White Progressives & the Police

“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
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Grief and Repair with Holly Truhlar & Desiree Coutinho

I recently had the pleasure to introduce 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!

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12 Things to do Instead of Calling the Cops

This short zine offers 12 suggestions that people can do instead of calling the cops. They focus a lot on simple things that can be done to avoid having to call the first place such as compiling alternative resource lists for mental health and encouraging people to approach those in they are having issues with rather than getting the state involved in a conflict. Underlying the entire zine is the premise that strong communities can make it possible to handle conflicts without involving the police.

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“Making Peace With Extinction” by Dayan Martinez

Editor’s note: This post is a transcript of a talk given by Dayan Martinez at First Unitarian Church of Hobart (Indiana) on July 19, 2020 at my invitation. Dayan had written an earlier essay by the same name, which inspired this talk. The transcript was originally posted at Atroposian Musings.

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What the Heck is Fascism?

I doubt any president in my lifetime (almost a half century) has been more frequently accused of being a fascist than Trump. So it was no surprise to me to hear him condemning Antifa (the anti-fascist movement, which is literally short for “anti-fascism”) as a terrorist organization recently. What did surprise me (but shouldn’t have) was to hear Trump, while giving a speech in front of Mount Rushmore on July 3rd, declare that the U.S. is under siege from “far-left fascism”. I shouldn’t have been surprised, because Trump is a master of this kind of rhetorical game play. “You say I’m a fascist?! No, you’re a fascist!”

But what the heck is fascism anyway? Is there even such a things as Leftist fascism? For most of my life, the only thing I knew about fascism was that the Nazis were fascists and that hippies liked to call cops “fascist pigs”. But what does the word mean anyway? Given how increasingly common the term is, it seems like we should figure it out … especially now that we’ve got federal police scooping people up in major U.S. cities–surely a harbinger of fascism if ever there was one.

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Debate with a Technoptimist

After viewing Michael Moore’s latest film, Planet of the Humans, I got into some intense discussions with progressive friends who really disliked the movie as well as my promoting it online. The outcome was my essay, “Damn Dirty Humans!: Planet of the Humans and Progressive Denial”.

One progressive friend, Mark Green, wrote a response, and there followed a back-and-forth series of posts between us, which I think was very illuminating. You can read the whole exchange here:

  1. “Damn Dirty Humans!: ‘Planet of the Humans’ and Progressive Denial” by John Halstead
  2. “Why The Doomsters are Completely Wrong” by Mark Green
  3. “Beyond Doom: A Response to Mark Green” by John Halstead
  4. “The Doomsaying Simply Isn’t Helping: More on My Exchange with John Halstead” by Mark Green
  5. “Part 5 of the Halstead-Green debate” by John Halstead
  6. In Which Straw Men Get Punched—More on Halstead/Green” by Mark Green

I also turned #3 above into an essay geared for a more general audience entitled, “Why I Am Not A ‘Doomer’ “.

I think we exhausted the topic for now. I appreciate Mark. He’s a thoughtful critic and provided an worthy foil for me to develop my ideas.

Black Lives Matter … to the Planet

I was recently talking to someone who works in the areas of both climate collapse and anti-racism. As she was explaining how she she sees these two issues as interconnected, she told me about a workshop she was facilitating recently. About half of the White people gathered kept trying to push the conversation away from White supremacy and toward climate collapse, a topic with which they were apparently more comfortable.*

It’s been said that “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”. Apparently, we might now also say, “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of racism”–at least for some White people.

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Are Solar Panels Really Sustainable?

In a 2-part series published at Medium, an engineer does the math (and shows his work) to determine whether solar panels ever offset the energy spent in their creation. Solar panels do create more energy over their lifetime than the amount of energy required to create them. However, in order to be truly “sustainable”, the panels must also offset the harms done in their creation and disposal, as well as enough energy to replace themselves at the end of their lifetime.

In Part 1, the author concludes not only that solar panels are not sustainable, but that they likely never will be.

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News from the Other End of the World: July 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.

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“What it means to be alive in a time like this” (by Patrick Farnsworth)

This is an excerpt from “Wilderness of Mine Afflictions”, Patrick Farnsworth’s introduction to his newly released book, We Live in the Orbit of Beings Greater Than Us, available for sale at Gods & Radicals Press.

The questions that Patrick raises here are at the center of this this project, Another End of the World of Possible.

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