As a species we’re very sensitive to intra-human drama, and in a time of growing crisis, tend to frame narratives as those who are with us and those against.
Do we need to break the system to save the climate? Permaculture co-founder David Holmgren says "yes", in rare radio interview. Then Nicole Foss replies. Plus Alex’s climate music.
When co-founder of the Permaculture Movement David Holmgren recently suggested it might be better for the world if we were to try to precipitate global economic collapse in order to mitigate runaway climate change, he received a harsh response from Transition Movement founder Rob Hopkins, and somewhat more sympathetic responses from Dmitry Orlov and Nicole Foss. The second article (due out next month) in my series for Shift Magazine will talk more about this, but in the meantime I wanted to recommend to you Agency on Demand, a fascinating take on this debate, written by Eric Lindberg.
"I’m suggesting in my essay, the underlying thing is an appeal to those people to come and join us in the positive side where we’re going to create the world we do want, whether or not it leads to a larger scale positive change, or whether or not it contributes to a crash."
The evidence that the global financial system is a not-so-slow moving train crash is getting stronger.
Yes, I’m a Cultural Optimist. I believe that people are capable of doing remarkable things.
My anomalous position as a writer and speaker on the future of industrial society who holds down a day job as an archdruid has its share of drawbacks, no question, but it also has significant advantages. One of the most important of those is that I don’t have to worry about maintaining a reputation as a serious public figure. That may not sound like an advantage, but believe me, it is one.
Many climate policy professionals and climate activists are now reassessing whether there is anything more they can do to help prevent the global catastrophe that climate change appears to be.
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.
Today I want to discuss my contention that most of the writers named above, whom I have a great deal of respect for, seem to me to be missing the nuance of David Holmgren’s thinking. These deficient interpretations then are stretched and amplified as they bounce off one another in the blogosphere.
In case I don’t use sufficiently ‘skillful means,’ please let me begin with stating: I am not advocating for intentionally creating an economic crash.
It is a rare occurence that I disagree with David Holmgren. But while there is much insight in his most recent paper, Crash on Demand, it also raises many questions and issues that I’d like to explore here. I am troubled by his conclusions, and although I understand the logic behind them, I fear that they could prove a dangerous route to go down if left unchallenged.