ourselves from the Endless Growth Economy

What is Sustainability? Even the Experts Struggle with its Complexity

Many folks toss about the term, “sustainable” quite cavalierly these days. Like “green products” and “green consumption,” it often implies that a practice or product can continue as part of the industrial-consumer economy for a very long time. Yet the global corporate economy as presently constituted is hardly sustainable itself. Well, quite often the product … More What is Sustainability? Even the Experts Struggle with its Complexity

How to Control Complex Adaptive Systems to Survive

We live in increasingly complex systems, more and more of them are of our own making, though not always of our own conscious design. There are two basic kinds, natural complex adaptive systems, such as the Earth System and its many subsystems, and human-made complex adaptive systems, such as social groups and corporations. It appears … More How to Control Complex Adaptive Systems to Survive

Water Wells and Appropriate Technology

When my well failed a while back, I had just begun re-reading E.F. Schumacher’s book, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. It is a remarkable book, even more relevant today than in 1973, and available in many newer editions. Schumacher’s perspective of “Buddhist Economics” emerged from his experience as an economic development expert … More Water Wells and Appropriate Technology

Simple Complexity at ten thousand five hundred feet

I never stop marveling at the sophisticated complexity of modern technology. The fine performance of that flathead V-8 engine in my 1951 Ford when I was in high school was fully understandable by the average teenager at the time. Today, most of us do not have a clue about how the technologies we use every … More Simple Complexity at ten thousand five hundred feet