Federal “Pre-emption” of State Laws Weaponized by the Corporate State

I cannot count the number of times I have heard of some federal “Preemption” of a State Law in recent years. Each time, the winner is some corporate polluter or other practitioners of the “externalization” of environmental or societal costs of its operations. Such corporate criminals have destroyed countless ecosystems and, ultimately, destabilized most of … More Federal “Pre-emption” of State Laws Weaponized by the Corporate State

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

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:

The Politics of Disinfotainment: Anything But Real Issues

The 1960s and 1970s were the peak years for a small magazine called “The Realist,” published and edited by Paul Krassner. It was filled with hilariously funny satire on the absurdities of American politics, economics, and culture. Along with Krassner, contributors included the likes of Lenny Bruce, Ken Kesey, Woody Allen, and Mort Sahl, among … More The Politics of Disinfotainment: Anything But Real Issues

Can We Get There from Here? Stalling on the Path to Species Survival…or Not

You can find just about any message you’d like to hear about climate change. The gloomiest of fatalists: “It’s too late; we’re doomed; party on.” The science denier: “It’s the greatest hoax ever to deceive the American public; those scientists are just making these claims to get grants.” The suburban consumer: “It’s not my problem; … More Can We Get There from Here? Stalling on the Path to Species Survival…or Not

Magical Thinking: It’s Everywhere and Getting More Dangerous

We all labor under certain illusions, some modest and minor, others enormously majestic. Social illusions have always been with us. We tend to think of the myths of “primitive” peoples as illusions and our own beliefs as facts. But that may be the biggest illusion of all. Some of what at first appear to be … More Magical Thinking: It’s Everywhere and Getting More Dangerous

Two Kinds of Development

When we think of “development,” it is usually about economic development of the so-called “developing nations,” that is, nations whose economies have not caught up with the “advanced” industrial nations of North America and Europe. Without question, the most advanced technology and its application to the full range of industrial processes, from extraction to product … More Two Kinds of Development

Putin, Obama, and Carbon: Denial and Decline

As I watched the Ukraine/Crimea crisis unfold, the corporate media rendition of the scenario emerged as if pulled from an old cold-war script. Of course, Putin, the Soviet KGB-style dictator, is an obvious “bad guy.” And Obama is following the neo-conservative script of his “advisers,” or is it handlers? But the struggle over Ukraine is … More Putin, Obama, and Carbon: Denial and Decline

Tipping points need Paradigm Shifts: Paradigm Shifts are Tipping Points

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