The opening chapters of this updated, revised, and expanded second edition Managing without Growth tell how the recent idea of economic growth emerged from the idea of progress, itself only a few hundred years old.
Systems Thinking for a Turbulent World is a timely book offered by an experienced elder so that we may collectively learn to make the best out of the turbulent times ahead.
Reality 101 addresses humanity’s toughest challenges: economic decline, inequality, pollution, biodiversity loss, and war. Students learn about systems ecology, neuroscience, and economics. “We ask hard questions,” says Hagens. “What is wealth? What are the limits to growth? We attempt to face our crises head on.”
We will not solve climate change and other pressing global threats until we admit, and learn from, the repeated failures of past proclamations and promises.
Resilience and the ability to survive will depend on our ability to embrace reality and begin now to prepare for the changes that are coming.
My question isn’t a rhetorical one intended to suggest that human population levels aren’t a problem. I don’t doubt they are. But it seems to me much less clear than a lot of people seem to think exactly what kind of problem they are, and what – if anything – could or should be done about it
In short, the biggest inhibitor to effective action in the face of the current convergence of crises is a fundamental lack of collective intelligence on the part of the human species as a whole.
Our core assumptions about what it means to be human, how we relate to the universe and how it relates to us, are well past their pull date; they no longer yield useful insights into the problems that beset us today. It’s because of that failure that the paradigm itself is becoming visible to us at last. We could talk about that paradigm in a great many ways, but I’m going to suggest a deliberately edgy label for it: anthropolatry, the worship of humanity as a god.
There is now overwhelming evidence that humanity is living beyond its means, consuming and polluting in ways that are exhausting and degrading the natural world and impacting on the lives of the most vulnerable.
There are three key elements to the dominant ideology of the contemporary United States—involving world affairs, economics, and ecology—which can be best understood as forms of fundamentalism.
Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? That’s hardly surprising: Life as we know it is almost over. While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial—pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss—there’s a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish—and then get apocalyptic.
Rather than claiming divine inspiration, we can come to greater clarity about the desperate state of the ecosphere and its human inhabitants through evidence and reason. It is time for a calm, measured apocalypticism that recognizes that the ecosphere sets norms, which we have ignored for too long, and that we need to develop a new sense of solidarity among humans and with the larger living world.