The love and interconnectedness that is awakening and being expressed – selfless acts of kindness, neighbors helping each other, local self-reliance, community mutual aid groups — are the seeds of another possible future. Yet, heartening as they are, it is critical that they be up-leveled to encompass the systemic dimension as well as personal and local expressions.
And what I say to those who choose to criticise XR is please by all means criticise us, and come up swiftly and proactively with something better we can do to meet the challenges of imminent climate catastrophe and ecological disaster. I would be the first to be behind you. But if you cannot then I would think very carefully about what you are going to say to the present generation, Greta’s generation, today’s children and grandchildren when they ask, ‘What did you do when we had our last chance to avoid catastrophe?’ Think very hard about that question.
The age of Enlightenment ushered in progress and left it anchored in our political and economic consciousness. From that moment on, technology has emerged as the key, unique and universal solution to all of our problems. This, coupled with the unprecedented rate of acceleration we are experiencing in today’s world, means that industrial revolutions are occurring before we’ve even had time to assimilate their characteristics and consequences.
The transition from the ‘precedented’ world that I grew up in to the ‘unprecedented’ world that has begun to take hold has happened entirely within my lifetime.
You can’t read the UN’s recent biodiversity report on the imminent destruction of one million creatures by human economies and not conclude that the environmental movement has failed, and spectacularly so.
Episode 13, Band-Aid Town, returns to the premise of the show: the absolute batsh*t-crazy (lack of) response to the enormous, urgent challenges of the climate emergency, the energy transition, an economic system that’s destroying the prospects of a viable planet, and the growing racial and wealth divide.
Capitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new report commissioned by a group of scientists appointed by the UN Secretary-General. The main reason? We’re transitioning rapidly to a radically different global economy, due to our increasingly unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s environmental resources.
Modern neoliberal economics serves only billionaires and bankers. The rest of humanity and all of wild nature get crushed under its simplistic, rationalising theories.
Welcome to Crazy Town, where most of the inhabitants just want you to keep contributing to an economy already in overshoot, keep distracting yourself from the most important stories, and (most of all) keep your mouth shut.
If you recognize controversies and hypocrisies like these, then you know what it’s like to live in Crazy Town. Laugh along with Asher, Rob, and Jason (mostly so you don’t cry) as they explore the back alleys, figure out how to navigate sanely, and even find an escape route every once in awhile.
The challenges of our altered, unpredictable Earth System cannot be met by technological tinkering within the very systems that pushed it over the edge in the first place. There’s nothing for it but to roll up our sleeves and begin the hard work of transforming our political and economic systems with the aims of decency and resilience.
Capitalism is not just a system, it is a system of social relations and socio-metabolic processes, and we have to change many of those relations and processes radically from within and very quickly in order to deal with the current ecological emergency.