Taped in late 2005 before Peak Moment began, this conversation feels eerily prescient about the effects of the 2008 financial collapse. William Stewart reflects on the shadow side of the fossil fuel bonanza, which enabled hyper-individualism and mobility that have shredded our connections to community and place, along with increased violence and dysfunction. Likening our oil-dependent culture to an addict who must first bottom out, he suggests there may be a silken lining after collapse: the possibility of more communal and connected ways of life.

The text William reads at the end is “Handy tips on how to behave at the death of the world” by Anne Herbert, perhaps best known for her quote “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

Download the audio for the episode here.