Another End of the World is Possible
by John Halstead
- A Year on the Planet of the HumansThere is no version of 8 billion humans that survives. There is no version of this level of consumption that survives. There is no version of capitalism and economic growth that survives. There is no technology made by industrial civilization that can save the planet from industrial civilization.
- Restoration is a powerful antidote to despair. (Robin Wall Kimmerer)Restoration offers concrete means by which humans can once again enter into positive, creative relationship with the more-than-human world, meeting responsibilities that are simultaneously material and spiritual.
- 20 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day DifferentlyMost of these kinds of lists focus on changing your consumer habits, and therefore leave the underlying structure of capitalist society unexamined. This list goes beyond the usual suggestions to change light bulbs or take shorter showers. Instead, the focus was on collective action working toward radical social change.
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“What will it take for human beings to change? I think, maybe, it would take dying. Maybe the only way we could experience a conversion to a biocentric way of life is if we believed—if we really knew—that we were going to die. ‘We will not save what we do not love,’ wrote the ecotheologian, Thomas Berry. Maybe radical love is only possible when we give up hope for ourselves.”
From the Back Cover
In these essays, author and activist, John Halstead, takes us from a 2016 environmental protest at a Midwestern tar sands refinery to a mid-20th century Mexican cornfield stricken with blight to a bloody sacrifice to the Mother Goddess in ancient Rome, and from ancient pagan myths to the latest superhero movies to speculative fiction about a biocentric community of the future. In so doing, he explores the intersection of climate change and capitalism, hope and despair, death and denial, hubris and hero myths, love and limitations, popular culture and storytelling, and what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed.
What If It’s Already Too Late
I had a terrible thought recently … “What if it’s already too late?”
Die Early and Often
We are doomed to walk the path of the Dying God.
The Yoga of Despair
What will it take for human beings to change? I think, maybe, it would take dying.
John Halstead is the author of Another End of the World is Possible (2019), in which he explores what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed. John is a native of the southern Laurentian bioregion and lives in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. He is a co-founder of 350 Indiana-Calumet, which worked to organize resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the Region. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.” He strives to live up to the challenge posed by the Statement through his writing and activism. John has written for numerous online platforms, including Patheos, Huffington Post, PrayWithYourFeet.org, and Gods & Radicals. He also facilitates a climate grief support group affiliated with the Good Grief Network. You can read John’s complete curriculum vitae here.
John’s Interview on Last Born in the Wilderness
“There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew that cultures decay, and life’s end is death.”Robinson Jeffers
“When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified–and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn.”Joseph Campbell
“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”Emerson
“It’s only in recognizing the fact that our lives are limited, complicit, imperfect, and interdependent that we begin to understand what it means to live together in this world.”Roy Scranton
The Newsroom Episode
A Farewell Note
from Professor Brendan Mackey
Director Of Griffith Climate Change Response Program