I think most of my regular readers are aware that I spent last weekend at a peak oil event. There have been plenty of those over the last decade or so, but this one, The Age of Limits, was a bit unusual: it started from from the place where most other peak oil events stop, with the recognition that the decline and fall of industrial civilization is the defining fact of our time.
One mile north of the Mason-Dixon line in Southeastern Pennsylvania, nearly 200 people from the US and beyond, gathered this weekend on the land of Four Quarters Inter-Faith Sanctuary to consider Peak Oil, climate change, and economic meltdown—and the collapse of industrial civilization. On this Memorial Day weekend, we not only “remembered” how we got to this watershed in our planet’s journey through the time and space, but concluded almost unanimously that this event must become an annual occurrence.
Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed The Environmental Point Of No Return? By Madhusree Mukerjee
Although there is an urban legend that the world will end this year based on a misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar, some researchers think a 40-year-old computer program that predicts a collapse of socioeconomic order and massive drop in human population in this century may be on target
If climate change continues on its current course, the number of heat-related deaths will rise as temperatures climb during the summer, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental advocacy group.
A paradigm shift is desperately needed. And it will not come from those who have created the crisis and who are looking for new ways to extend the life of the greed economy by commodifying and privatising all life on earth. They will come to Rio+20 to paint the “greed economy” green, and call it the “green economy”. And they will have powerful governments on their side. Movements for ecological sustainability, social justice and deep democracy will come to Rio+20 with another paradigm — one centred on the rights of mother earth, the rights of future generations, of women, indigenous communities and farmers
Americans make more money and are slightly more satisfied with their lives, on average, than people in other countries, but here’s the catch: We live slightly shorter lives.
In his book Eaarth, Bill McKibben explains that the effects of man-made global warming are not a thing of the future, but are already here now. Human activity for the past centuries has already changed the Earth we thought we knew. How can we learn to love this damaged Earth that human activity (both knowingly and unknowingly) has created? How do we wrap our brains and hearts around something this huge? And how do we do this in a way that offers healing, renewal, genuine hope and a path forward?
A new report from the University of Michigan starts off its press release with a not so optimistic phrase: “It’s a message no one wants to hear.”
Just what message is this? That it would take an extreme economic downturn to slow the effects of global warming.
The seeds of energy conflicts and war sprouting in so many places simultaneously suggest that we are entering a new period in which key state actors will be more inclined to employ force — or the threat of force — to gain control over valuable deposits of oil and natural gas. In other words, we’re now on a planet heading into energy overdrive.
We live, then, in a dark time here on our tiny precious planet. Ecological devastation, political and economic collapse, irreconcilable ideological and religious conflict, poverty, famine: the end of the overshoot of cheap-oil-based consumer capitalist expansionism. If you don’t know where you’ve been, you have small chance of understanding where you might be headed. So let me offer a capsule history for those who, like most of us, got little help from textbook history. Humans tend to try to manage things: land, structures, even rivers. We spend enormous amounts of time, energy, and treasure in imposing our will on nature, on preexisting or inherited structures, dreaming of permanent solutions, monuments to our ambitions and dreams. But in periods of slack, decline, or collapse, our abilities no longer suffice for all this management. We have to let things go.