As civilization faces an existential crisis, our leaders demonstrate their inability to respond. Theory of change shows that now is the time for radically new ideas to transform society before it’s too late. Of all the terrifying news bombarding us from the burning of the Amazon, perhaps the most disturbing was the offer of $22 … Continue reading As Society Unravels, the Future Is Up for Grabs
On April 10, Jem Bendell wrote a detailed and thoughtful article in response to my critique of Deep Adaptation, “What Will You Say to Your Grandchildren.” I appreciate the care he took to ponder my arguments, note where he concurred, and refute what he felt was wrong. I believe that Jem and I agree on … Continue reading Our Actions Create the Future: A Response to Jem Bendell
Facing oncoming climate disaster, some argue for “Deep Adaptation”—that we must prepare for inevitable collapse. However, this orientation is dangerously flawed. It threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophecy by diluting the efforts toward positive change. What we really need right now is Deep Transformation. There is still time to act: we must acknowledge this moral … Continue reading What Will You Say to Your Grandchildren?
Yuval Harari’s writings explode many fictions on which modern civilization is based. However, his own unacknowledged fictions perpetuate dangerous myths. In this article, I urge Harari to recognize his own implicit stories, and by doing so, step up to his full potential role in helping shape humanity’s future. When Yuval Noah Harari speaks, the world … Continue reading Yuval Harari: Please Recognize Your Own Unacknowledged Fictions
In the face of climate breakdown and ecological overshoot, alluring promises of “green growth” are no more than magical thinking. We need to restructure the fundamentals of our global cultural/economic system to cultivate an “ecological civilization”: one that prioritizes the health of living systems over short-term wealth production. We’ve now been warned by the world’s … Continue reading We Need an Ecological Civilization Before It’s Too Late
We need to rein in the destructive power of corporations and billionaires before it’s too late. These five ideas would do that, while leaving global capitalism intact. Ultimately, only a complete transformation of our economic system will save our future, but these proposals could set changes in motion that might eventually take us there. Transnational … Continue reading Five Ways to Curb the Power of Corporations and Billionaires
It’s time to reclaim the mantle of “Progress” for progressives. By falsely tethering the concept of progress to free market economics and centrist values, Steven Pinker has tried to appropriate a great idea for which he has no rightful claim. In Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, published earlier this year, … Continue reading Steven Pinker’s Ideas About Progress Are Fatally Flawed. These Eight Graphs Show Why.
Published in Open Democracy | Transformation, March 20, 2018. It’s time to build a new worldview around a deeper sense of connectedness. What do all these ideas have in common—a tax on carbon, big investments in renewable energy, a livable minimum wage, and freely accessible healthcare? The answer is that we need all of them, … Continue reading Culture Shift: Redirecting Humanity’s Path to a Flourishing Future
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, affirms an ecological vision that is in line with progressive environmental thought. Is it mere rhetoric or does it have a deeper resonance within Chinese culture? The answer may ultimately have a profound effect on humanity’s future. Imagine a newly elected President of the United States calling in his inaugural speech … Continue reading What Does China’s “Ecological Civilization” Mean for Humanity’s Future?
George Monbiot, acclaimed Guardian columnist and environmental thought leader, wrote this piece today about The Patterning Instinct. I’m republishing it here verbatim. An astonishing new field of enquiry explores the deep changes that could avert a planetary disaster By George Monbiot, published on monbiot.com, 31st January 2018 We know where we’re going. For many years, scientists have … Continue reading Stepping Back from the Brink
The cover article of New Scientist this week asks “Is Western civilization on the brink of collapse?” I’m glad they’re raising this question, but their discussion was extremely disappointing. First, as George Monbiot points out in a follow-up article, the article fails to distinguish between Western and global civilization, conflating two very different issues: 1.) … Continue reading “The collapse of our civilization is not a political issue.” Really??
Fifteen thousand scientists have issued a dire warning to humanity about impending collapse but virtually no-one takes notice. Ultimately, our global systems, which are designed for perpetual growth, need to be fundamentally restructured to avoid the worst-case outcome. For a moment, the most important news in the entire world flashed across the media like a … Continue reading What Will It Really Take to Avoid Collapse?
Futurists warning about the threats of AI are looking in the wrong place. Humanity is already facing an existential threat from an artificial intelligence we created hundreds of years ago. It’s called the Corporation. Some of the leading thinkers of our time are unleashing a stream of warnings about the threat of artificial intelligence taking … Continue reading AI Has Already Taken Over. It’s Called the Corporation
[Article published in Common Dreams, AlterNet, Resilience, and CounterPunch] Our egalitarian hunter-gatherer ancestors developed sophisticated social technologies for keeping upstarts in check. What can the popular resistance movement learn from them in confronting the worst excesses of Donald Trump? The recent election results in Virginia and elsewhere suggest that the tide may be turning away … Continue reading Resisting Trump? Five Tips from the Hunter-Gatherer Playbook
Contrary to common sense, we could experience booming GDP and stock market valuations all the way to society’s imminent collapse. As we reel from one natural disaster after another—hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, wildfires in California—climate scientists explain how they’re not really “natural” at all. They’re the anticipated consequence of a breakdown in the world’s climate, … Continue reading The Cruel, Topsy-Turvy Economics of Collapse
There’s probably no more contentious Federal holiday than Columbus Day. Increasingly, municipalities across the country are renaming it to Indigenous Peoples Day, to honor those who were decimated by the European conquest. Meanwhile, every year, apologists for the dominant neoliberal worldview publish op-ed pieces to defend the status quo. Their arguments, unfortunately, only demonstrate the … Continue reading The Great Columbus Day Debate
Reprint of my article first published in Berkeleyside, on Thursday, September 21, 2017 Next week, right wing extremists plan another invasion of Berkeley, with some of their most notorious mouthpieces—Steve Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, among others—scheduled to speak in what they speciously call a “Free Speech” week. Their obvious desire is to provoke, in … Continue reading Rejecting Violent Political Tactics Is a Moral Choice
Imagine you’re driving your shiny new car too fast along a wet, curvy road. You turn a corner and realize you’re heading straight for a crowd of pedestrians. If you slam on your brakes, you’d probably skid and damage your car. So you keep your foot on the accelerator, heading straight for the crowd, knowing … Continue reading The Climate Catastrophe We’re All Ignoring
On Friday, August 4, I published an article in AlterNet entitled “The Dangerous Delusions of Richard Dawkins.” The response was flabbergasting. The article, which was quickly picked up by both Raw Story and Salon, has been shared on Facebook over ten thousand times in less than a week. It has also elicited a storm of … Continue reading Beyond Reductionism? An Open Letter in Response to Jerry Coyne