I guess ‘atmospheric rivers’ have been a thing with climate researchers for a while now. Despite closely following the news in climate science for a couple of decades, I had not heard of them. Then, suddenly California was hit by a series of severe storms that they are calling an “atmospheric river.” The L.A. Times … More Wait, What? Atmospheric Rivers and Us.
“Outside,” shouted one of the surfers on seeing a new “set” of bigger waves forming further out to sea than the small swells passing them but deemed not worth riding. Always, they looked for a bigger better-formed wave to catch. The world today is looking outside in the hope that a second wave of the … More Here Comes the Second Wave
What makes the majority of politicians most uncomfortable about Bernie Sanders is not that he is a “democratic socialist” (Notice, they usually leave out the “democratic” part.) Most do not understand the concept anyway. They just find the word an easy target for the personal derision of Bernie, the disheveled outsider who has remained an … More Exxon’s Money or Your Life: Immoral Capital is Still in Charge
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?
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
Learning is usually an exalted concept – in the abstract. But the practice of learning does not often measure up to the ideal. That is clear in the way we treat our schools. Social learning reflects the failures and deficits in personal learning. Power fears truth. Institutions perpetuate the prejudices and magical thinking of their … More Racism and Climate Denial Are Positive Feedback Loops
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
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
It’s hard to accept the idea that most human activities are based on illusions. But look at the nature and kinds of illusions out there. Some illusions are necessary and good, while others are quite destructive. We tend to see the illusions of tribal cultures as “myths,” illusory fictions about the world, whereas we see … More Some Serious Social Illusions