What Can Colleges and Universities Learn from a Pandemic?

To return to the pre-coronavirus assumptions about the world is to return to a way of thinking and living that cannot be sustained and that will destroy the planet.  We need to reinvent modern civilization and we need colleges and universities to take on a leadership role in this great task.

No More Business as Usual – Rethinking Economic Value for a Post-Covid World

This crisis must be an opportunity to challenge what we have allowed corporations around the world to do with the natural environment (conveniently referred to as resources) and people (labour) in the name of economic growth. Thatcher was wrong: there are alternatives.

Nafeez Ahmed on Synchronous Failure and Post-Pandemic Systems Change

How many recognize that this pandemic—or some other shock to our interconnected and brittle global systems—could trigger a massive “phase change,” and utterly remake the world as we know it?

I spoke with investigative journalist and systems thinker Nafeez Ahmed about these critical questions.

How Does Pandemic Change the Big Picture?

Will future generations look back on the coronavirus pandemic as a blip or a game changer? Let’s review a few of the major trends that developed during the Anthropocene and engage in a little informed speculation about how they might be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Population Problem Problem

So while as individuals, as consumers, as parents or as non-parents, we agonize and sermonize over our own and others’ lifestyle choices, the oil companies will keep lobbying, and the GDP and emissions lines will keep tracking upwards until we reach a point of reckoning when the size of the human population or how many children anyone has will be the last of our concerns.

The Restaurant at the End of the Ecosphere

Suppose you want to make a reservation at The Restaurant at the End of the Ecosphere, one of the most exclusive destinations in the entire universe. This is not an undertaking for the faint-hearted. To have a chance of booking your place to witness the mass extinction to end all mass extinctions — an event that will exterminate at least 10 million species of complex multicellular life-forms — you’ll need perseverance on a truly superhuman scale.

The Limits of Capitalism

What we have set in motion now, in the capitalocene, is likely beyond technological solutions, notwithstanding Promethean male fantasies of Mars colonies and planetary geological engineering. What we have set in motion is now, at least in part, beyond human control. That is, no re-engineering of social relationships and modes of production will reverse the biological and physical processes that have been unleashed.