Energy and materials flows must (a normative and ethical claim) shrink to avert worst case scenarios of anthropogenic climate disruption. And they will shrink in this time frame due to increasing resource scarcity.
So here’s the thing: Modernity is an axe murderer, and we’re—unfortunately—married to it. It isn’t hard to see modernity’s fatal flaw of being constitutionally unsustainable, and that it’s on a violent rampage.
One of the most important steps we can take is in realizing that we are not civilization: humanity is a bigger and more versatile concept than the current mode we’ve stumbled onto (become trapped within).
Not only does the collapse of modern industrial civilization appear ever more likely, but the process already seems underway.
Thus, in the face of extreme pessimism, which in the past has tempted me to despair, I can now offer readers an aesthetic justification for existence, which I believe is both coherent, compelling, even hopeful – despite everything.
If plunged overnight into the end of civilization, we would have a rough go of it. But given time to adapt and shed the trappings of modernity, those who are willing to let go and embrace new (old?) ways of living will stand a decent chance of being satisfied with life.
Exploring pathways for systems transformation amidst the global polycrisis is therefore essential for our shared future.
How have we tolerated the dissonance between our comfortable lifestyles and the deadly costs trailing along behind them?
As a comprehensive guide to the intractable challenges facing our society and how best to navigate them, The Crash Course has few rivals.
It’s not that nobody wants to work; it’s that there is no work that can support life within this culture. This is ‘they are killing us’ exemplified. And a large number of people are choosing life.
As the global polycrisis worsens, transformational change will be significantly encumbered by crises, breakdown, and collapse scenarios.
We can salvage the good things that modernity has brought that can be taken with us. We can mourn the good things that we will lose.