Many articles on environmental topics are secular homilies, bristling with shoulds and shouldn’ts. Don’t use a gasoline-powered leaf blower. Buy an electric car instead of a gas-powered car. … If you don’t behave right, we will all go to climate hell. But what if we humans actually don’t have free will—the ability to act without constraints of circumstances, necessity, or fate? Is it possible to organize mass behavioral change in its absence?
My main purpose in the book was only to suggest that a small farm future is pretty much a given, and whether that future proves attractive or ugly is collectively down to us and our successors.
With ideas like the Green New Deal, or the “Beauty New Deal,” which the Maryland-based Bread and Roses Party has proposed, we should be able to write another volume—2026: A New Agenda for Tomorrow.
Scientists weren’t the first to divide humanity along racial – and racist – lines. But for hundreds of years, racial scientists claimed to provide proof for those racist hierarchies – and some still do.
We should use the new story, and the proposals this narrative vehicle carries, to build mass resistance movements, taking inspiration from – and building on – highly effective mobilisations such as the youth climate strikes. We will draw strength from the movements in other nations, and support them in turn.
The climate strikes over the coming weeks will focus a great deal of attention on government and the urgent need for policy action. Rightly so. But it’s also a good time to reflect on the bigger context, as this is not anything like protests of the past. There has in fact, never been a point like this in all of human history.
There are many signs that in our use of electronic technology we’ve reached the point of damage in the physical realm. I contend that we are reaching that point in the intellectual realm, too – when to know something means to be able to type, click, skim, and forget.
“Yes, this is coming apart,, We have to reckon with the grief. We have to reckon with the anger. We have to reckon with the fear. And we have to know that deep inside we actually have power and agency, and we can make a difference. When it’s a fight for your life, you’re willing to throw down, especially if you are doing it in a community together.”
Despite its popularity among cutting-edge thinkers and designers, a low-tech lifestyle is hardly avant garde. The majority of the human population lives and has always lived with less advanced technology than most modern Westerners do.
There are certainly things that can be done to deal with the realities of stagnation and decline; some of them even involve adopting renewable energy technologies, on the one hand, or making sensible preparations for a range of non-apocalyptic but still serious troubles on the other.
In September last year, I was very lucky and surprised to find myself in Taiwan for three weeks. I had two weeks free to travel wherever I wanted – so I put the word out for recommendations of permaculture projects, perhaps where I could volunteer and learn about the permaculture movement on another island (Taiwan is a bit bigger than Wales).
It’s time to admit defeat and retreat to higher ground. The consequences of waiting too long to address rising greenhouse gases are now unfolding and the pace is increasing. This is the reality that is already here.