I read Michael Mann’s The New Climate War so you don’t have to.

Ever since I started identifying with the Deep Adaptation/Post-Doom (terms I use interchangeably here) perspective, I make it a practice to read critiques of that perspective, so as to avoid falling into the errors of group think and confirmation bias. Unfortunately, what I’ve read so far has been disappointing, because none of the critics have really engaged with the nuance of the Post-Doom message. Michael Mann’s The New Climate War (2021), which came out this past January, is no exception.

Continue reading “I read Michael Mann’s The New Climate War so you don’t have to.”

“We won’t see ‘normal’ again in our lifetimes” by Roy Scranton

This is an excerpt from a longer essay by Roy Scranton published in the New York Times on Jan. 25, 2021. You can read the entire article (behind a paywall) here.


“Going back to normal now means returning to a course that will destabilize the conditions for all human life, everywhere on earth. Normal means more fires, more category 5 hurricanes, more flooding, more drought, millions upon millions more migrants fleeing famine and civil war, more crop failures, more storms, more extinctions, more record-breaking heat. Normal means the increasing likelihood of civil unrest and state collapse, of widespread agricultural failure and collapsing fisheries, of millions of people dying from thirst and hunger, of new diseases, old diseases spreading to new places and the havoc of war. Normal could well mean the end of global civilization as we know it.

Continue reading ““We won’t see ‘normal’ again in our lifetimes” by Roy Scranton”

It Is Not Enough to Be Right

Rev. Bill Sinkford is a prophetic voice in the world of Unitarian Universalism. By “prophetic”, I mean the Old Testament meaning, not of someone who predicts the future, but of someone who “challenge[s] us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love”. (UUA’s 2nd Source) Sinkford is someone who calls Unitarians to repent, i.e., to change.

This past January, in the wake of the Washington D.C. insurrection, Sinkford gave a sermon on racism and the choice which is now presented to all Americans. He had these words for his Unitarian congregation: Being right is not enough.

Continue reading “It Is Not Enough to Be Right”

Against the New Age (Margaret Wheatley)

In this video clip, Margaret (Meg) J. Wheatley, author of Who Do We Choose to Be? (2017) is interviewed by Terry Patten on the State of Emergence podcast. (Be sure check out Patten’s other interviews here.)

In this clip, Wheatley criticizes the New Age belief that humans are reaching a “critical mass” or a “tipping point” in the evolution of human consciousness toward an awakening/enlightenment/transcendence/realization which will save us from civilizational collapse. She sees this belief as anthropocentric, ego-centric, and elitist, as well as seductive and dangerous in a time when we are facing inevitable collapse and we need to be fighting to defend each other and the planet. Patten calls her message “unflinching” and a “sobering and grounded antidote” to the delusional idealism and wishful thinking of New Age thought.

Continue reading “Against the New Age (Margaret Wheatley)”

Earthseed: A Sci-Fi Religion for Today

A Modern Prophetess: Octavia Butler

Yesterday, several women spoke at my Unitarian church, as part of our celebration of International Women’s Day, sharing stories of women who had inspired them. One of them spoke about three modern-day “prophetesses”, female science fiction authors, who have written about futures that have already started to happen or might happen soon. The three she listed were Children of Men by P.D. (Phyllis Dorothy) James, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Ink by Sabrina Vouroulais.

Another prophetic book by a female science fiction author, which I think deserves attention on this day, is Parable of the Sower (1993) and its sequel, Parable of the Talents (1998), by Octavia Butler. Butler was probably the first recognized female science fiction author and also the first Black science fiction author.

The Parable series depicts the struggle of a small community trying to survive the socioeconomic and political collapse of the mid-21st century caused by environmental degradation, corporate greed, and the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor.

Butler even predicted that a demagogue would be elected to the U.S. Presidency with the call to “Make America Great Again.” Both Trump and Butler’s fictional president are charismatic leaders with ethno-nationalistic agendas. Both target people of color, homosexuals, and anyone whom they don’t consider to be good Christian Americans. Both call their enemies rapists and destroyers of the country. Both condone violence against their political opposition, but do so in a way that gives them plausible deniability. 

Continue reading “Earthseed: A Sci-Fi Religion for Today”

Anti-Maskers and the Tragedy of Private Property

A “Right to Shop”?

You’ve probably seen lots of them by now. Videos of people having public meltdowns in private businesses, because they’ve been told to leave the business for not wearing a mask during a time of global pandemic. Sometimes they overturn something on their way out. Sometimes they assault a worker. Sometimes they are arrested. Oftentimes, they yell something about their rights being violated … about their right to shop or their “right to commerce”.

Continue reading “Anti-Maskers and the Tragedy of Private Property”

Where Do You Fall on the Collapse Chart?

I came across some charts by Albert Bates here and here which attempt to locate various collapseniks, doomers, post-doomers, anarcho-primitivists, etc. There’s some problems with Bates’ charts. I don’t think it’s clear what his horizontal axis represents. And I disagree with where he locates some of the people on the chart, so I decided to create my own chart (above).

Continue reading “Where Do You Fall on the Collapse Chart?”

From Conservative Mormon to Pagan Anarchist: Radicalization (Part 6)

Over the course of my adult life, I have traveled a significant part of of the breadth of the political spectrum, from right to left, from authoritarian to libertarian, from politically conservative Mormon to radical Leftist. Someone recently asked me how this happened, and the question brought me up short. My lack of a ready answer surprised me, because I am a very introspective person. So I decided to reconstruct the course of my life as best as I could, to see if I could identify the events or people which were most influential on my transformation.

Continue reading “From Conservative Mormon to Pagan Anarchist: Radicalization (Part 6)”

From Conservative Mormon to Pagan Anarchist: Politicization (Part 5)

Over the course of my adult life, I have traveled a significant part of of the breadth of the political spectrum, from right to left, from authoritarian to libertarian, from politically conservative Mormon to radical Leftist. Someone recently asked me how this happened, and the question brought me up short. My lack of a ready answer surprised me, because I am a very introspective person. So I decided to reconstruct the course of my life as best as I could, to see if I could identify the events or people which were most influential on my transformation.

Continue reading “From Conservative Mormon to Pagan Anarchist: Politicization (Part 5)”