Women, energy, and voting


It was a pretty disappointing presidential campaign by the two major parties given that neither talked about my key issues — peak oil and global warming — with any passion or consistency. Both major parties seem content to avoid what are essentially the two toughest challenges today and going into the future. The issue behind all issues Yes, there's been plenty of red meat from both sides on … [Read more...]

Portrait of a climate science denier: Piers Corbyn

Banksy I don't believe

I've got better things to do than write about climate science deniers. I could schedule a proctological exam. Or listen to Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits enough times to memorize the words to "Can't Smile Without You." Or ask a teenage girl to explain why The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two will be the most awesome film made since Au revoir les enfants. Yet, if you care about energy and … [Read more...]

Letting go


We spend enormous amounts of time, energy, and treasure in imposing our will on nature … 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. – Ernest Callenbach This summer, I'm on an odyssey to five unique intentional communities and ecovillages, … [Read more...]

La vie en verte (a life in green)

Marion Cotillard

At the 80th Academy Award ceremony in 2008, the nominations for Best Actress included Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie, Laura Linney, and Ellen Page; all actresses that American audiences were relatively familiar with. But when Forest Whitaker tore open the famous white envelope and called out “And the Oscar goes to...Marion Cotillard!” many viewers at home likely hesitated with their … [Read more...]

Teaching climate change denial

Never Mind the Science

Why would an organization call itself  The Heartland Institute (HI)? To me the heartland of America is our country’s center – the Midwest and the Great Plains. The stereotype of this region arouses pictures of farm country, where good, honest, hardworking folks lead sober, unsophisticated lives. My suspicion is that the HI would like to piggyback on the values just described. This is, of … [Read more...]

#26: Nonpartisan but NOT apolitical

Reason 26

Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Nuclear rule American energy policy along with an even larger posse of corporate plutocrats who exercise far too much influence inside the Beltway. None of them seem inclined to give up their hold on Washington. Nor are they troubled by operating free from accountability to the American people. Their henchmen in Congress appear unbothered by this, too. Money in … [Read more...]

Calloused but not broken: Walking Away From Empire


Guy McPherson’s latest gift, Walking Away From Empire: A Personal Journey, is a necessary tonic, or more aptly perhaps, a high colonic, for those who have ears but refuse to hear the story of climate change and its pervasive affect on the life of man and the world. This collection of essays proclaims loudly, and occasionally with raw emotion, that it's time we took off our cultural blinders and … [Read more...]

Why you can’t fight climate change without peak oil

Requiem for a Species cover

Publishers of books on climate change seem to be competing to ratchet up the doom factor in their titles. Pretty soon you can expect to see "Dr Kevorkian's Rx to Save Yourself from Climate Hell" or "Praying for Pol Pot: Genocide May Be the Only Answer." The title Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change helped draw me to Australian activist Clive Hamilton's … [Read more...]

Mindfulness in the midst of chaos

Dalai Lama Graffiti.

At the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, 2,500 years ago, the early Buddhist community that gathered around him was  highly sustainable, ecologically aware, and self-consciously so. In many ways it can be seen as a perfect model of how to live contentedly with very little and in harmony with nature. The monks and nuns recycled cast-aside rags to make robes. They ate with moderation, vowing to avoid … [Read more...]

Tune in, turn off, hang up

Bill McKibben wants Obama to save the world through solar panels.

In 1988, as an eighth grader in Mr. Cedric A. S. Paine’s Introductory to Physical Science class, I tried to create the greenhouse effect in a two-liter Coke bottle. It kind of worked, but more importantly, the project made a powerful impact on me that remains to this day. In 1989, a writer from the Adirondacks published The End of Nature. It was the first book for a popular audience about … [Read more...]