A collection of articles and resources that I have found the most useful in learning about our global crises. Everything below is challenging to read, comprehend, and assimilate. Learning about the true state of current global affairs is decidedly taking the red pill, as you will never be able to see the world the same again.
Then again, there is wisdom and grace in an eyes wide open approach to our times. Each of these items below has helped me tremendously with orienting towards healthier ways to be in honest and present relation to these most daunting times.
There are two primary reasons an item has made it onto this list ~ the resource either includes an unbiased (non-political), unflinching, and comprehensive assessment of the issues we face, and/or offers practical calls to action.
Reader take care of your heart and don’t succumb to fear. Yes, we do live in times of great uncertainty and anxiety. However there are paths forward, and we can learn how to build lifeboats amidst the turmoil if we stay focused on the challenges at hand. Nurture and protect your heart, your family, and your community, as all of these things will be vital on the road ahead.
Jem Bendell’s seminal work that started an international movement. Highly challenging to digest but worth taking the time with, and highly recommended as a place to start if you are serious about learning the true state of our world. This might very well be the single most straightforward analysis of available climate data I have found. His conclusion that societal collapse is inevitable is an in depth and ongoing conversation and not an end all be all statement ~ I feel this is an easily mis-interpreted term and warrants much deeper inspection as the number of variables are huge and human response unpredictable. If you’re going to read just one thing on this page, take the time to read this and have the conversations that it sparks.
Is this society over?
Dr. Rupert Read’s response to Deep Adaptation, which I believe is a significant development on the original paper. Dr. Read’s assesment builds on Jem Bendell’s overview but allows for a greater range of possibilites, acknowledging that human response is just too unpredicatble.
What if we stopped pretending?
Jonathan Franzen’s New Yorker article calling out the unrealistic optimists who are convinced science can solve everything. There is deep grace in accepting the perspective of all of the facts and not just cherry picking the ones that fit into what we want to see, and this vision for a more realistic approach to our collective future strikes me as honest.
David Wallace-Wells wrote the seminal piece in New York Magazine that seemed to shake everyone awake and gave society permission to begin freaking out. He then followed up by expanding on his article with a full length book, entitled “The Unihabitable Earth”. It will be one of the most challenging things you will ever read. Some of his conclusions have been questioned (and I also include a link below to an article from 17 climate scientists analyzing the original Wallace-Wells piece), but mainly I believe it is an important read for the very simple fact that very few people are presenting climate data as narrative, and this helps us layfolks to digest what all of this means in human terms. The first link below is to David Wallace-Wells updated and annotated article “The Uninhabitable Earth”.
Here is a link to David Wallace-Wells’ author page at New York Magazine, as he’s definitely one to keep up with in current assessments of the state of our planet.
Climate Scientists analyzing “The Uninhabitable Earth” ~
The Other Kind of Climate Denialism
Rachel Riederer has written a brilliant piece in The New Yorker shining a bright light on the realism of acknowledging that “we cannot stop the process of warming altogether, but we can control whether climate change yields a future that is apocalyptic or instead “merely grim.” (quoting from David Wallace-Wells).
Common Dreams piece on Extinction
Danny Sjursen writes a compelling piece in Common Dreams about the predicament we are all in and offers glimpses of how we can start to shift away from the mindsets that are perpetuating collapse.
Threshold News Articles
Documenting the crossing of climate thresholds or significant benchmarks that have been identified as critical indicators of our climate crises.
Guardian article from 13 February 2020 documenting the hottest global January since temperature records have been kept:
Guardian article from 13 January 2020 documenting record high ocean temperatures:
How to Thrive in the Next Economy
John Thackara has penned an extremely insightful book full of practical and accessible methods that each of us can implement in our local communities to help shift away from a fossil fuel based economy. It’s quite brilliant all told, and puts a lot of power into each of our hands if we so choose. The guiding paradigm throughout this essential work is that “the health of living systems is the ultimate measure of wealth, and work is a natural way to thrive, not just survive.”
The Dark Mountain Project
What started as a manifesto calling for an artistic response to the challenges of our times has evolved into a world wide movement of creatives addressing our common plight. These collections of creative writing and social gatherings carry with them a profound grace and offer alternative perspectives towards our collective way forward.
Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive list of technological solutions and realistic ways forward ranked by feasibility that I’ve been able to find. I put it last since most of the items in the list are large scale projects and not things an individual can implement. But it seems grounded (as opposed to depending on the Sci-Fi solutions in the Paris Accord of global scale carbon removal technologies that haven’t been invented yet) and the authors have taken pains to ensure that what they are putting forward are currently available technologies. All in all I feel it’s good to be aware of the larger scale efforts at remediation that are taking place as this is the “human response” factor Dr. Rupert Read talks about. Who knows, perhaps some or all of these things may end up influencing global events with a greater impact than anyone could predict.