News from the Other End of the World: September 2020

The Newsletter for AnotherEndoftheWorld.org

This is a (more or less) monthly newsletter for AnotherEndoftheWorld.org where I introduce new friends I have met in the Deep Adaptation community, give an update on current and future projects and essay ideas, and share what I’m currently reading and watching.


New Edition of Another End of the World is Possible

I’ve added a new preface and two essays to the book, which I think really helps round it out. It’s still a slim volume around 150 pages. You can get a copy here. Amazon is still selling the 1st edition, so if you want the longer version, you need to order it from the publisher page.


Book Group Discussion

On October 6, 2020 at 7:30 ET, Erik Assadourian of Gaianism.org is hosting a Zoom discussion about two books, including my own Another End of the World is Possible and How Everything Can Collapse: A Manual for Our Times by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens. My friend and eco-theologian Michael Dowd and I will be facilitating the discussion.

If you like audiobooks, Michael Dowd has recorded (with a little enlightening commentary) the entire first edition of Another End of the World is Possible, as well as one of the essays that went into the new edition.


ClimateGriefGroup.org is live

I created an informational site for the climate grief group I have been facilitating. Coronavirus has interrupted my plans, but I’m going to try to get it going again soon. In the meantime, check out the site, which I will be adding to.


Two Great Talks

Grief and Repair with Holly Truhlar & Desiree Coutinho

I recently had the pleasure to host grief therapist and lawyer Holly Truhlar and spoken word poet and activist Desiree Coutinho at a workshop presented at the First Unitarian Church of Hobart. Holly and Desiree then both spoke (Desiree performed her own spoken word poetry) during the worship service that followed the workshop. Below are four videos which came out of that workshop and service. Enjoy!


“Making Peace With Extinction” by Dayan Martinez

I was also blessed to host my friend and admired cohort, Dayan Martinez, who spoke about taking a deep-history perspective on the climate crisis and mass extinction as a way to transmute our grief. You can also read the talk here.


Upcoming Talks

I myself an scheduled to talk at two different Unitarian churches over the next month. One will be on the topic of Naturalistic Animism, which is something I haven’t presented on before. An the other will a talk I’ve previously given, but hope to record this time, “The Gospel of Compost.”


Recent Writing

What the Heck is Fascism?

Fascism and anarchists have been in the news lately. David Graeber, a “small-a anarchist”, died suddenly recently. Facebook has banned Antifa (as well as QAnon–so I guess it evens out?). Trump has called out “far-Left fascists” (what’s that?!). And the Washington Post published a defense of anarchism entitled, “Stop Blaming Everything on Anarchists.” Here’s an excerpt:

Anarchism “advocates for the abolition of government and all other unequal systems of power in favor of a society organized around direct democracy and voluntary association. … Key anarchist principles include mutual aid (a reciprocal approach to community care in which people share resources), direct action (the use of political protest to achieve a goal) and horizontalism (a non-hierarchical organizational system in which decisions are made by consensus). Anarchists advocate for abolishing institutions such as prisons, police and the military, which they hold to be inherently oppressive. Anarchists are by definition anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and directly opposed to all other forms of bigotry and oppression. …

“In practice, to be an anarchist is to dream of a kinder, more equitable society, and to do one’s best to get us closer to making that dream a reality. For every minute of protest footage showing anarchists out in the streets, there are untold hours spent attending endless meetings (anarchists love meetings), cooking and delivering food and supplies to those who need it, researching far-right groups, planning demonstrations, providing child care and other support to comrades, and taking part in other communally minded projects. …

“Anarchism is also well suited to dealing with disasters like the coronavirus pandemic and offers a path forward for those fed up with government malfeasance, liberal inaction and the cruel machinations of a reality show king. As we’ve seen during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, in autonomous zones like Chiapas and Rojava, and other, similar contexts, beautiful, necessary, life-sustaining worlds can spring up around the voluntary work of those striving to improve things together. We’ve already seen countless mutual aid projects spring up to help people cope with the coronavirus …”

All this prompted me to write an essay about fascism, “What the Heck is Fascism?”, contrasting using anarchism to explain what fascism is.


Black Lives Matter … to the Planet

I also wrote this essay about the deeper connection between racial justice and “saving the planet”, a connection which I think goes deeper than issues of environmental racism.


Upcoming Writing

My next essays will probably deal with the topics of identity politics, the role of imagination in revolution, and the language we use to talk about nature.

I’ve also been working on collecting some of my previous writings into a volume called The Greening of Paganism: Deep Ecology, Neo-Animism, and Spiritual Activism. It turns out I’ve got a fair amount of writing to do to round it out, so that will probably take a while.


What I’m Reading and Watching

In addition to reading White Fragility by Roiin DiAngelo, I’m working my way through several essays by James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates, which you can find here.

I also just watched a documentary about socialist, prisoner, and presidential candidate Eugene Debs (appropriate for Labor Day), who I didn’t know was a fellow Hoosier.

Oh, yeah, and I’ve really been enjoying the Post-Carbon Institute’s podcast, Crazy Town. The episodes are short and lighthearted, in spite of dealing with heavy material. The message of Post-Carbon Institute is that climate change is a function of a much deeper problem: capitalist consumerism and an infinite-growth economy. I got turned on to the podcast by their well-balanced review of Michael Moore’s film Planet of the Humans. They wrestle with the issues raise by the film in other episodes.

Published by John Halstead

John Halstead is the author of *Another End of the World is Possible*, 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 is Editor-at-Large of HumanisticPaganism.com. John also facilitates climate grief support groups climate grief support groups affiliated with the Good Grief Network.

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