Building a world of
resilient communities.

The Krugman Function, Part 2: Whole-System Thinking

Because of its emphasis on liberty, autonomy, free will, and consent, the Enlightenment tradition of Liberalism has, I will be arguing, in large part been based on the rejection of whole-system thinking.  

The Krugman Function

Fresh thinking is difficult to perform and is often poorly received, but is not without some pleasures as well.

Separating Gloom from Doom: A Post-Carbon Existentialism

This can be scary.   But even while considering the direst aspects of a world of increasing constraints and contractions, I don’t find the future to be the source of gloom. 

Apres Moi le Deluge

 “The American way of life,” George H.W. Bush infamously declared in 1992, “is not-negotiable.”  This presents a problem if the American way of life is also unsustainable. 

The Future of an Illusion

The prodigious use of energy and production of waste forms the most fundamental conditions of possibility for the American way of life.   All that we know and expect, value and demand, are not possible without all this consumption and this waste.

Agency on Demand? Holmgren, Hopkins, and the Historical Problem of Agency

All these questions are questions of agency: to what extent, if any, can humans be purposeful agents of historical change.  This question, I will suggest, has up to now been given something like a free pass in much post-carbon discourse, for reasons that I will explain in depth later.  

The Mis-Taking of America

This is where the notion of the infinite or the limitless scale of the Americas comes in, a notion that appears repeatedly throughout Jefferson’s work...when in doubt, expand and grow.

How I Became an Ex-Liberal

The issue of our collective state of denial had been bothering me for a year or two by the time Michael Moore showed up in Madison.

Notes From a Born-Again Soil Worshiper

In modernity, we value progress and individualism, which are part of a constellation of values that also includes mobility, acquisition, and change. We are suspicious of social ties that may bind...

Unsustainability Now!

What will happen when an unsustainable system attempts to keep running as if the resources necessary for its continuation still existed?