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January 2020: On multiple levels, our civilization is collapsing. The invitation now is to choose: what will “I”/“you”/“we” do to build lifeboats? In other words What is it that we most value which we want to keep? What is it that we must let go of or we’ll make matters worse? What have we lost over prior decades which we could bring back to help? What could we make peace with to lessen suffering? Further considerations in Summary Invitation below.

Collapsologie Immersion
late to the game and eager to learn
Can we seed future successor-cultures in time?

Stuart Scott at COP-24 (Dec 2018), on:
World Scientists’s Warning to Humanity
1992 & 2017 and beyond ...
Collapsologie is the study and elaboration of how industrial civilization as we know it collapses and if it does, what will replace it. Industrial civilization is the use of machinery powered by electricity or any form of energy to carry out various activities. Collapsologie is a neologism developed by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens in their 2015 book (Eng trans). (Published next spring, the English translation will significantly advance the utility of this focus.) In an interview, recalling all the data and increasingly disturbing scientific alarms, the authors are calling for an end to denial: “we accept that disasters can occur: they are looming, we must look at them with courage, eyes wide open. To be a catastrophist is neither to be pessimistic nor optimistic, it is to be lucid.”
Introduction
Critical Analysis

Summary Invitation
Titles
Sources & excerpts
What To Do
Additional Sources

Introduction
by David Ratcliffe
“We always said that we have been told and understand that we’re relatives. Where our white brother will talk about water and trees and animals and fish as resources we talk about them as relatives. That’s a whole different perspective. If you think that they’re relatives and you understand that then you’re going to treat them differently.”
Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga (2016)

Decades ago at schools and universities, David Brower delivered “The Sermon,” describing the history of Mother Earth covering a 6-day time span beginning midnight Sunday from her inception to the present. Life first appears Tuesday at noon. Saturday at 4pm dinosaurs appear; by 9pm they’re gone. Four minutes before midnight our proto ancestors show up. 1.5 seconds to midnight agriculture is hatched. One-fortieth of a second before midnight comes the industrial revolution. Since Brower’s birth in 1912, we’ve used up more of Mother Earth and our relatives than in all our previous history.

What is called Western Civilization (W.C.) is the fundamental driver of this epoch’s mono-culture value system. As Anthropologist Wade Davis describes, the range of cultures and languages expressing distinct sets of values other than W.C. still number in the thousands—though “on average, every two weeks some elder passes away and carries with them into the grave the last syllables of an ancient tongue.” W.C. has exceeded all requisite limits for living in balance with Life’s needs. This planetary home, inherited by right of birth, manifests all the signs of mono-culture overshoot. Also known as the Sixth Mass Extinction, this die off epoch is being directed and produced by the on-going promotion of W.C. Recent sign posts sounding the overshoot alarm include Rachel Carson: Silent Spring (1962), Meadows et al: The Limits to Growth, A Report For The Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind (1972), Jerry Mander: Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television (1978) & In The Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology & the Survival of the Indian Nations (1991), and Richard Heinberg: The Party’s Over - Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003), & “Searching For A Miracle: ‘Net Energy’ Limits & The Fate Of Industrial Society” (2009).

On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.
For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.
In the heart of the great Pacific, a story is taking place that may change the way you see everything. Full length movie: ALBATROSS (1:37:20, 2009-18)
ALBATROSS is offered as a free public artwork.

In the last half-century, W.C. has proceeded without abiding by the limits to growth that governs all living systems. It has also stubbornly ignored alarm bells some humans have continuously sounded with ever greater urgency. When considering any endeavor, Intellect knows only how to pose the question, Is it possible? while Wisdom adheres to asking, Is it appropriate? At this juncture in human history the root of the ecological catastrophe now fully engaged has been fueled by the adamant rejection of the wisdom Oren Lyons articulates above.

The era of supreme existential threats we have inaugurated began with the creation of the atomic bomb. A tremendous amount of creativity went into building a nuclear weapon. Tragically, the results of such exercise of intellect has not been balanced by equal considerations of wisdom. In October 1962 a result of human intellect came within seconds of transforming Mother Earth into a radioactive wasteland. At the critical moment, President Kennedy and Premiere Khrushchev were able to avoid the looming abyss of non-existence and extinction of most Life here. Given current day hysteria about a Russian boogie-man, their story of learning to trust each other is even more revelatory now in what it reveals is possible when one can see the truth of one’s so-called enemy.

Beyond the danger of extinction caused by the increasing risk and possibility of nuclear war (some former US officials think this time period is even more perilous than the Cold War was), the exponentially expanding ecological crisis has established its own pre-eminence as another prospective (possible?) extinction timeline of the human project. The vantage point explored in Collapsologie Immersion goes beyond quantifying only catastrophic global over heat unfolding. It is essential to apprehend the fuller composition of this dilemma of our own making by understanding the equally significant tributaries feeding into the river Collapse. The additional branches focused on here include:

  1. systemic collapse as it pertains to humanity’s extreme dependence on electricity,
  2. digitalization of knowledge,
  3. ecological & energy costs of the Internet’s expanding footprint,
  4. actual health-ecological-social costs of making “renewable energy” machines via coal, petroleum, wood, and uranium energy inputs, and
  5. people exercising reason, intuition, and imagination with coherence and clarity on the challenge of how humanity may yet seed successor cultures.

Billed as “a work of history”, The New York Times Magazine devoted its entire August 1 2018 issue to a narrative by Nathaniel Rich on “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change.” The starkly narrow worldview making up this essay drove the motivation to write the critique: “Losing Earth? Realign with Original Free Peoples’ Great Law and Find Her Again.” A portion of this highlights Lenape/Shawnee scholar Steven Newcomb who, speaking at the Arizona state capital House of Representatives in 2012, points out a fundamental blindspot of US society in particular, and W.C. in general, that can still be acknowledged, addressed and redeemed. As Newcomb explains:

What I see is that the non-Indian society has actually deprived itself tremendously; by dehumanizing and sub-humanizing Indigenous Peoples they have deprived themselves of being able to learn from the vast amount of knowledge and wisdom that Indigenous Nations and Peoples have been able to accumulate over thousands and thousands of years going back to the beginning of time as expressed in our oral histories.

That’s what needs to occur. Once this understanding of respect for the Original Laws of the Land, for the Original Nations and Peoples of the Land, once that begins to occur then there is going to be more of a flow of communication and that knowledge that’s been buried and suppressed is going to rise up. If you want a clearer understanding of what that knowledge and wisdom entails look at the book called 1491; New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C Mann. It’s an amazing exploration and understanding of just how incredibly wonderful and rich and vibrant and intelligent Indigenous Nations and Peoples and their cultures and spiritual traditions have been and continue to be at this time.

Newcomb closed his 2015 address at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toward a Paradigm Change for Mother Earth, with the imperative wisdom: “Respect the Earth as our Mother and have a Sacred Regard for All Living Things.”

In Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization (2006), Derrick Jensen writes:

If I’m going to contemplate the collapse of civilization, I need to define what it is. I looked in some dictionaries. Webster’s calls civilization “a high stage of social and cultural development.” The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as “a developed or advanced state of human society.” All the other dictionaries I checked were similarly laudatory. These definitions, no matter how broadly shared, helped me not in the slightest. They seemed to me hopelessly sloppy. After reading them, I still had no idea what the hell a civilization is: define high, developed, or advanced, please. The definitions, it struck me, are also extremely self-serving: can you imagine writers of dictionaries willingly classifying themselves as members of “a low, undeveloped, or backward state of human society”?... I would define a civilization much more precisely, and I believe more usefully, as a culture—that is, a complex of stories, institutions, and artifacts—that both leads to and emerges from the growth of cities ... Ultimately, then, the story of this civilization is the story of the reduction of the world’s tapestry of stories to only one story, the best story, the real story, the most advanced story, the most developed story, the story of the power and the glory that is Western Civilization.

Western Civilization has run its course. Its drive for mono-cultured homogeneity was its own undoing. At this stage I am exploring and giving consideration to Jem Bendell’s framing seeing “collapse as inevitable, catastrophe as probable, and extinction as possible.” Doing so provides “a shedding of concern for conforming to the status quo, and a new creativity about what to focus on going forward.”

As indicated at the top, while late to the game of grasping a greater appreciation of what we are actually dealing with today, a highly motivated eagerness to explore, discover, and learn informs the expanding nature of this witness. The intention is to distill and encapsulate what we are creating and causing, and choices we have to exercise our remarkable powers of intuition, creativity, reason, wisdom, and response abilities. The design purpose is to craft an insightful and provocative nexus of critical analysis and ideas fashioned on the extensive form presented in the Chernobyl Directory.


   Critical Analysis    
by David Ratcliffe
One effect of the technological revolution has been to uproot us from the soil. We have become disoriented, I believe; we have suffered a kind of psychic dislocation of ourselves in time and space.... Like the wilderness itself, our sphere of instinct has diminished in proportion as we have failed to imagine truly what it is.... Most of us have developed an attitude of indifference towards the land... We Americans must come to a moral comprehension of the earth and air. We must live according to the principle of a land ethic. The alternative is that we shall not live at all.

We are living through the conclusion of Electronic Civilization (E.C.) as we have known it over the past 100 years of its scaled up development. This epoch is nearing its end because of the continued and increasing toxification and alteration of the biosphere by energy sources that have fueled the industrial age: coal, petroleum, uranium, and wood (called “biomass”). In recent decades, electricity has become absolutely indispensable to the continued operation and existence of this system of human society and culture. Kate Crawford’s and Vladan Joler’s 2018 nonpareil investigative analysis, Anatomy of an AI System: The Amazon Echo As An Anatomical Map Of Human Labor, Data and Planetary Resources, presents a breathtaking exposition of how our techno logic world operates. Such probing research illuminates and sharpens understanding of the world-wide extractive processes and global supply chains that both make our electric way of life possible while simultaneously destroying our planetary home’s web of Life and Life support system.

A fundamental component in smartphones, computers, solar panels, and machines with microprocessors is a form of silicon not found in the natural world. Thomas Troszak outlines this in “Why do we burn coal and trees to make solar panels?”:

All modern technology including “renewable” energy depends on the non-renewable resources that make it possible. For example, every step in the production of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems requires a perpetual input of fossil fuels—as carbon reductants for smelting metals from ore, for process heat and power, international transport, and deployment. Silicon smelters, polysilicon refineries, and crystal growers all require uninterrupted, 24/7 power that comes mostly from coal and uranium. Additional mineral resources and fossil energy are needed for constructing PV factories, process equipment, and manufacturing infrastructure. The only “renewable” materials consumed in PV production are obtained by deforestation—for wood chips, and by burning vast areas of tropical rainforest for charcoal used as a source of carbon for silicon smelters. Both media and journal claims that solar PV can somehow “replace fossil fuels” have not addressed the “non-renewable reality” of all the global manufacturing supply chains necessary for the mining, manufacturing, and distribution of PV power systems. Some often-cited accounts of solar PV production exclude raw materials and silicon smelters from the PV “supply chain” entirely, which obscures the profoundly non-sustainable basis of PV technology. A more complete overview of commercial PV production is presented, from the sources of raw materials to the deployed array. 38 references from published articles and industry sources are cited. (2019-11-18 revision)

Without the enormous power requirements from non-renewable energy inputs it would be impossible to produce solar and modern wind power machines in general and the electronic innards of microprocessors—especially pure silicon—in particular. It is critical to grasp the implications of what is needed to produce what are euphemistically called clean energy machines, and the fact that solar and wind are not scalable as any kind of substitute for the lavish, embodied energy lifestyles enjoyed post-WWII by “first world” societies. Doing so provides the vital RED ALERT wakeup alarm necessary to begin to ground awareness of what we are actually dealing with regarding the global ecological emergency we have been bringing to a rapid boil for decades.

In July 2018 Dr Jem Bendell (Professor of Sustainability Leadership and Founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability at the University of Cumbria, UK) published the paper “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.” Bendell had taken unpaid leave to study the latest climate science to better apprehend the current state of the world. As he observed, “climate change is ... an indicator of how our human psyche and culture became divorced from our natural habitat.” The bulk of the paper’s abstract states:

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to provide readers with an opportunity to reassess their work and life in the face of an inevitable near-term social collapse due to climate change. The approach of the paper is to analyse recent studies on climate change and its implications for our ecosystems, economies and societies, as provided by academic journals and publications direct from research institutes. That synthesis leads to a conclusion there will be a near-term collapse in society with serious ramifications for the lives of readers. The paper reviews some of the reasons why collapse-denial may exist, in particular, in the professions of sustainability research and practice, therefore leading to these arguments having been absent from these fields until now. The paper offers a new meta-framing of the implications for research, organisational practice, personal development and public policy, called the Deep Adaptation Agenda. Its key aspects of resilience, relinquishment and restorations are explained. This agenda does not seek to build on existing scholarship on “climate adaptation” as it is premised on the view that social collapse is now inevitable.

In October 2019, Bendell gave the opening keynote, “Hope in a time of climate chaos” at the conference of the UK Council for Psychotherapy. His perceptions and observations about our culture’s unthinking allegiance to hope as a means to avoid and suppress emotional pain begins to get at the underlying dynamics of fear and denial. He posits that we risk making matters worse if such emotions remain unrecognized, unacknowledged, and covered over by moves to anger, blame, and hatred.

Regarding climate chaos, dangerous indicators are accelerating environmental feedback loops, especially the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. One volatile feedback is that by reducing the whiteness of surfaces reflecting the Sun’s rays back into space, more of them are absorbed into the ocean causing further warming of water causing further melting of more ice. This reduction of white surfaces on water—and land—is reducing what is termed the albedo of the planet: the amount of solar radiation reflected straight back into space.

Even more critical—which is almost completely ignored in the IPCC process—is the potential for massive methane feedback in the Arctic. As our activities melt the permafrost and melt the ice under the seabed, methane hydrates (frozen crystals since the last ice age) begin to melt, releasing methane gas. If the methane is at or less than a certain sea depth, the gas will reach the water surface and escape into the atmosphere. Methane is a much more concentrated greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Dr Peter Wadhams, the UK’s most experienced sea ice scientist, has made more than 50 expeditions to both polar regions. His most recent book, A Farewell to Ice (2016, isbn.nu, libraries), describes in vivid detail the changes in the Arctic he has observed and studied for more than 40 years and the dangers inherent in the approaching end of summer ice in the Arctic Ocean. In March 2019, interviewed by Stuart Scott of ScientistsWarning.org on Methane Hydrates & Arctic Research, Wadhams emphasized the gravity of the new situation we are now in:

[I]t’s not a sort of stable, slowly varying thermodynamic situation now. It’s a new dynamics. And that’s what’s important. I’m not saying there’s going to be a giant outbreak of methane that will cause a huge increase in global temperatures. But I am saying that that is a possibility that’s suggested by what’s been observed by the people who actually go out there and do measurements. An increasingly small number of Arctic people actually do measurements in the Arctic.
Regarding the risk of a rapid, significant methane release from the Arctic, Wadhams expressed his concern that
if it did happen, it would be very, very serious. I mean it would be a step change in global temperatures of, well, we’ve done an estimate it might be 0.6 of a degree. And that’s only with a fraction of the methane in the sediments of the Siberian Sea coming out.

But if you had 0.6 of a degree—or more, it may be—then in one step I think people need to think what that would do. I mean we’re concerned about warming, global warming, and we bandy about figures like saying two degrees is the maximum we can allow by 2050 or preferably one and a half. What we might really get is four degrees by 2100. These are all assumed to be temperature changes which occur gradually—not that gradually, increasingly fast—but not catastrophically.

But if this two degrees for instance happened in one year, and suddenly, because of a vast release of methane, what would it do? ... if it all happened suddenly in one year we would just be completely flummoxed. We wouldn’t have a clue what to do, and the effects would be as great as two degrees in 30 years. But they will be happening instantly. Nobody as far as I know has modeled what the impact of a large step change temperature in climate would be.... [T]he finite probability that there will be a catastrophic methane release means that we have to do the research on what would be the consequences of such a rapid release.

But we’re not doing it. Nobody’s doing it. Because everybody’s so afraid of giving any sort of credence to the possibility of a big methane release that they don’t want to even look at what the consequences could / would be. And so that’s really very, very scientifically bad.

Remember there was a book some years ago about what will be the consequences of a nuclear war? The new concept of a nuclear winter came out of that—that it could produce a complete loss of habitability of the planet because of nuclear winter.... somebody went to the bother of working out what would happen if we had a nuclear war. But nobody’s doing that analysis for a methane catastrophe or large methane emission. And they should. It might might not be that bad. But it might be very serious indeed.

Fear can be a potent driver of denial. Choosing to ignore, dismiss, and/or reject the evidence of the mass extinction we are both living through and causing is making this situation far more dangerous. Beyond the possibility of significant methane releases in a short timespan, prior computer modelling predictions of how rapid atmospheric and temperature shifts will occur are being superseded by observed non-linear changes. The measurements of non-linearity in recent years is central to understanding increasingly chaotic climate trends as they suggest impacts will be far more rapid and severe than past predictions based on linear projections.

IMAGE: The Conversation, CC BY-ND

With indicators of rising temperatures and collateral escalating extreme weather, increasing global social and political instability, and the expanding catastrophe of 1,000,000 species threatened with extinction, it is essential to prioritize what must be addressed NOW to avoid the most dangerous looming extinction scenarios. In Jem Bendell’s assessment (above) that posits “collapse as inevitable, catastrophe as probable, and extinction as possible,” the nuclear weapons and power dyad are irrevocably intertwined in the expanding ecological catastrophe currently engaged.

Nuclear war is more likely today than at any time since 1989. While Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War is working to pursue The Call for the US to lead negotiations with the other nuclear weapon armed states to eliminate nuclear weapons[1][2], the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was overwhelming passed by the House of Representatives on 11 December 2019. This bill accelerates the new arms race and funds almost every element of the trillion-dollar plan to replace the entire US nuclear arsenal with new, more deadly weapons.

The flip side of the nuke tech coin are the 400-plus nuclear power-stations operating around the globe. The 2011 catastrophic triple meltdown at Fukushima hints at what will occur at many other installations if electric power ceases for any length of time. The used control rods in onsite spent fuel pools contain 5 to 7 times more radioactivity than is inside the nuclear reactor. Further, all fuel pools are located outside the concrete containment vessels housing the reactors. Even if controlled shut downs of the reactor cores are successful, the spent fuel pools—extant at every site—require 24/7 offsite electricity to pump water to cool the thermal heat constantly emitted from the extremely radioactive fuel rods as well as to maintain a high water level to diffuse the escape of radiation.

If spent fuel pools lose off-site power, their water containment will boil away without the cooling pumps. Once the more recently retired-from-reactor fuel rods make contact with air they will spontaneously ignite causing radioactive fires and releasing on-going lethal levels of radiation into the atmosphere. Actualization of this scenario will create vast areas of uninhabitable radioactive wastelands and profoundly compromise the integrity of the gene pools of all biologically complex Life on Earth including homo sapiens. (As of May 2017, it does not appear there is any change in the lax manner spent fuel pools continue to be operated with the tragically inadequate “laissez-faire attitude” detailed by Allison Macfarlane, former Chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.)

As described in the 2009 documentary, Into Eternity - A Film for the Future, Finland is the first country to enact into law building a nuclear waste repository. Called Onkalo (meaning “hiding place”), the repository must last for 100,000 years and will take 100 years to complete and be sealed up. Among the plethora of highly significant questions raised, the film portrays the incomprehensibility of how to leave intelligible warning messages for future beings to not dig or disturb this mausoleum of lethal man-made radioactive matter that will last into eternity.

In 2007 the International Atomic Energy Agency estimated there are more than 200,000 metric tons of spent nuclear spent fuel worldwide. Just as Peter Wadhams emphasizes the critical need to assess risk of varying thermodynamic instability, so it is with assessing risk analysis of catastrophic radioactive contamination of the biosphere from runaway spent fuel fires: “When you assess what’s happening, what are the nasty things that are going to be happening to the planet, what may be happening, we should be doing a risk analysis.”

Donna Gilmore is the Founder of SanOnofreSafety.org. She and her coalition are indefatigable in their pursuit of performing risk analysis of the burden to the biosphere by man-made nuclear waste contamination arising from nuclear power plants in general and the shutdown San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in particular.

This website is a public resource for factual information about the serious safety issues with the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the tons of nuclear waste stored just a few miles south of San Clemente, California. Most of the information is from official government and scientific documents.

Since the San Onofre reactors are permanently shutdown, our main focus is on the management of the nuclear waste. Mismanagement of nuclear waste at San Onofre could affect the entire country and more. A major radiation release at San Onofre could require a permanent evacuation of parts of Southern California, damage the nation’s food supply, jeopardize our health, the environment, and our national security. It could affect the economic and political stability of California, the nation and potentially other parts of the world.

The information on this website is extensively research and fact checked by our coalition of volunteer local citizens and organizations living within the danger zone of San Onofre. We have joined forces to inform the public about critical issues that are not being resolved by those responsible for protecting our safety from a nuclear disaster. There is limited information available from the mainstream media, so we are sharing this information with the public, in layman terms and as concisely as possible.

To be the most effective at this time, it is necessary to be open to the potential that extinction is actively possible and truly allow this awareness to sink into the depths of our souls. The legend of the Shambhala Warriors from Tibetan tradition is helpful here. As told to Joanna Macy, the Shambhala Warrior is a metaphor for the Bodhisattva, the hero figure in the Buddhist tradition who is motivated by the desire for the welfare of all beings.

“There comes a time when all life on Earth is in danger. Barbarian powers have arisen. Although they waste their wealth in preparations to annihilate each other, they have much in common: weapons of unfathomable devastation and technologies that lay waste the world. It is now, when the future of all beings hangs by the frailest of threads, that the kingdom of Shambhala emerges.

“You cannot go there, for it is not a place. It exists in the hearts and minds of the Shambhala warriors. But you cannot recognize a Shambhala warrior by sight, for there is no uniform or insignia, there are no banners. And there are no barricades from which to threaten the enemy, for the Shambhala warriors have no land of their own. Always they move on the terrain of the barbarians themselves.

“Now comes the time when great courage is required of the Shambhala warriors, moral and physical courage. For they must go into the very heart of the barbarian power and dismantle the weapons. To remove these weapons, in every sense of the word, they must go into the corridors of power where the decisions are made.

“The Shambhala warriors know they can do this because the weapons are manomaya, mind-made. This is very important to remember, Joanna. These weapons are made by the human mind. So they can be unmade by the human mind! The Shambhala warriors know that the dangers that threaten life on Earth do not come from evil deities or extraterrestrial powers. They arise from our own choices and relationships. So, now, the Shambhala warriors must go into training.

“How do they train?” I asked.

“They train in the use of two weapons.”

“The weapons are compassion and insight. Both are necessary. We need this first one,” he said, lifting his right hand, “because it provides us the fuel, it moves us out to act on behalf of other beings. But by itself it can burn us out. So we need the second as well, which is insight into the dependent co-arising of all things. It lets us see that the battle is not between good people and bad people, for the line between good and evil runs through every human heart. We realize that we are interconnected, as in a web, and that each act with pure motivation affects the entire web, bringing consequences we cannot measure or even see.

“But insight alone,” he said, “can seem too cool to keep us going. So we need as well the heat of compassion, our openness to the world’s pain. Both weapons or tools are necessary to the Shambhala warrior.”


Arlit Uranium Mine, Niger
Mine footprint prior to 2013
Footprint growth, Wired, 6 Dec 2013
IMAGE: Copyright Digital Globe
Welcome to Arlit, the impoverished uranium capital of Africa,
by Lucas Destrijcker & Mahadi Diouara, African Arguments, 18 Jul 2017
   Summary Invitation    
by David Ratcliffe
Last updated: 2 January 2020
[The most] interesting puzzle in our times is that we so willingly sleepwalk through the process for reconstituting the conditions of human existence.[p10]... Why is it that the philosophy of technology has never really gotten underway? Why has a culture so firmly based upon countless sophisticated instruments, techniques, and systems remained so steadfast in its reluctance to examine its own foundations? ... In the twentieth century it is usually taken for granted that the only reliable sources for improving the human condition stem from new machines, techniques and chemicals. Even the recurring environmental and social ills that have accompanied technological advancement have rarely dented this faith.[p5] ... [W]e are seldom inclined to examine, discuss or judge pending innovations ... In the technical realm we repeatedly enter into a series of social contracts, the terms of which are revealed only after the signing.[p9]
—Langdon Winner, The Whale and the Reactor (1986),
cited in In Absence of the Sacred, (p. 30)

Pablo Servigne and Rapaël Stevens have written clear and well-reasoned analyses of the state of our world. Read their June 2015 interview: “‘We are experiencing a mosaic of collapses’: the announced end of industrial civilization.”

If you are moved to participate there are a number of avenues to explore. As Rupert Read describes in This Civilization Is Finished, “[we] invite the reader to join a project of saving our common future ... to transform this civilisation, or at least to build lifeboats [that] take values worth preserving through ... collapse”.

How do we build lifeboats? Jem Bendell’s framing of Deep Adaptation is helpful. A good introduction to Deep Adaptation is the 14+ minute video+transcript recorded for ScientistsWarning.TV in January 2019. The essence of Deep Adaptation takes in “the four Rs”:

  1. Resilience: What do we most value and want to keep?
  2. Relinquishment: What must we let go of?
  3. Restoration: What skills and practices can we restore?
  4. Reconciliation: What can we make peace with to lessen suffering?
Bendell and like-minded people are creating the Deep Adaptation Forum. This is a developing support and engagement system you can learn more about and join to make contact with other like-minded explorers.

Extinction Rebellion and Economic Rebellion are creating paths of collaboration and community building to increase resilience as things continue falling apart. As well, the Public Banking Institute is a growing power house (see their Advisory Board) to reclaim the commons and reset the structures of exchange to serve Life’s needs.

The Campaign to Reduce Our Internet Footprint lists some of the 1000+ substances in each smartphone and questions for researching the supply chain of one substance. Such research is a first step toward understanding the true cost of a video and reducing your media footprint.

Rationing energy sources will become necessary and essential throughout all “first world” cultures. Stan Cox has analyzed and produced a great deal of insightful work on how to put this together.

Growing food is of primary importance. Industrial agriculture has eroded our soil and knowledge about cooperative farming, seed saving, and food preservation. The Greenhorns’ mission to recruit and support young farmers is a beacon. See Also: Richard Heinberg’s call for Fifty Million Farmers—2006 E.F. Schumacher Lecture transcript or abbreviated text; Navdanya, a network in India that teaches conservation and organic farming and promotes farmers’ rights. Regeneration International promotes the global transition to regenerative food, farming and land management to restore climate stability, end world hunger and rebuild deteriorated social, ecological and economic systems.

This short list scratches the surface; it is dynamic, not static. Ideas and suggestions are welcome.


Don’t sacrifice my land
Children in community impacted by Ramu mine, Papua New Guinea
We were talking—about the space
between us all
And the people—who hide themselves
behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth—then it’s far
too late—when they pass away
—George Harrison, Within You Without You
   TITLES    
  • Deep Adaptation Introduction: film+transcript (27 Jan 2019, 14:22)
  • Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy (27 Jul 2018)
  • Deep Adaptation Forum, a globally expanding network
    engaged with the spirit of compassion, curiosity, and respect
    • Hope in a time of climate chaos – a speech to psychotherapists
    • The Spiritual Invitation of Climate Chaos
    • Deep Adaptation Q&A w/Joanna Macy hosted by Jem Bendell
    • Deep Adaptation Q&As for 2020
  • Any Way You Slice It
    The past, present, and future of rationing

    Stan Cox (The New Press, 2013)
    Is There a Ration Card in Your Future?
    Stan Cox Presentation (2013)
  • The Campaign to Reduce Our Internet Footprint
    Katie Singer
  • GREENHORNS
    To Promote, Recruit and Support New Farmers in the US
  • eXtinction Rebellion
    non-violent civil disobedience intl mvmt to half mass extinction & minimize social collapse
  • Economic Rebellion
    Decentralized organising to leverate our most powerful tool for change: MONEY
  • Open Structures
    open modular construction designs on the basis of one shared grid
   SOURCES & excerpts    
Overview
Considering Systemic Collapse and Our Profound Dependence on Electricity
David Ratcliffe, December 2019
PHOTO: URBAN TORONTO
It becomes ever more difficult to understand how this way of life that depends on unlimited energy can survive the staggering demands continuing to be made of Mother Earth and all our relatives. In roughly the past 100 years “first world” cultures have become utterly dependent on titanic and continuous supplies of power, first-and-foremost electric power. For decades, the sheer magnitude of increasing coal, wood (so-called biomass), gas, and uranium -fueled power generation plant operations threatens the health and very survival of all Mother Earth’s offspring, including humanity.
Given that at this point (December 2019), there is no indication of preparing to slow down, much less putting the brakes on the rapacious and insatiable 24/7 profit imperative of the global stock market, a reasoned assessment of the most likely future timeline is what Oren Lyons described almost 3 decades ago at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Back then he laid out the “very serious situation of control factor and of course lack of ethics on the part of business internationally.” He described speaking with many CEOs of the largest corporations who, although they have families and are concerned, “during the day, at their work, they’re destroying the world. And they don’t have options.”...
Here we are, 27-plus years later. What has changed? Will a genuine and necessary sea-change in the direction of how we collectively think reach the requisite critical mass to even begin to actually slow down production and expenditure of energy? The just-completed COP-25 meeting indicates our system of corporate control/governance has, once more, not ‘seen the light.’ The writing has been on the wall for a long time. The majority of signs still indicate “business as usual” will continue until life as we know it collapses once this system reaches and impacts the looming-ever-larger blank wall.
Complete book:
   This Civilization Is Finished      
Conversations on the end of Empire—and what lies beyond
Rupert Read and Samuel Alexander (2019)
I have come to the conclusion in the last few years that this civilisation is going down. It will not last. It cannot, because it shows almost no sign of taking the extreme climate crisis—let alone the broader ecological crisis—for what it is: a long global emergency, an existential threat. This industrial-growthist civilisation will not achieve the Paris climate accord goals;[2] and that means that we will most likely see 3-4 degrees of global over-heat at a minimum, and that is not compatible with civilisation as we know it.
The stakes of course are very, very high, because the climate crisis puts the whole of what we know as civilisation at risk. By ‘this civilisation’ I mean the hegemonic civilisation of globalised capitalism—sometimes called ‘Empire’—which today governs the vast majority of human life on Earth. Only some indigenous civilisations/societies and some peasant cultures lie outside it (although every day the integration deepens and expands). Even those societies and cultures may well be dragged down by Empire, as it fails, if it fells the very global ecosystem that is mother to us all. What I am saying, then, is that this civilisation will be transformed.[3] As I see things, there are three broad possible futures that lie ahead:
(1) This civilisation could collapse utterly and terminally, as a result of climatic instability (leading for instance to catastrophic food shortages as a probable mechanism of collapse), or possibly sooner than that, through nuclear war, pandemic, or financial collapse leading to mass civil breakdown. Any of these are likely to be precipitated in part by ecological/climate instability, as Darfur and Syria were. Or
(2) This civilisation (we) will manage to seed a future successor-civilisation(s), as this one collapses. Or
(3) This civilisation will somehow manage to transform itself deliberately, radically and rapidly, in an unprecedented manner, in time to avert collapse.[4]

   Transcript: Joanna Macy on Resilience      
6 Jun 2019, The New School at Commonweal’s Resilience Project
[G]ratitude [is] independent of external circumstances. The indigenous people know that, especially those in this country; their great thanksgivings. Whatever’s going on, that’s the moment for gratitude when it’s there. And also gratitude is a revolutionary act. And if you believe, as I do, that the corporate capitalism and the consumer society has a lot to do with the breakdown of our natural systems in this, gratitude is wonderful because it frees you from the neediness that is required to be subjected, to be a part, the self-loathing even, that’s required and engendered by the consumer society....
[T]hen we go into honoring our pain for the world. We don’t try to explain it. We don’t diagnose it. We don’t try to excuse it. We don’t dress it up in other clothes. We don’t sit on it. We respect it. We honor it for what it is: the heart is breaking. It hurts to see. It’s awful to feel. I don’t want to know. Tell me all the things you don’t want to know. That’s a great exercise....
I feel that at the core of all that I’ve learned and have worked with, what’s guided me over the last 42 years of this is, from the beginning, from systems and Dharma, where they come together is where you find the self is always changing, but if you’re looking for it it’s in the act of choice making, in decision making, in what you want and choose and act on. And that this can help you to the moment where you are in the present, where is not yesterday and not tomorrow, where you can be with this unfolding drama of this beautiful planet. And that the story then, you can see the story you’re acting and you can choose.
   Why do we burn coal and trees to make solar panels?      
Thomas A. Troszak (14 Nov 2019 rev; local copy)
PHOTO: GETTY
Workman shovels coal and ore into a silicon smelter in China
All modern technology including “renewable” energy depends on the non-renewable resources that make it possible. For example, every step in the production of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems requires a perpetual input of fossil fuels—as carbon reductants for smelting metals from ore, for process heat and power, international transport, and deployment. Silicon smelters, polysilicon refineries, and crystal growers all require uninterrupted, 24/7 power that comes mostly from coal and uranium. Additional mineral resources and fossil energy are needed for constructing PV factories, process equipment, and manufacturing infrastructure. The only “renewable” materials consumed in PV production are obtained by deforestation—for wood chips, and by burning vast areas of tropical rainforest for charcoal used as a source of carbon for silicon smelters. Both media and journal claims that solar PV can somehow “replace fossil fuels” have not addressed the “non-renewable reality” of all the global manufacturing supply chains necessary for the mining, manufacturing, and distribution of PV power systems. Some often-cited accounts of solar PV production exclude raw materials and silicon smelters from the PV “supply chain” entirely, which obscures the profoundly non-sustainable basis of PV technology. A more complete overview of commercial PV production is presented, from the sources of raw materials to the deployed array. 38 references from published articles and industry sources are cited. (2019-11-18 revision)
   Anatomy of an AI system:      
The Amazon Echo As An Anatomical Map Of Human Labor, Data and Planetary Resources
Kate Crawford[Twit][MS] and Vladan Joler[Twit][UNS][li][GS] vid:[MCB][CD][UC]
AI Now Institute and Share Lab, 7 Sep 2018

With each interaction, Alexa is training to hear better, to interpret more precisely, to trigger actions that map to the user’s commands more accurately, and to build a more complete model of their preferences, habits and desires. What is required to make this possible? Put simply: each small moment of convenience – be it answering a question, turning on a light, or playing a song – requires a vast planetary network, fueled by the extraction of non-renewable materials, labor, and data. The scale of resources required is many magnitudes greater than the energy and labor it would take a human to operate a household appliance or flick a switch. A full accounting for these costs is almost impossible, but it is increasingly important that we grasp the scale and scope if we are to understand and govern the technical infrastructures that thread through our lives.
Our exploded view diagram combines and visualizes three central, extractive processes that are required to run a large-scale artificial intelligence system: material resources, human labor, and data. We consider these three elements across time – represented as a visual description of the birth, life and death of a single Amazon Echo unit. It’s necessary to move beyond a simple analysis of the relationship between an individual human, their data, and any single technology company in order to contend with the truly planetary scale of extraction.
If you read our map from left to right, the story begins and ends with the Earth, and the geological processes of deep time. But read from top to bottom, we see the story as it begins and ends with a human.
   E X T R A C T I O N : art on the edge of the abyss      
US Mine (Carlin, Nevada, 2007) Photograph by David Maisel
A multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention that will investigate extractive industry in all of its forms (from mining and drilling to the reckless exploitation of water, soil, trees, marine life, and other relatives on Mother Earth). The project will expose and interrogate extraction’s negative social and environmental consequences, from the damage done to people, especially indigenous and disenfranchised communities, to ravaged landscapes and poisoned water to climate change and its many troubling implications.
A constellation of simultaneous and overlapping exhibits, installations, performances, site-specific work, land art, street art, publications, and cross-media events, EXTRACTION will take place in multiple locations throughout the US and abroad during the Summer of 2021. The project will be de-centered, non-hierarchical, and self-organizing, which means that artists, art venues, curators, and art supporters will participate and collaborate as they see fit, including helping the project expand geographically. Everyone can be both creator and catalyst. At a time of growing despair and paralysis, people from all backgrounds and levels of experience—from the amateur to the virtuoso—can take action. We invite everyone to join us in creating an international art ruckus.
Nothing like EXTRACTION has been attempted before: All art forms, all happening at roughly the same time, with hundreds of artists spread across at least four continents (North and South America, Europe, and Australia). And all addressing a single theme—the suicidal consumption of Earth’s natural resources, which is the most pressing environmental issue of our time, encompassing all others, including climate change.
Merely bearing witness is not enough. As visionaries and outsiders, we are capable of appropriating and reconfiguring contemporary propaganda and re-deploying it in service of our own alternative concepts and transformative objects. We can employ photography, video, painting, sculpture, land art, performances, installations, site-specific work, and various hybrids thereof to conduct “hardcore, nasty” investigations of extraction—all of its forms and all of its consequences, including its effects on human health and the social and cultural damage it causes, especially to poor, minority, and indigenous communities.We can follow a new model of inclusivity, recognizing and respecting stakeholders of all races, cultures, genders, and ages; and helping guarantee that the historically marginalized people who’ve suffered most because of natural resource exploitation are provided opportunities for interpreting their own experience and subverting oppressive narratives. We can expose and interrogate the abundant evidence of Faustian overreach most people don’t wish to acknowledge, and re-represent it with all the eye-opening, assumption-smashing power the arts have always exerted on the human condition. We can counter the violent subjugation of nature brought about by mining and drilling with the playful but liberating strategy of détournement. Through radical engagements and inspired derangements we can destabilize the way extractive industry is portrayed and consumer culture promoted. We can hijack and reroute the conversation about what constitutes a good life in the opening decades of the 21st century. We can sound an alarm. We can raise a ruckus.
Edwin Dobb & Peter Rutledge Koch
   The Limits to Internet Growth      
Katie Singer, 11 Dec 2019
PHOTO: YVES HERMAN / REUTERS
Tanks containing coolant for servers at a Google Data center
Saint Ghislain, Belgium
Most people now consider Internet access necessary for family connections and educational and economic opportunities. Meanwhile, by 2025, with power-hungry servers storing data from billions of smartphones, tablets and Internet-connected devices, some researchers predict that information-communications-technologies (ICT) could consume 20% of the entire world’s electricity, hampering climate change targets and straining grids. [2] Other analysts claim that ICT could consume 51% of total global electricity and emit as much as 23% of total GHGs by 2030.[3]
Smartphones’ CO2 emissions will grow from 4% of total global emissions in 2010 to 11% by 2020. This translates to a jump from 17 to 125 megatons of CO2 equivalent per year—or a 730% growth.[4] Indeed, one smartphone includes more than 1000 different substances, each with its own supply chain.[5]
The Internet’s four main energy guzzlers are:
  1. Access networks: An access network is infrastructure that allows a computer (including a smartphone, an iWatch or tablet) to transmit and receive data. It connects subscribers to their service provider, which then connects them to the Internet.
  2. Data storage centers: Packed with computers that store websites, GPS, data collected by “smart” utility meters, medical and educational records, social media posts, Amazon listings, etc...and swamp coolers and air conditioners that keep the computers cool, data centers guzzle electricity and water. Their CO2 emissions grow 13% per year. One data center can consume as much electricity as it takes to power 250,000 homes.[16]
  3. Embodied energy: This is the energy used to mine, refine and transport raw materials (i.e. quartz, charcoal, coltan, cobalt, copper, graphite, lithium); manufacture semiconductors, screens and cases; assemble them for usable products; and ship each item to its end-user. The embodied energy in every device, appliance and vehicle is greater than the energy that it will use in its lifespan.[18]
  4. Automated processes: These include advertising bots, automatic updates and backups for apps, video games, websites and operating systems.
In 2016, electrical engineer Jafaar Elmighani reported that Internet traffic increases 30 to 40 percent each year, and that “If this rate continues and nothing is done, communications technologies (by 2026) could consume about 60 percent of the world’s energy resources.”[23]
   The Human Fabric of the Facebook Pyramid      
Share Lab, 3 May 2017
Facebook is understood as an “uber-collective” with non-transparent decision making concerning the rules, data exploitation/privacy, development, user freedoms, and various kinds of censorship. This analysis should help us realise why it is the only way a company like Facebook can exist. This investigation uses methods rooted in the actor-network-theory (cf. Latour 2010) and the network analysis within the studies of Journalism (Krüger 2013) focused on the relations of different social actors. In addition, inspiration for the use of data visualisations was found in conceptual art drawings of Mark Lombardi, in media art pieces such as They Rule by Josh On and the LittleSis project, and works of the group Bureau d’études. All the mentioned works give us a methodology that combines discourse and dispositif/apparatus analysis with the tools of art activism for (re)conceptualising and visualizing the results of our research.
In order to grasp the employment structure of Facebook, we have used public LinkedIn profiles of 1000 people indicating Facebook as their employer as well as the biographies of the entire management of Facebook. By mapping their social background, education, status, and present position in the hierarchy of the company, we gained insights into the various social connections of the “Facebook government” as a whole. These insights can be used to explain some of the actions of the company and the network—related actors and the [evolution of the] business model and can be helpful to try and predict future developments.
   Tracking Forensics Atlas Mapping:      
A. Tracerouting Top 100 Domains, B. ISP Guifi.net, C. Mobile Phone Permissions
Vladan Joler, Joana Moll, Andrea Noni
Critical Interface Politics [Research Group] Hangar, 2016-17

Far from being a purely immaterial entity, the Internet is an extremely complex physical structure composed by a massive number of actors that have a direct and deep impact in every aspect of our daily lives. Despite its crucial role in many aspects of our society, the material and computational architectures that allow the Internet to exist are widely ignored by most of its users. Thus, this research project seeks to critically reveal and analyse the complex network of agents that come together to configure the Internet, from submarine and underground cables to geopolitics, online tracking, surveillance and privacy. The investigation strongly focus on uncovering and analysing common online tracking practices used by major marketing and advertising corporations. To achieve this purpose, we developed several experimental methodologies and critical pedagogical strategies to forensically analyze the physical pathways of information, and apply reverse tracking methods aimed at drawing a map of the many corporations that covertly access and commodify our data.
Main topics covered in this research project: #Internet Physicality; #Geopolitics of the Internet; #Algorithmic Governance; #Interface Politics; #Internet Backbone; ##Data flows & Sustainability; #Cognitive Capitalism; #Social Engineering; #Surveillance; ##Online Tracking; #Data Commodification; #Data Privacy.
   The Monster Footprint of Digital Technology      
The power consumption of our high-tech machines
and devices is hugely underestimated
Kris De Decker, Low-Tech Magazine, Jun 2009
ARTWORK: GRACE GROTHAUS
The energy consumption of electronic devices is skyrocketing, as was recently reported by the International Energy Association (Gadgets and gigawatts). According to the research paper, the electricity consumption of computers, cell phones, flat screen TV’s, iPods and other gadgets will double by 2022 and triple by 2030. This comes down to the need for an additional 280 gigawatts of power generation capacity. An earlier report from the British Energy Saving Trust (The ampere strikes back) came to similar conclusions. There are multiple reasons for the growing energy consumption of electronic equipment; more and more people can buy gadgets, more and more gadgets appear, and existing gadgets use more and more energy (in spite of more energy efficient technology - the energy efficiency paradox . described . here . before).
The ecological footprint of digital technology described above is far from complete. This article focuses exclusively on energy use and does not take into account the toxicity of manufacturing processes and the use of water resources, both of which are also several orders of magnitude higher in the case of both semiconductors and nanomaterials. To give an idea: most water used in semiconductor manufacturing is ultrapure water (UPW), which requires large additional quantities of chemicals. For many of these issues, the industry recognizes that there are no solutions (see the same . ITRS-report). There are also the problems of waste[1][2][3][4] & war [1a,1b][2]3].
Last, but not least: the energy-intensive nature of digital technology is not due only to energy-intensive manufacturing processes. Equally as important is the extremely short lifecycle of most gadgets. If digital products would last a lifetime (or at least a decade), embodied energy would not be such an issue. Most computers and other electronic devices are replaced only after a couple of years, while they are still perfectly workable devices. Addressing technological obsolescence would be the most powerful approach to lower the ecological footprint of digital technology.
   The Cloud Begins With Coal      
Big Data, Big Networks, Big Infrastructure, And Big Power
An Overview Of The Electricity Used By The Global Digital Ecosystem

Mark P. Mills, CEO, Digital Power Group, Aug 2013, 45 pp.
Where Electricity Is Consumed in the Digital Universe
The information economy is a blue-whale economy with its energy uses mostly out of sight. Based on a mid-range estimate, the world’s Information-Communications-Technologies (ICT) ecosystem uses about 1,500 TWh of electricity annually, equal to all the electric generation of Japan and Germany combined—as much electricity as was used for global illumination in 1985. The ICT ecosystem now approaches 10% of world electricity generation. Or in other energy terms—the zettabyte era already uses about 50% more energy than global aviation.
Reduced to personal terms, although charging up a single tablet or smart phone requires a negligible amount of electricity, using either to watch an hour of video weekly consumes annually more electricity in the remote networks than two new refrigerators use in a year.1 And as the world continues to electrify, migrating towards one refrigerator per household, it also evolves towards several smartphones and equivalent per person.
The growth in ICT energy demand will continue to be moderated by efficiency gains. But the historic rate of improvement in the efficiency of underlying ICT technologies started slowing around 2005, followed almost immediately by a new era of rapid growth in global data traffic, and in particular the emergence of wireless broadband for smartphones and tablets. The inherent nature of the mobile Internet, a key feature of the emergent Cloud architecture, requires far more energy than do wired networks. The remarkable and recent changes in technology mean that current estimates of global ICT energy use, most of which use pre-iPhone era data, understate reality. Trends now promise faster, not slower, growth in ICT energy use.
Future growth in electricity to power the global ICT ecosystem is anchored in just two variables, demand (how fast traffic grows), and supply (how fast technology efficiency improves): To estimate the amount of electricity used to fuel everything that produces, stores, transports, processes and displays zettabytes of data, one must account for the energy used by: Hourly Internet traffic will soon exceed the annual traffic of the year 2000. And demand for data and bandwidth and the associated infrastructure are growing rapidly not just to enable new consumer products and video, but also to drive revolutions in everything from healthcare to cars, and from factories to farms. Historically, demand for bits has grown faster than the energy efficiency of using them. In order for worldwide ICT electric demand to merely double in a decade, unprecedented improvements in efficiency will be needed now.
Electricity fuels the infrastructure of the world’s ICT ecosystem—the Internet, Big Data and the Cloud. Coal is the world’s largest single current and future source of electricity. Hence the title of this paper.
   Our Evanescent Culture and the Awesome Duty of Librarians      
Richard Heinberg, MuseLetter 209, Oct 2009
PHOTO: TIMM SUESS
Preservation of digitized knowledge can become a problem simply because of obsolescence. Think of the billions of floppy disks manufactured and encoded during the years between 1980 and 2000: few of us still have working computers capable of retrieving the data on those disks. But this is hardly the worldwide information system’s point of greatest vulnerability.
Ultimately the entire project of digitized cultural preservation depends on one thing: electricity. As soon as the power goes off, access to the Internet goes down. CDs and DVDs become meaningless plastic disks; e-books become inscrutable and useless; digital archives become as illegible as cuneiform tablets—or more so. Altogether, digitization represents a huge bet on society’s ability to keep the lights on forever.
Without precious kilowatts, what would survive? Sculpture and architecture would persist. Previous generations of sound and visual media might be decipherable: old phonograph records could still be made to emit music, given a hand crank, needle, and megaphone, and silent films would be relatively easy to show. Books and collections of physical newspapers and magazines would fare reasonably well for a few decades, but deteriorating acid-laden paper threatens the survival of about 85 percent of books and nearly 100 percent of newspapers and magazines (ancient books written on parchment and acid-free paper could last many more centuries).
It’s ironic to think that the cave paintings of Lascaux may be far more durable than the photos from the Hubble space telescope.
   COLLAPSOLOGIE      
Collapsologie is the study and elaboration of how industrial civilization as we know it collapses and if it does, what will replace it. Industrial civilization is the use of machinery powered by electricity or any form of energy to carry out various activities.
Developed by Pablo Servigne[1][1a][2][3][4] and Raphaël Stevens in their 2015 book, Comment Tout Peut S’effondrer. Petit manuel de collapsologie à l’usage des générations présentes (How everything can collapse. Small collapsology manual for use by present generations), collapsologie is an applied and transdisciplinary science involving ecology, economics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, biophysics, biogeography, agriculture, demography, politics, geopolitics, archeology, history, futurology, health, law and art. This systemic approach is based on the two cognitive modes of reason and intuition, as well as on recognized scientific works, including the 1972 Meadows Report [, Limits to Growth - The 30-Year Update], “A safe operating space for humanity” (Nature, 2009), “Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere” (Nature, 2012), and “The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration” (Anthropocene Review 2015)
From the Latin collapsus (past participle collabi, “fall from a block, collapse”) and the Greek suffix logos (ancient Greek λóγο ς lógos, “word, speech, reason, relationship”), the word Collapsology is a neologism popularized by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens in their 2015 work.
Coming in 2020: How Everything Can Collapse: A Manual for Our Times, by Pablo Servigne, Raphaël Stevens, Andrew Brown (translation)
   “We are experiencing a mosaic of collapses”: the announced end of industrial civilization      
Interview of Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens by Ivan du Roy, Basta!, 8 Jun 2015
The birth of [Comment Tout Peut S’effondrer] is the culmination of four years of research. We have merged hundreds of scientific articles and books: books on financial crises, on ecocide, archeology books on the end of ancient civilizations, climate reports ... While being the most rigorous possible. But we felt a form of frustration: when a book tackles peak oil (the gradual decline in oil and gas reserves), it does not mention biodiversity; When a book deals with the extinction of cash, it does not speak of the fragility of the financial system ... It lacked an interdisciplinary approach. This is the aim of the book....
We have distinguished borders and limits. The limits are physical and cannot be exceeded. Borders can be crossed at our own risk. The metaphor of the car, which we use in the book, helps to understand them well. Our car is today’s thermo-industrial civilization.... Then there are the borders. The car drives in a real world which depends on the climate, biodiversity, ecosystems, great geochemical cycles. This earth system has the distinction of being a complex system. Complex systems react unpredictably if certain thresholds are crossed.
[B]y reading all this data, we have become catastrophic. Not in the sense that we say that everything is screwed up, where we sink into an irrevocable pessimism. Rather in the sense that we accept that disasters can occur: they are looming, we must look at them with courage, eyes wide open. To be a catastrophist is neither to be pessimistic nor optimistic, it is to be lucid....
Our intuitions do not, however, lead to a Mad Max version world, but to images or stories that we find only too rarely in novels or movies.... It is not a question of having a naïve vision of the future, we must remain realistic, but there are other possible scenarios. It’s up to us to change our imagination....
Sadness, anger, anxiety, helplessness, shame, guilt: we successively felt all these emotions during our research. We see them express themselves in a more or less strong way among the public that we meet. It is by welcoming these emotions, not by repressing them, that we can mourn the industrial system that nourishes us and move forward. Without a lucid and catastrophic observation on the one hand, and tracks to go towards the transition on the other, we cannot get into motion. If you’re just a catastrophist, you don’t do anything. If you are only positive, you cannot realize the shock to come, and therefore enter into transition.
   Between the Devil and the Green New Deal      
We cannot legislate and spend our way out of catastrophic global warming
Jasper Bernes, commune, 25 Apr 2019
From space, the Bayan Obo mine in China, where 70 percent of the world’s rare earth minerals are extracted and refined, almost looks like a painting. The paisleys of the radioactive tailings ponds, miles long, concentrate the hidden colors of the earth: mineral aquamarines and ochres of the sort a painter might employ to flatter the rulers of a dying empire.
To meet the demands of the Green New Deal, which proposes to convert the US economy to zero emissions, renewable power by 2030, there will be a lot more of these mines gouged into the crust of the earth. That’s because nearly every renewable energy source depends upon non-renewable and frequently hard-to-access minerals: solar panels use indium, turbines use neodymium, batteries use lithium, and all require kilotons of steel, tin, silver, and copper. The renewable-energy supply chain is a complicated hopscotch around the periodic table and around the world. To make a high-capacity solar panel, one might need copper (atomic number 29) from Chile, indium (49) from Australia, gallium (31) from China, and selenium (34) from Germany. Many of the most efficient, direct-drive wind turbines require a couple pounds of the rare-earth metal neodymium, and there’s 140 pounds of lithium in each Tesla.
   Burned: Are Trees The New Coal?      
BURNED tells the little-known story of the accelerating destruction of
forests for fuel, and probes the policy loopholes, huge subsidies, and
blatant green washing of the burgeoning biomass power industry.
Documentary, Alan Dater + Lisa Merton (2017)

Building on the accepted science that climate change is real and caused by human activity, BURNED: Are Trees the New Coal? takes a hard look at the latest false solution to humanity’s vast energy appetite: woody biomass. The film tells the story of how woody biomass has become the alternative-energy savior for the power-generation industry and of the people and parties who are both promoting and fighting its adoption and use. Using interviews with experts, activists, and citizens, along with verité-style footage shot across the US, EU and the UK, the film interweaves the science of climate change, the escalating energy-policy disputes,the dynamics of forest ecology, the industry practices, and the actions of activists and citizens who are working to protect their own health, their communities, the forest, and the planet’s climate. Woven together, the various stories present an intimate and visceral account of what is at this moment in time a critical, yet somewhat unknown, national and international controversy.
“Yes, these trees may grow back in time, but we don’t have 50, 70, 100 years to wait for those trees to grow back to take that carbon out of the atmosphere. We need to do it right away.”
—Mary S. Booth, PhD Director and Ecosystem Ecologist, Partnership for Policy Integrity
   The Material Footprint of Global Consumption      
TRUTHstudio, 2014
This diagram represents the flow of material footprint in the world for 2014. In visual format it tracks the flow of economic demand from right to left, showing which sources of economic demand, on the right, are creating the most significant extraction of Mother Earth impacts (material footprints) on the left. The graphic shows how the material footprint embodied in the world’s final demand, via different steps in the value chain, is related to primary extraction of material from Mother Earth and all our relatives for 2014. On the right-hand side of the figure is the total embodied material footprint of final demand of all consumers in the world, which amounted to 65 gigatons, shown as one big rectangular block.
Breaking this out in term of global human population, using figures from 2014: for 65 gigatons per year extractive processes of mining and harvesting Mother Earth, divided by 7.7+ billion persons, equals 8.44 tons per person per year of Mother Earth.
   Invisibles - The Plastics Inside Us      
Chris Tyree & Dan Morrison, Orb, 2017
Exeter, England. Polystyrene particles less than 50 nanometers long (in light fluorescent green) have infiltrated the gastrointestinal tract, antenna, and thoracic appendages of this freshwater plankter, Daphnia magna. Plankton like these are the bedrock of the marine food chain. Research is just beginning on the accumulation of nanometer-scale pollution in wildlife. No analytical methods exist to identify nanoplastics in food. Plastic embedded in tiny plankton wind up in fish, which are eaten by bigger fish, which are eaten by us. This tiny plankter’s plastic problem is your problem, too. (Photo: Corin Liddle)
microscopic plastic fibers
Dagupan, Philippines. A young boy climbs over plastic debris in a 50-year-old dump overlooking the ocean in this seaside town. Most of the biodegradable items have long since rotted, leaving a mountain of multicolored plastics that float out to sea on the coastal winds.
Microplastics—tiny plastic fibers and fragments—aren’t just choking the ocean; they have infested the world’s drinking water. Why should you care? Microplastics have been shown to absorb toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses, and then release them when consumed by fish and mammals. These microscopic fibers originate in the everyday abrasion of clothes, upholstery, and carpets. They reach your household tap by contaminating local water sources, or treatment and distribution systems. Plastic is all but indestructible, meaning plastic waste doesn’t biodegrade; rather, it only breaks down into smaller pieces of itself, even down to particles in nanometer scale—one-one thousandth of one-one thousandth of a millimeter. Studies show particles of that size can migrate through the intestinal wall and travel to the lymph nodes and other bodily organs. What does plastic in tap water mean for human health, how did it get there, and what can people do about it? We went looking for answers in a ten-month investigation across six continents.
   Windfall (2010, 83 min)      
Documentary, Laura Israel - Director, Press Kit (21 pp.)
Wind power... it’s sustainable ... it burns no fossil fuels...it produces no air pollution. What’s more, it cuts down dependency on foreign oil. That’s what the people of Meredith, in upstate New York first thought when a wind developer looked to supplement the rural farm town’s failing economy with a farm of their own—that of 40 industrial wind turbines. WINDFALL, a beautifully photographed feature length film, documents how this proposal divides Meredith’s residents as they fight over the future of their community. Attracted at first to the financial incentives that would seemingly boost their dying economy, a group of townspeople grow increasingly alarmed as they discover the impacts that the 400-foot high windmills slated for Meredith could bring to their community as well as the potential for financial scams. With wind development in the United States growing annually at 39 percent, WINDFALL is an eye-opener that should be required viewing for anyone concerned about the environment and the future of renewable energy.
There is much that is still true in Windfall. Because the film came out in 2010, many of the industries changes are not presented. For example, in 2010, turbines were typically 400 ft (40 stories) tall. Now, they can be 600 or even 800 feet tall. At 400 feet, each blade weighs 22,000 pounds. At the end of its life-usable lifecycle, no one knows how to reuse or recycle it. LINK to NPR.
   Wind Turbine Syndrome, A Report on a Natural Experiment      
Dr. Nina Pierpont, (K-Selected Books, 2009, 294pp.)
Wind Turbine Syndrome & The Brain (PDF, 2010, 18pp.)
Your Guide to Wind Turbine Syndrome ... a roadmap to this complicated subject
Calvin Luther Martin (2010)

While governments, the wind industry and its scientific and clinical hirelings, and the media continue to belittle and deny the experience of these individuals—Lord knows, the media is filled with denial, ridicule, and venom (Google “Wind Turbine Syndrome”)—I am reminded, once more, that the physical, mental, social, and financial consequences of this perfectly correctible condition are appalling.
   A Problem with Wind Power      
Eric Rosenbloom, aweo.org (massive resource site), 2003-2006
The biggest problem with large-scale wind-powered electricity generation is the grid. A home system can work well because the fluctuating output (even in the windiest places it is highly variable) can be regulated by batteries, and another source (the grid or a gas-powered generator) is tied in to kick in when need be. This is the model where larger systems work in isolated villages, too.
But industrial-scale wind plants designed to supply the grid do not work well, even where the wind is superb. The grid is meant to respond to demand, constantly modulating the various suppliers to match the demand exactly. Wind plants respond only to the wind, forcing the more controllable “conventional” plants to change their output in response to wind production as well as to grid demand. And the need to respond within seconds to a drop in wind production requires a plant that runs more inefficiently than one that could run if the grid didn’t have to cope with the unpredictable fluctuations of significant wind-powered sources. That is to say, wind farms may actually cause more fossil fuel burning.
The huge turbines designed for the grid can’t work without electricity from the grid, either. They produce on average 25%-35% of what they are capable of, but they are using electricity (apparently free) 100% of the time. And a problem about sites with good steady strong winds is that they are too windy. The turbines can’t handle strong gusts and automatically shut down (typically around 55 mph). So “good” sites turn out to be very little more productive than less windy ones.
   How Much Energy Do We Need?      
Kris DeDecker, Low-Tech Magazine, January 2018
Average energy use per capita per year in kg of oil equivalents
World Bank (all data for 2014) lowtechmagazine.com
Because energy fuels both human development and environmental damage, policies that encourage energy demand reduction can run counter to policies for alleviating poverty, and the other way around. Achieving both objectives can only happen if energy use is spread more equally across societies. However, while it’s widely acknowledged that part of the global population is living in ‘energy poverty’, there’s little attention given to the opposite condition, namely ‘energy excess’ or ‘energy decadence’. Researchers have calculated minimum levels of energy use needed to live a decent life, but what about maximum levels?
   What Is Energy Denial?      
15 Unstated Myths of Clean, Renewable Energy
Don Fitz, Green Social Thought, 11 September 2019
Wind turbine blades at a landfill in Casper, Wyoming (Aug 2019)
The alternative to overgrowing “clean” energy is to remember what was outlined before. The concept of conserving energy is an age-old philosophy that an earlier incarnation of environmentalism realized as it used the word “reduce.” Those who tunnel vision on the horrible potential of climate change have an unfortunate tendency to mimic the behavior of climate change deniers as they themselves deny the dangers of alternative energy. Too many of today’s environmentalists respond to any attempt to realistically assess problems of “clean” energy with a three monkey approach of “I won’t hear it; I won’t see it; I won’t print it.”
Kris De Decker traces the roots of toxic wind power not to wind power itself but to hubristic faith in unlimited energy growth: “For more than two thousand years, windmills were built from recyclable or reusable materials: wood, stone, brick, canvas, metal. If we would reduce energy demand, smaller and less efficient wind turbines would not be a problem.”[1]
Every form of energy production has difficulties. “Clean, renewable energy” is neither clean nor renewable. There can be good lives for all people if we abandon the goal of infinite energy growth. Our guiding principle needs to be that the only form of truly clean energy is less energy.
   False hopes for a Green New Deal      
Rufus Jordana, openDemocracy, 29 Aug 2019
The Green New Deal pivots on a central lie of continued growth, promising this growth and employment whilst pretending it can magic away the environmental and humanitarian consequences. The result of this is that on all three counts—infinite growth, reliance on fossil fuels, and colonial resource extraction—the Green New Deal is unable to challenge the prevailing order. Instead, it perpetuates the capitalist paradigm and economic relationships and maintains the system leading us towards total ecological collapse.
   Methane Hydrates & Arctic Research      
Dr Peter Wadhams interview, ScientistsWarning.TV, Mar 2019
Arctic region: East Siberian, Laptev, and Kara seas
[I]t’s not a sort of stable, slowly varying thermodynamic situation now. It’s a new dynamics. And that’s what’s important. I’m not saying there’s going to be a giant outbreak of methane that will cause a huge increase in global temperatures. But I am saying that that is a possibility that’s suggested by what’s been observed by the people who actually go out there and do measurements.... [I]t would be very, very serious. I mean it would be a step change in global temperatures of, well, we’ve done an estimate it might be 0.6 of a degree. And that’s only with a fraction of the methane in the sediments of the Siberian Sea coming out. But if you had 0.6 of a degree—or more, it may be—then in one step I think people need to think what that would do....
... if this two degrees for instance happened in one year, and suddenly, because of a vast release of methane, what would it do? ... if it all happened suddenly in one year we would just be completely flummoxed. We wouldn’t have a clue what to do, and the effects would be as great as two degrees in 30 years. But they will be happening instantly. Nobody as far as I know has modeled what the impact of a large step change temperature in climate would be.... [T]he finite probability that there will be a catastrophic methane release means that we have to do the research on what would be the consequences of such a rapid release.
But we’re not doing it. Nobody’s doing it. Because everybody’s so afraid of giving any sort of credence to the possibility of a big methane release that they don’t want to even look at what the consequences could / would be. And so that’s really very, very scientifically bad.
Remember there was a book some years ago about what will be the consequences of a nuclear war? [The Medical Consequences of Nuclear War (1982)] The new concept of a nuclear winter came out of that—that it could produce a complete loss of habitability of the planet because of nuclear winter. But nobody’s doing that analysis for a methane catastrophe or large methane emission. And they should. It might might not be that bad. But it might be very serious indeed.
   Understanding the Permafrost-Hydrate System and Associated Methane Releases in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf      
Natalia Shakhova, Igor Semiletov and Evgeny Chuvilin, Geosciences, 5 Jun 2019
Figure 9. Distribution of oceanographic stations conducted over the ESAS from 1999-2017. Oceanographic stations performed by the authors (n > 2700) are shown as red dots; the ship’s track of IB Oden (2014) is shown as a solid black line; oceanographic stations performed by the cruise IB Oden (2014) is shown as a solid black line; oceanographic stations performed by the cruise participants onboard IB Oden (leg 1, n = 67) are shown as red dots superimposed on the black line.
This paper summarizes current understanding of the processes that determine the dynamics of the subsea permafrost-hydrate system existing in the largest, shallowest shelf in the Arctic Ocean; the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). We review key environmental factors and mechanisms that determine formation, current dynamics, and thermal state of subsea permafrost, mechanisms of its destabilization, and rates of its thawing; a full section of this paper is devoted to this topic. Another important question regards the possible existence of permafrost-related hydrates at shallow ground depth and in the shallow shelf environment. We review the history of and earlier insights about the topic followed by an extensive review of experimental work to establish the physics of shallow Arctic hydrates. We also provide a principal (simplified) scheme explaining the normal and altered dynamics of the permafrost-hydrate system as glacial-interglacial climate epochs alternate. We also review specific features of methane releases determined by the current state of the subsea-permafrost system and possible future dynamics. This review presents methane results obtained in the ESAS during two periods: 1994-2000 and 2003-2017. A final section is devoted to discussing future work that is required to achieve an improved understanding of the subject.
   World Scientists’s Warning to Humanity - 1992 and 2017 and beyond ...      
Stuart Scott, ScientistsWarning.TV, 3 Dec 2018
The World’s Scientists’ Warning to Humanity actually dates back to 1992 when the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, DC, published this paper signed by 1700 scientists, including over half of the then-living Nobel laureates. The first sentence says it all: “Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment.” And the warning was that “We, the undersigned senior members of the world’s scientific community hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and of life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.” Very strong language. So did we change? Not much. Unfortunately our leaders did not take heed. Other things were pre-emptive in their minds than taking care of our common home.
Fast forward, 25 years in late 2017, another group of scientists published this peer-reviewed scientific paper in BioScience. At its publication, it had been signed by over 15,000 scientists from around the world and an additional 8,000 or so have signed it since. It holds records in terms of the number of scientists who’ve signed it in citations. It is a very, very, powerful statement. But again, it does not seem to be that we are taking heed. It made reference to the first Scientists’ Warning and this one was called: “A Second Notice”. My own feeling is that it should have been called: “Final Notice”. I’m not sure we’ll get another chance. I’d like to go in very briefly to the ecological stressors that were cited by this Second Warning, the second notice.

   What To Do    
“The law prevails, what we call the Great Law, the common law, the natural law. The law says if you poison your water, you’ll die. The law says that if you poison the air, you’ll suffer. The law says if you degrade where you live, you’ll suffer. The law says all of this. If you don’t learn that then you can only suffer. There’s no discussion with this law.”
Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga (1991)
explore
DEEP ADAPTATION
Deep Adaptation Introduction: film + transcript, 27 Jan 2019 (14:22)
“[C]limate change is ... an indicator of how our human psyche and culture became divorced from our natural habitat.” (p.19)
“Resilience asks us ‘how do we keep what we really want to keep?’ Relinquishment asks us ‘what do we need to let go of in order to not make matters worse?’ Restoration asks us ‘what can we bring back to help us with the coming difficulties and tragedies?’” (p.23)
“In my work with mature students, I have found that inviting them to consider collapse as inevitable, catastrophe as probable and extinction as possible, has not led to apathy or depression. Instead, in a supportive environment, where we have enjoyed community with each other, celebrating ancestors and enjoying nature before then looking at this information and possible framings for it, something positive happens. I have witnessed a shedding of concern for conforming to the status quo, and a new creativity about what to focus on going forward. Despite that, a certain discombobulation occurs and remains over time as one tries to find a way forward in a society where such perspectives are uncommon. Continued sharing about the implications as we transition our work and lives is valuable.” (p.20)
Embodying and enabling loving responses to our predicament. Reducing suffering, while saving more of society and the natural world.
Begun in March 2019, more than 10,000 globally are now engaged in many activities together in person and online with the spirit of compassion, curiosity, and respect.
  • Hope in a time of climate chaos – a speech to psychotherapists
    Jem Bendell Keynote at UK Council of Psychotherapy Conference, London, 19 Oct 2019
    Hypertext Transcript (with sources), video (39:08), mp3 (35.8 MB)
    At various times over the past year I have been told that people must have hope. Also, that people like me should not undermine people’s hope. Such views are often stated as if so obvious that they do not need explanation. However, I believe that unthinking allegiance to hope is part of the way our culture invites us to be averse to emotional pain and uncertainty. I believe that needs to change for us to try to reduce harm....
    A second unpacking of hope involves exploring what the vision or goal being hoped for actually is. People who, like me, believe that climate-induced societal collapse is now likely or inevitable, begin to explore new goals and visions, which then inform our lives. I hope for a liveable planet and loveable world. One which maintains the possibilities for life, including for us humans, and where more of us are living lovingly towards each other and nature. I wish for that and work for it, but do not expect it. For me, accepting that it is too late to stop climate chaos wrecking our way of life is not giving up but waking up to a wider and deeper agenda. It’s an agenda that includes questions of how we reduce harm, save what we can, learn how this tragedy came to pass, and seek meaning and joy in the process.
    A third unpacking of hope is to explore why we think hope is useful for ourselves or for people more generally. Whereas some people seem to be encouraged by believing a story of a preferred future, others are helped by dropping such stories, even if painful for a time, and then engaging fully in the moment, with passion for living their truth and yet more equanimity with whatever is ahead. In this sense, for some people, accepting that there is much suffering is to come from climate chaos does not mean that they feel helpless, but they feel powerfully ‘hopefree’ and newly engaged in life.
    The allegiance to hope and to positivity in our culture also means we don’t allow as we might the public sharing and discussion of our emotions of sadness, confusion, and grief. Nor our longing to connect and to experience wonder at life. Rather, in public and professional life, we invite each other to be happy, positive and capable. But that is only half the picture. Because we exist within a world with mass communication, with corporations shaping our worldview. The news media invites us to sneer, scoff or pity others. While the adverts invite us to feel incomplete without the latest brand or experience. None of this is inviting us into ways of relating that welcome our pain about society and nature. If we suppress difficult emotions in ourselves, and ignore or somehow fix them in others, then we are alienating ourselves from an important way that we experience the world.
  • The Spiritual Invitation of Climate Chaos Jem Bendell, 1 Nov 2019
  • Deep Adaptation Q&A w/Joanna Macy hosted by Jem Bendell, Jun 2019, video (49:51), mp3 (39.5 MB)
  • Upcoming: Deep Adaptation Q&As for 2020
   Any Way You Slice It - The past, present, and future of rationing      
Stan Cox (NYC: The New Press, 2013)
What we need in the long term is a transformation of the world economy, one that shifts power from the now-dominant “one percent” to the ninety-nine percent who actually produce the world’s wealth. But meanwhile, ecological crises are bearing down on us. We have to become a society that puts the brakes on consumption and does it in an egalitarian way. In fact, by embracing the right kind of rationing, we might even discover a happier, better-fed, healthier, more comfortable, and more secure world than the one we inhabit today. Any Way You Slice is the first book to attempt such a broad examination of rationing as it happens in the real world, without the impediments of unrealistic economic assumptions or narrow political agendas. There are excellent histories of wartime rationing and books that advocate specific systems of rationing carbon emissions or medical care. But as the subtitle of this book indicates, it goes much farther, asking what we can learn from our rationing experience in the past and present in order to ensure a fairer future.
   Is There a Ration Card in Your Future?      
Stan Cox presentation, 2013 Prairie Festival, The Land Institute
[A] capitalist economy, by definition, is not a creature that can survive in captivity. It certainly cannot be confined between the kind of ceiling-and-floor we are talking about. We can futurize all day, but of course no one knows how this will all work out. Governments and economies may try to continue with business as usual or they may be turned inside out by the emergence of a post-capitalist ecological civilization. But the ecological cliff still lies ahead. Tight ceilings on production and solid floors under consumption will be essential. Rationing in some form will become unavoidable, and when it does, the way we make it work—justly or harshly—will depend very much on whether we have succeeded in breaking away from business as usual and building a fairer society.
   The Campaign to Reduce Our Internet Footprint      
Katie Singer, Our Web of Inconvenient Truths
One smartphone contains more than 1000 substances. The energy and water used during mining, smelting, refining and transporting an ore are embodied in the phone. The greenhouse gases (GHGs) and toxins emitted during manufacturing are embodied gases and embodied waste. Embodied energy and waste occur before the end-user receives the finished product. Embodied energy is significantly greater than the energy that a smartphone will use during its usable life. The toxic waste embodied in a smartphone is significantly greater than the waste generated when it is discarded. Meanwhile, you can’t access the Internet without international access networks (cellular antennas, routers, satellites) and data storage centers, which also have embodied energy and consume electricity and other resources to operate. Let’s ask: What is the true cost of sending a text message or streaming a video?
   Greenhorns      
Our mission is to promote, support, and recruit young farmers in America. We are a community powered studio dedicated to grassroots media, cultural programming and land repair for the benefit of the human and non-human worlds. We work to create a welcoming and hospitable culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture. We have made films, radio, guidebooks, parties+trainings, almanacs, anthologies, song collections, exhibits, mixers, art-stunts and trans-media collaboratives that defy classification. Our various programs and projects address the practical and social concerns of those in their first years farming, we emphasize restorative land-practices, skill-building, networking and dialog.
Now entering our 10th year, our grassroots collaborative is entering a new phase. We have recently relocated our headquarters to an old Odd Fellows Hall in Pembroke Maine, having spent much of the last decade in rented spaces up and down the Hudson and Champlain Valleys of New York. We’re happy finally to have a dignified and ample space to hold our homework, evolve our organizational methods, to expand into new areas and to house our 8,000 volume agricultural library, large collection of props and art-making materials, our catering equipment, and our media lab. From our new (large, beautiful and historic location) we can continue to coordinate our various events and tours around the country, edit and produce our new media projects, engage in research, networking and advocacy—we can also shift our focus somewhat to start offering educational summer programming for younger adults.
   eXtinction Rebellion      
an international movement using non-violent civil disobedience
to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse
Oxford Street, near Marble Arch in London, 22 April 2019     PHOTO: REUTERS
“There is no ideology. There is no political agenda or allegiance. There is no talk or concern for our divisions. We know they exist. We know that we have blamed and named and shamed each other through our politics, through our culture, and that that no longer is helpful or necessary or life-giving. That actually we will destroy our futures from those divisions that we’ve created. eXtinction Rebellion’s entire focus is about reweaving the hundred percent, the whole human family.”
—Labour Councillor Skeena Rathor [17:56] in Act as if the Truth is Real - XR, 16 Apr 2019
   Economic Rebellion      
Decentralized organising to leverate
our most powerful tool for change: MONEY

[T]he worst aspect of the present global money system is its built-in requirement for continual growth—[called] the growth imperative. This stems from the fact that money is created on the basis of interest-bearing debt, so that the amount owed increases simply with the passage of time. But compound interest is an exponential growth function, which means that debt grows, not at a constant steady pace, but at an accelerating rate. The global money system requires the further continual expansion of debt in order to avoid financial collapse. Thus the bubble-and-bust cycles we have seen become ever more extreme, and the competition amongst borrowers for an insufficient supply of money results is ever increasing environmental despoliation and social degradation....
The picture becomes crystal clear to anyone willing to take a close look at it: The dominant system of money and banking, based as it is upon usury and the centralization of power and wealth, has visited untold misery and injustice upon the human race and the entire web of life on planet Earth. It is a system that cannot be reformed; it can only be transcended....
Community currencies and exchange systems provide an essential tool kit for community—and self-empowerment, but they need to be designed in such a way as to make us less dependent upon political money and banks. Private exchange media should be issued on the basis of the value created and exchanged by local producers, especially the small and medium sized businesses that form the backbone of any economy. This means that a currency must be spent into circulation not sold for money. It is possible to organize an entirely new structure of money, banking, and finance, one that is interest-free, decentralized, and controlled, not by banks or central governments, but by individuals and businesses that associate and organize themselves into moneyless trading networks.
   Open Structures      
OpenStructures is an exploration on open modular construction
where anyone designs for everyone on the basis of one shared grid.
Presentation of the Family of Objects in the exhibition ‘Home Futures’
Living in Yesterday’s Tomorrow, Design Museum, London (Nov2018-Mar2019)
OpenStructures (OS) is an open modular construction system that promotes circular material flows and facilitates re-use and repair. OS allows to build things together at a moment in time, where anyone is connected to everyone and everything can be produced everywhere. It links modularity to collaborative innovation and new decentralised production techniques and results in a more sustainably built environment. OS unfolds through a continuously evolving exploration by a community of authors that test and evaluate its potential within the field of design, art and architecture.
OS_Studio is the creative studio and major driving force behind OpenStructures, the open modular design methodology. Its main objective is to promote and facilitate the system by OS_Studio was founded by Christian Högner and Thomas Lommée and works internationally on cultural, residential and commercial projects both for the public and private sector. Contact us if you would like to hear, what we can do for you.
Tantalum Child Miners in Congo, 19 Apr 2011
   ADDITIONAL SOURCES    
UPC Kaheawa, Maui, Hawaii - “about 12.5 tons of steel in each [wind] tower foundation” (2007)
Rape of an Upland Plateau 2004-2005, Cefn Croes, Wales
local copy of the Photographic Record
from Cefn Croes Wind Farm Gallery

In the year 2000: The Cambrian News of 2nd November carried two relevant reports, one on the previous week’s stormy public meeting in Aberystwyth, and one on the news that the Countryside Council for Wales had decided to object to the power station proposals because of its impact on the landscape. CCW is the government’s statutory advisor on countryside matters, and its views are therefore important.
The pro-windfarm lobby believes that CCW cares too much about the landscapes of Wales, and too little about global warming. In an unguarded moment at the Aberystwyth public meeting on 26th October, Neil Crumpton of Friends of the Earth suggested that CCW’s stance on wind power was “almost pro-nuclear”, an accusation of the kind which has frequently been levelled at anyone opposed to any aspect of renewable energy.
Let’s hope Mr. Crumpton knows now, if he didn’t before, that the Cefn Croes Campaign is not a pro-nuclear battle against renewables; it is a pro-landscape battle against the cynical, profit-motivated exploitation and destruction of the Welsh countryside.
Throughout 2004 as the infrastructure of the wind power station was put in place, Cefn Croes was subjected to a relentless campaign of damage and destruction. Prior to this, and during the development period, hundreds of thousands of trees—many of them premature crops—had been felled. From February 2004, up to 25 huge excavators, earthmovers, “peckers”, rock-grinders, and other heavy plant machinery were on site, as new access roads were made, existing forestry tracks widened, gradients levelled, drainage channels dug, huge foundations excavated, peat bogs ripped up, and new “borrow pits” (quarries) opened up to gain roadstone and aggregate. The base sections of the turbine towers were set in steel-reinforced concrete, ready for the turbine towers—imported from General Electric’s factory in Northern Germany. The thousands of tons of concrete were made on-site in a plant which was not part of the original planning application.
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