Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

Last Saturday we decided to take a hike in the beautiful Frijoles Canyon of the Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos National Laboratory “up the hill” from Santa Fe. I had not experienced the pandemic claustrophobia that has caused so much anxiety; I guess I was just too busy. Anyway, it was a lovely cool … More Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

The Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn versus the Modernist Dilemma

I don’t remember where I read the “Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn,” but it made enough of an impression that I saved it. I guess it was the contrast with our modernist illusions that got my attention. We live in a world that is culturally detached from the factual world of physical, … More The Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn versus the Modernist Dilemma

It’s Not Just About Climate: The New Great Transformation is a Total Existential Threat and Opportunity

All the policy talk around the “climate emergency” is either technical with reference to the effects of carbon pollution, emissions-reduction goals, or political with reference to cost, employment, or other policy matters. But the predicament we face in confronting the climate emergency is far greater and more complex than usually imagined. Public climate-change policy leaders … More It’s Not Just About Climate: The New Great Transformation is a Total Existential Threat and Opportunity

Our Political Predicament and the New Great Transformation

Humanity, indeed the entire Earth System, now experiences not merely an evolutionary transition, but a full-blown New Great Transformation, unlike anything before. Already traumatized by a history of change, we find no simple answer to the need for both individual healing and societal transformation. The current rise of hate groups, neo-fascists, and bizarre conspiracy theories … More Our Political Predicament and the New Great Transformation

Healing the Trauma: from Person to Planet and Back

Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the contradictions of American society and political culture lay exposed in the aftermath of the chaotic but organized seditious assault on the Capitol building in Washington, DC. On January 6, in the failed attempt to prevent the constitutionally mandated congressional counting an acceptance of the votes of the electoral … More Healing the Trauma: from Person to Planet and Back

Has the Nation Gone Mad? Well, Sort Of…

What was once a routine celebratory national ritual—the inauguration of a new president—grows near, the political and cultural tensions grow evermore severe. Not only is the national Capitol subject to assault by a ragtag mob of self-appointed “patriotic” seditionists, incited by none other than the president himself. We are also unfortunate to observe the chaotic … More Has the Nation Gone Mad? Well, Sort Of…

Earth System Discontent with Civilization

Climate scientist Dr. Andrew Glikson’s brief assessment of our global prospects in his article, “How long for civilization?” is uncomfortably right on target. He begins his short essay, published the day after Christmas, 2020, with an epigram consisting of Albert Einstein’s famous statement, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over … More Earth System Discontent with Civilization

It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge

With all the crises and stress in our family and in the world, we decided to spend a good part of Christmas day watching old Christmas movies. First, we watched the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart, which I had not seen in decades. Then we watched the 1984 version of “A … More It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge

Past Perfect, Present Imperfect, and Future Extreme

Yes, we do live in interesting times, which does not mean that we understand very well our place on time’s arrow. We pine for an idyllic past, misinterpret what is going on right now, and imagine a utopian future that cannot be. If only the experts will come up with impossible new technologies and materials … More Past Perfect, Present Imperfect, and Future Extreme