The climate of Political Nihilism

In September 2018, the Trump administration produced a realistic environmental impact report that reflected current scientific estimates of emerging climate chaos. That alone was a bit shocking given Trumpist rhetoric claiming that climate change is a “Chinese hoax.” But the political misuse of that information was shockingly brazen, if not exactly surprising. After all, presidential … More The climate of Political Nihilism

Economic Growth or Societal Development: a Matter of Survival

For most “moderns” the role of economic growth in assuring human progress appears necessary, whatever problems it may cause. Yet, the evidence has grown to such undeniable levels that continued economic growth, at least as we practice it now, is simply unsustainable on this small planet. Climate scientists, ecologists, environmentalists, and Earth system scientists have … More Economic Growth or Societal Development: a Matter of Survival

Individual Climate Ethics and Global Change

Can we do it ourselves? If we recycle everything and take shorter showers, install some solar panels, buy low-emissions products, etc., etc., can we avoid climate catastrophe? Sorry. Absolutely not. The problem runs much deeper than that – it involves the entire Earth System. The climate crisis is endemic to industrial civilization itself. That means, … More Individual Climate Ethics and Global Change

How to Evolve

Someone quoted Jeff Bezos as saying that the biggest mistake is not to evolve. But what exactly does it mean to evolve? In the case of Amazon.com, it has always meant to grow Amazon by growing sales above all else, including profit. Well, the entire history of the industrial era has focused on growth as … More How to Evolve

The Radical Turn

On the Necessity of the Inconceivable to Engage the New Great Transformation Most of us who have lived through the decades since World War II understand the advancements of the industrial age to be the essence of human progress. First, we lived in an energy-driven mechanical world involving a series of innovations and new “labor-saving” processes … More The Radical Turn

Calculating Human Survival:

The Role of the Social Sciences in Developing Effective Climate Action NOTE: I presented a slightly different version of this paper at the National Social Science Association Meetings in Denver, Colorado, August 3, 2016 We need not turn to the elections of 2016 to observe the madness of the public discourse and the corporate-governmental response to the climate crisis. In electoral politics, at least, we expect … More Calculating Human Survival: