Paul Kingsnorth: Hope in the Age of Collapse. Sometimes – rarely – online debate can be useful.
This was one example. This email debate with American journalist Wen Stephenson, about the current state of the world and what can be done about it, was prompted by his scepticism about my essay Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist. It’s a rare example of an online exchange leading to an interesting and grown-up discussion, rather than a bad-tempered slanging match. You can read the debate, complete with Wen’s personal introduction, on his Thoreau Farm website. Paul Kingsnorth: Confessions of a recovering environmentalist. It’s Not Climate Change — It’s Everything Change — Matter. Back in 2009, discussion of the future of energy and thus of civilization as we know it tended to be theoretical.
Now, however, action is being taken and statements are being made, some of them coming from the usual suspects — “left-wingers” and “artists” and “radicals,” and other such dubious folks — but others now coming from directions that would once have been unthinkable. Some are even coming — mirabile dictu! — from politicians. Here are some examples of all three kinds: In September 2014, the international petition site Avaaz (over 41 million members) pulled together a Manhattan climate march of 400,000 people, said to be the largest climate march in history.
Are you a solutionist or a zero-growth economist? The pope v the UN: who will save the world first? Everyone, it seems, recognises that Pope Francis’s encyclical is a striking document.
Join Us! - The Peterborough Dialogues. The Future Must Be Green, Red, Black and Female. (Photo: James Cridland / Flickr) The human species must acknowledge that any future that allows us to retain our humanity will jettison capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy - and be based on an ecological worldview, says Jensen.
(These remarks were prepared for a private conference on sustainability, where the participants critiqued corporate farming, "big ag," and "big pharma" and industrialized medicine. There was agreement about the need for fundamental change in economic/political/social systems, but no consensus on the appropriate analysis of those systems and their interaction.)
The future of the human species - if there is to be a future - must be radically green, red, black and female. The Anthropocene: It’s Not All About Us. Anthropocene artifacts.
(Photo by Garrett, on Flickr) Time to celebrate! Woo-hoo! It’s official: we humans have started a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene. The Sparks of Rebellion. Occupy Wall Street rally, March 16, 2012.
(Photo: Michael Fleshman / Flickr) Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere. This article is an edited and abridged version of Paul Mason’s 2013 Amiel Trust lecture.
It is from Issue 53 of Soundings and is available online exclusively at New Left Project. Two years on from the Arab Spring, I’m clearer about what it was that it inaugurated: it is a revolution. In some ways it parallels the revolutions of before – 1848, 1830, 1789 – and there are also echoes of the Prague spring, the US civil rights movement, the Russian ‘mad summer of 1874’ … but in other ways it is unique. Above all, the relationship between the physical and the mental, the political and the cultural, seems to be inverted. Agamben: From the State of Control to a Praxis of Destituent Power. Faced with absolute state control and the rapid eradication of political society, only a theory and praxis of destituent power can reclaim democracy.
This is the transcript of a public lecture by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben delivered to a packed auditorium in Athens on November 16, 2013 and recently published by Chronos. A reflection on the destiny of democracy today here in Athens is in some way disturbing, because it obliges us to think the end of democracy in the very place where it was born. As a matter of fact, the hypothesis I would like to suggest is that the prevailing governmental paradigm in Europe today is not only non-democratic, but that it cannot either be considered as political. I will try therefore to show that European society today is no longer a political society; it is something entirely new, for which we lack a proper terminology and we have therefore to invent a new strategy.
Michael Shermer on morality. NASA-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'... A new study partly-sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history. " Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common. " The independent research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists.
Managing disorder: towards a global state of control? Refusing to tackle the causes of our troubles and allow public space for dissent, the neoliberal state is sliding inexorably towards authoritarianism.
Image: Brazilian police demonstrated its new riot gear last month. When an Egyptian judge condemned 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death this week, he underlined in one fell swoop the terrifying reality in which the world finds itself today. Watch a Jaw-Dropping Visualization of Every Protest Since 1979. Bureaucracy, Autocracy and Neoliberal Canada. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue / Flickr)We must not only intervene, resist and oppose neoliberal governments and corporate capitalist hegemony; we must finally put an end to these death-dealing institutions. One cannot reflect upon the notion of human adaptability without experiencing both a sense of awe and a feeling of increasing uneasiness.
We are awed when science tells us that one of the most powerful evolutionary intellectual capacities we possess is the ability to adapt to challenging and unforeseen situations and environments. We adjust to extremities of weather, the loss of loved ones, constantly changing technologies and shifting social, economic and political circumstances - not always quickly or faultlessly, but inevitably, given time. Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour ... By David Cain / raptitude.com Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months of traveling.
Because I had been living quite a different lifestyle while I was away, this sudden transition to 9-to-5 existence has exposed something about it that I overlooked before. Since the moment I was offered the job, I’ve been markedly more careless with my money. Not stupid, just a little quick to pull out my wallet. I’m not talking about big, extravagant purchases. The Human Age » Naomi Wolf: When Protest is Effective and When it is Not. My Talk at TEDxBoulder: Civil Resistance and the “3.5% Rule”
I gave a talk at TEDxBoulder on September 21st. It was a great event, and I shared the stage with over a dozen terrific speakers and a number of talented musicians. We shared our ideas with a sold-out audience of about 2,200 people, and I’ve never been more nervous giving a talk! I anticipated that people might have questions about some of the claims I make in this talk, as well as some of the specific references I make. As you can imagine, when you have 12 minutes to tell a story, present some counterintuitive information, and try to make it engaging, there’s no time to fully reference your points.
So I decided to post the script and expand it with a variety of links to sources, references, and resources for those interested in pursuing the topic further. Feel free to leave your remaining questions in the comments section. Noam Chomsky & Howard Zinn "Is There Hope in This Desperate Time?" Radical Paganism. Jason Pitzl-Waters’ recent op-ed piece in The Wild Hunt is fucking excellent. … I stayed a Pagan because it also promised me a world, a culture, remade. A world where multiplicity, diversity, was honored. The Evolution of Consciousness. What Shade of Green are You? Part 1: The Spectrum of a Movement The environment movement has, of late, become all but subsumed by the climate movement.
I point this out not because climate doesn’t matter, but because it’s not the only thing that does. I fear that many important challenges are going unaddressed due to lack of attention. And I fear that our tactics are narrowing in scope, shunning direct action and favouring populism. The aim to attract more mainstream attention and support means vanilla tactics dominate while striking at the core of issues is viewed as too radical for popular appeal. The emerging trend of the environment movement is toward the centre of the bell curve, both in terms of issues addressed, and the means by which they are addressed. How Will the 99% Deal with 70 Million Psychopaths? How to Occupy the Noosphere – TedX. Jared Cohen on the future of the digital world. Internet addiction is just the next evolutionary step.
Having trouble shutting down your computer? Can’t stop refreshing your Facebook and Twitter streams? Did you close Reddit in your browser window … only to open Reddit right back up again? Human Intervention as a Competitive Advantage. Governing the Web (and everything else) Representatives of more than 190 governments begin a profoundly important 12-day closed-door meeting in Dubai on Monday to hammer out how the Internet should be run and who should pay for its operation. The International Telecommunication Union, a low-profile United Nations agency that’s sponsoring the meeting, sets out the technical standards for the world’s communication technologies, and the last time the group met was in 1988, when the information superhighway was geek talk and the World Wide Web didn’t exist. Why the internet of things could destroy the welfare state. An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web.