Big Oil, Big Coal and other powerful special interests have long thwarted the will of the peoples of the world's industrialized nations to stop and reverse ecological overshoot. If you care about climate change or peak oil, it's crucial to understand the role of big polluters in politics and what citizens can do to take back our democracies so we can move towards a clean, human-scale economy.

We need a map out of the nightmare of consumerism

nightmare of consumerism

One of the most harrowing challenges of modern American life is navigating through the massive desert of our mindless, materialistic consumerism. It is within this landscape that a soul can become lost and drenched in despair. From the endless stream of vacant-eyed wraiths who glide down catwalks, to the pervasive advertising that never ceases to demean the values of empathy and compassion and … [Read more...]

2014 In and Out list

mushroom and hand

It's a sacred duty we take up at the beginning of the new year. Donning our psychic caps and tuning in to the Noosphere we delve deep into what really matters in crafting our annual "In and Out" list. And thank G-O-D that we do. Having again viewed what passes for mainstream "In and Out" lists — for example the list in the Washington Post — we can only hang our heads in shame knowing we share … [Read more...]

As the Empire declines it gets nastier

riot police in Chicago

Any empire requires three elements for its own survival. As an empire declines, it becomes necessary to push harder on all three fronts: obedience at home, oppression abroad, and destruction of the living planet. I present a few examples of each phenomenon and embed a brief video clip at the end. Obedience at home was the subject of a recent essay in this space. Those who do not obey the … [Read more...]

Maddow gives air time to Koch brothers fracking advocate


Editors note: This piece ran last year on Eric Francis's Planet Waves website and it remains an important touchstone concerning how the main stream media continues to act as the lapdog to Big Oil and Big Energy in general. After reading this piece, ask yourself, how much has changed in the major media relative to critical reporting on the facts concerning fossil fuels extraction processes, the … [Read more...]

Fear for free!

Protester with sign against NSA

The big brouhaha over former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's whistle-blowing revelation that the government is tuning in to every last thing We The People are doing has resulted in exactly the effect that an authoritarian government would most want to achieve: leaving us all quaking in fear and paranoia. For my part, I'm neither ready to declare Snowden a hero nor to … [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...]

The happy ending

Sandy Stops Our Shopping

Below we present the first chapter of The End of the World by Reverend Billy, leader of the Church of Stop Shopping. Sparing neither fire nor brimstone, the good Reverend preaches sinners in the hands of an angry Earth. He calls on humanity to change its evil ways before the final judgment, inspiring the congregation to a faith that, after Hurricane Sandy, will not allow any of us to sit on … [Read more...]

Always the last to know

Climate Change

Quiz time, readers: what do the US Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the Transportation Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the Energy Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce, the Government Accountability Office, and the CIA have in common? It’s a long list of government departments … [Read more...]

Fracking movie “Promised Land” is a gusher

Promised Land still

After I saw Matt Damon and John Krasinski's new fracking drama Promised Land, I couldn't help but compare it to the slew of trite pieces trotted out during the previews. There was the typical wedding family hijinks RomCom; the take-no-prisoners gangster-fest; the scorched-earth-meets-futuristic-savior piece; and some picture about a lovable psychotic redeemed by a chick. Guilty pleasures, … [Read more...]

The Capitalism Papers: Fatal flaws of an obsolete system


Self-interest lies at the root of capitalism. This self-interest is a thoroughly predictable, steadily consistent feature of the human landscape and can reasonably be viewed as a solid foundation upon which to build. Self- interest can serve as both motivation and a salve for weary spirits. Kept within commonly-accepted bounds, it acts as a spur against laziness, and a hopeful haven for … [Read more...]