Extinction Dialogs is a candid conversation between Guy McPherson and Carolyn Baker. The text addresses the scientific research regarding abrupt climate change as well as how humans who grasp the likelihood of near-term human extinction can prepare emotionally and spiritually for the demise of many species on Earth, including ours. Synthesizing scientific and psycho-spiritual perspectives, McPherson and Baker provide a manual for understanding our terminal status and therefore allow this knowledge to shape every aspect of our relationships and behavior in humanity’s last hours.
This is a 6 star book (my top 10% across the 98 categories in which I read), and I consider it a book to be stunningly effective. At the age of 61 with no pensions on top of a rich life, I have found myself in unemployment over several years, and as this book so powerfully suggests, this may have been the best possible state for me at this point in time. I specifically recommend the book as a gift for any unemployed person, but I also consider it essential reading for any entering class of college students.
Carolyn Baker is such an Edge-Dweller. She writes “with unrestrained passion and urgency” about navigating the collapse of culture. According to Carolyn, it is no longer a debatable issue that our culture is, indeed, collapsing. The signs are everywhere, for those with open eyes. Our ecology, politics, economy, personal and social conditions have all deteriorated. Our politicians no longer are in hiding regarding who actually supports them. It is those large-scale corporations, who are nothing less than sociopathic entities that politicians such as Romney, and his counterpart, Obama and the Supreme Court justices, proclaim as “people.”
In her book titles Carolyn Baker features such scary words as “demise,” “chaos” and “collapsing,” but her goal is mainly soul building. The stressful outer reality is a provocation. In Baker’s daily digest of challenging news (“Speaking Truth to Power”), she welcomes a whole range of “collapse-aware” writers, including those who predict “near-term extinction.” However, her main vision is that, in the course of growing up, humans will construct, sooner or later, a better society, and in any case will live intensely in the present. She is like the stern teacher with a heart of gold.
Carolyn Baker’s new book Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times is a breath of sanity in a world gone mad. Her contemplations are like a much needed multi-vitamin for the psyche that the deeper field of consciousness has secreted so as to compensate our madness. The fact that a book like Collapsing Consciously has arrived in our midst at this time of multiple world crises is evidence that our species is beginning to awaken from our self-created nightmare.
Carolyn Baker’s CollapsingConsciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times is perhaps the most approachable book on collapse you are likely to find. Compared to Jarred Diamond’s Collapse, which weighs in at just over 600 pages, Baker’s is well under 200. And yet in these few pages Baker manages to tackle a topic which Diamond studiously avoids: Whatever shall we do about the fact that collapse is happening all around us right now?
The book takes the reader on an emotional and psychological journey. As a result, the journey will be uncomfortable for most Americans. After spending our early years in K-12 indoctrination facilities, we graduate into the incarceration camp known as industrial civilization. Few spend any time or effort contemplating their own roles in the universe. For the most part, teaching and learning focus on skills that further the ongoing omnicide, not intrapersonal intelligence that might lead to personal contentment or a decent sense of community. As a result, one of the two primary audiences for this book is the individual unfamiliar with the concept of intrapersonal intelligence.
Before It’s News Interviews me regarding Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths For Turbulent Times
That sense of a journey—waiting for us, forced upon us, or both at once—runs all through Carolyn’s writing, but Collapsing Consciously seems to me to embody it even more clearly than most. Her introduction sets the tone with a discussion of her own journey out of the familiar belief systems of modern American culture, and what follows develops the same wayfaring spirit in a variety of ways. The resulting book once again takes the collective conversation about the deindustrial future further than it has previously gone, pushing past the increasingly sterile debates around peak oil as an abstraction to come to terms with the human realities of loss, awakening, and renewal that accompany every great historical change.