Seeing the choice: the New Existentialism (Part 2)

man on pier

When you and I speak of saving the world, we mean saving the world roughly as we know it now -- a world populated by elephants, gorillas, kangaroos, bison, elk, eagles, seals, whales, and so on...There are only two ways to save the world in this sense. One of them is to destroy you immediately -- not to wait for you to render the world uninhabitable for yourselves...The only other way to save the … [Read more...]

Cheer up — things really are as bad as you think

dark mountain

In last week's election, Obama may have been a better choice than the alternative, but no American president is likely to have much positive impact on climate change, peak oil and the worldwide economic crisis anytime soon. Given the sorry state of national governments, controlled as they are by rapacious corporations driven by the profit motive, there's little chance of either hope or change … [Read more...]

Philosophy and conservation

School of Athens

This essay is excerpted from Guy McPherson’s (2011) memoir, Walking Away from Empire: A Personal Journey. Asking a contemporary scientist in possession of a Ph.D. any question about philosophy typically draws a blank stare or, occasionally, an inquisitive gaze. Philosophy rarely is taught in science classes at any level of education, including the Ph.D. Across campus, a dose of science is … [Read more...]

Wendell Berry’s weapons of mass destruction

Wendell Berry

I'm pretty sure that in his now-famous press briefing of Feb. 12, 2002, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wasn't trying to write poetry in the vein of William Carlos Williams. Yet, how beautifully he captured the conundrum at the center of all human attempts to make sense of reality, helpfully set to verse by Slate: The Unknown As we know, There are known knowns. There are things we know we … [Read more...]