Get apocalyptic: Why radical is the new normal

Tim DeChristopher

Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? That’s hardly surprising: Life as we know it is almost over. While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial—pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss—there’s a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish—and then get apocalyptic. We are staring down multiple cascading ecological … [Read more...]

For sale, habitable planet, too late

Wave Breaker

According to legend, Ernest Hemingway bet his 1920s-era colleagues he could write a complete story in just six words. Hemingway is said to have considered the resulting piece his best work: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Making no attempt to keep up with Hemingway, this article provides an overview of the dire climate-change situation in fewer than 300 words. Perhaps even Twitter users … [Read more...]

Papal infallibility comes to climate science

Science Pope website header

A year ago, I had a good job as a producer at a digital marketing firm.  Like many people I was aware of climate change, but it was just another issue in a long list of troubling issues facing the world.  Then I saw this TED talk, by Paul Gilding. With most TED talks, the audience is awed by the depth of human ingenuity and filled with positive visions of the future.  Gilding's talk wasn't like … [Read more...]

The rust-bucket reactors start to fall

Toy

The US fleet of 104 deteriorating atomic reactors is starting to fall. The much-hyped "nuclear renaissance" is now definitively headed in reverse. The announcement that Wisconsin's Kewaunee will shut next year will be remembered as a critical dam break. Opened in 1974, Kewaunee has fallen victim to low gas prices, declining performance, unsolved technical problems and escalating public … [Read more...]

Collapse now — it’s all the rage (without the rage)

Fiddlers

American Empire provides bread, circuses, and all the toys we (think we) need, stolen from other countries and future generations. I can understand why people are reluctant to abandon the empire. In exchange for inhabiting a cubicle, you get to harvest the fruits of empire while avoiding any steps toward self-reliance. You get to shower in the morning, kibitz at the water cooler with your … [Read more...]

Battening down the hatches

Derecho

It's been almost two weeks since the debilitating derecho descended almost stealth-like on half of America, a heat-breathing storm of epic proportions. It came on the heels of several days of equally epic heat engulfing that same wide swath of American terrain. The difference was that the storm came and went whereas the heat lingered on interminably. In the wake of both events a predictable … [Read more...]

Growth in global oil market slows

Dying oil fields and pump jack carcasses. Photo: David~O via Flickr.

Global oil consumption increased by 0.7 percent in 2011 to reach an all-time high of 88.03 million barrels per day, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service. This rate of increase was considerably slower than in 2010, when oil consumption rose by 3.3 percent following a decline of 1.3 percent in 2009 due to the global financial … [Read more...]

The gates of Hell

The Gates of Hell

In a letter to Ernest de Chabrol dated 9 June 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in? Nearly two hundred years later, de Tocqueville has been vindicated not only as a superb social critic but … [Read more...]

Denial, anger and acceptance while circling the drain

Wasteland

I remember the exact time when I knew for sure that my dad’s cancer was entering the late stages. After his six hour brain surgery he had a hemorrhagic stroke that destroyed his ability to speak and swallow. I knew that he and my mom wouldn't be rescheduling their trip to Europe. Dad would be lucky to get out of the hospital and spend a few peaceful weeks or months at home before his death. My … [Read more...]

Tired of waiting for the barbarians

Planet of the Apes shot

Ever since the dawn of the Nuclear Age, Hollywood has fed movie audiences on a steady diet of end-of-the-world thrillers. And from The Time Machine and The Planet of the Apes to The Road and The Hunger Games, for half a century moviegoers have hungrily gobbled up this fare like so many baskets of greasy apocalpytic curly fries. It may seem that people always and everywhere have thrilled to … [Read more...]