Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Age of Limits 2013

I am on the train back from the second annual Age of Limits conference at the Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary in Artemas, Pennsylvania. It was the coldest Memorial Day weekend in the Alleghenies in anyone's memory, but in spite of the (almost) freezing cold, (which explains the “layered” look of many of the attendees) it went well. This week I will process one of the talks I gave (on lessons we can learn from intentional communities that abide over many generations) into a blog post. In the meantime, here are a few of the photos I took (the ones that turned out the best).

Albert Bates speaking on Ted Kaczynski (a.k.a. the Unabomer)

Guy McPhearson about to set out the case for the near-term extinction (NTE) of the human species
The audience letting Guy's message wash over them
Informal discussion at the fire circle
At breakfast
Closing ceremony
The presenters (minus Greer who was busy talking to someone)

Everyone (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Extraenvironmentalist interview

While the cultural foundations of the United States are unraveling the unconscious programs of American society lay outside of public dialogue. Where there was once an American Dream, a spiritual void remains.  As the framework of consumer society breaks down, will an economic system of inverted totalitarianism reverse become explicit? Why do our elites seem incapable of formulating a rational response to this crisis of civilization?

In Extraenvironmentalist #60 we discuss the current condition of American culture with Chris Hedges and Morris Berman. Chris describes the process of breakdown he’s witnessed in other countries as elites withdraw when they feel their system of control crumbling. Morris reflects the current crisis of capitalism against the breakdown of the feudal system hundreds of years ago to describe a broader historical process. Then, we speak with Dmitry Orlov about his new book: The Five Stages of Collapse. Dmitry talks about the psychological damage created by access to large amounts of money and explains how to think practically about a failing global economic system.

Listen to it here.

Monday, May 20, 2013


There is no post this week because I am too busy shipping out books. All of the US-bound signed, numbered copies went out on May 20. A third of the unsigned US copies went out on May 21; the rest will go out on the 22. The international ones will have to wait until I get back from the Age of Limits next week. I plan to be done with the pre-orders and shipping new orders by the end of May, as promised.

The assembly line

The pick-up point

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Look for loopholes to avoid extinction

Zeger Reyes
A tiny blip in the news media registered the fact that atmospheric carbon dioxide has exceeded four hundred parts per million for the first time in the history of the human species, with no sign of slowing down. Among other things, it means that ocean levels will be going up by at least 30 feet, putting most of the world's major cities underwater. Almost the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States—the most densely settled strip of land in the country, with the most infrastructure and physical assets—will become uninhabitable. Other countries—Bangladesh, Netherlands, a long list of low-lying island nations—will disappear under the waves entirely.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Interview on North Shore Community Radio

North shore of Lake Superior, that is. Last week I was in Grand Marais, Minnesota, just across the border from Thunder Bay, Ontario, where I taught a couple of seminars and gave a talk at the North House Folk School, which is a very cool place. While there, I went over to WTIP 90.7FM, the local radio station, for an interview. Buck, who interviewed me, asked good questions. Please have a listen.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

What's new in Square Boats

I. Y. Repin
Barge Haulers on the Volga
Long-time readers of this blog probably know that there are such things in the world as square boats, and that they tend to do all that intricately modeled boats do, better and for a lot less money, plus they have a host of other advantages. But such knowledge is rare, even among sailors. I speak from experience, having recently spent a fair amount of time working on a square boat—my old Hogfish, which I have sold, and which is hauled out in a boatyard, being readied for her next tour of duty in the Caribbean and then, via the Canal, the Pacific. As I worked, various types of boaty/yachty people would come up to me and ask me questions. The typical question was “What is this thing?” usually followed by a comment, such as “It looks really unusual.”