Act: Inspiration

Welcome to Crazy Town

March 7, 2019

Once you’ve started feeling the heaviness of humanity’s collision course with the climate and other life-support systems of our planet, how do you handle it?

Let’s say you’ve been paying attention to the latest on climate change, even just a little. It’s downright apocalyptic. And the doom-laden pronouncements aren’t coming from fire-and-brimstone preachers or snake handlers—they’re flowing out of scientists’ mouths like CO2 from an SUV tailpipe. Maybe the surging rate of biodiversity loss, especially among base-of-the-pyramid organisms like insects, is freaking you out. To be sure, humanity has figured out how to overcome some big problems. We can muster a lot of ingenuity and create wondrous technologies, but perhaps you perceive that we built modern civilization by exploiting fossil fuels, forests, fertile soils, fresh water, our fellow species, and other gifts of nature. And now that we’re pushing past the boundaries of what the Earth can take, the consensus plan is to keep doing what we’ve been doing—that is, keep growing the economy, keep exploiting resources, and hope some techno-miracle will save us. So we’re clever, but are we wise?

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It’s crazy-making to be a member of the walking worried, having to contemplate such issues while observing so many trends going the wrong direction in the places we live. One of the most crazy-making aspects of this situation is how oblivious most people are to civilization’s precarious position. For example, we know that we need to stop burning fossil fuels and curb our emissions of greenhouse gases. We absolutely know it. But most of us, at least here in the U.S., feel compelled all the time to travel in cars, trucks, and planes, and that’s the norm. It’s normal, everyday stuff for a group of friends to fly into Las Vegas for a party weekend. If you balked at attending such a reunion, you’d be the asshole. Paradoxes and hypocrisies abound.

We need more discussion about this state of affairs, and those of us who recognize the predicament are in dire need of more community—places to regain some rationality.

That’s why Asher Miller, Jason Bradford, and I decided to produce Crazy Town, a podcast that explores insanity-inducing topics like climate change, runaway capitalism, and why we’re all deluding ourselves. Besides covering the stories, facts, and figures, we try to find the ah-ha moment and offer meaningful calls to action. But don’t worry (at least not more than you already are)—we don’t take ourselves too seriously. In fact, we prefer to poke fun and laugh, especially so we don’t end up crying. What else are you going to do when you’re living in a world of overshoot? Please consider joining us and giving the podcast a listen. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired to draft a better map that can help you and yours navigate the mean streets of Crazy Town.


Crazy Town launches on March 14.

Listen to the trailer now and subscribe.

Rob Dietz

Rob Dietz is the Program Director at Post Carbon Institute, where he guides projects from conception to completion. With training and experience in ecological economics, environmental science, and conservation biology, he has built a career aimed at moving society in sustainable directions.  Rob is the lead author of the bestselling book Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources (Berrett-Koehler, 2013).

Tags: building resilient communities, Crazy Town, environmental crises