Culture Change
19 April 2014
Social and Individual Breakdown: Pent up toward Collapse
by Jan Lundberg   
The U.S. appears to be breaking down on all levels, probably taking the rest of the modern world with it. Noticing this helps us understand the hopelessness of our intrinsically flawed system. Also, recognizing breakdown is helpful for seeing impending collapse in a new light.

Breakdown should be seen in such a way to realize that order is becoming an illusion. Breakdown is preceding and adding to future collapse. Simultaneously there are myriad magnificent yet small-scale efforts to improve people's lives and the health of our Earth.

Post-Peak Economics
by Peter Goodchild   
In pragmatic terms the coming collapse can be equated with the phases of what will happen to money. The first phase will be “stagflation”: high prices combined with high unemployment. During the second phase, as government starts to fade, currency will collapse: money will have no use as a medium of exchange.

Of course, economic trends can always be seen in terms of either materials or money. We can say that the near future will be one of diminishing fossil fuels, and hence a depletion of plastic, asphalt, fertilizer, electricity, and so on.

Toward the Collapse: Growth-Economy = Climate Disaster
by Alex Smith/Radio Ecoshock with Keith Farnish   
Is global warming unstoppable now? Could we be saved by total economic collapse? If so, should we help civilization fall?

Last night I recorded another glimpse of the climate apocalypse, with the author of Climate Wars Gwynne Dyer. He outlined the short distance from here to the cliff where long-known natural feed-backs leading to runaway global warming begin, and continue on for millennia. That limit is known as two degrees.

Letters from Amok: The State of the World in Pen and Ink
by Chellis Glendinning   
I stand in the Chimayó, New Mexico, post office, poring over a hand-scrawled note from Oakland immigrant-rights activist Arnoldo Garcia -- and I weep. Not for the stark vision of the fragility of life and the forces ripping into it that he voices, for I am not unfamiliar with the dire state of the world -- but for the fact that he has had the courage to state it with so much heart.
Dear Chellis,
I’m still plugging away in the struggle for deep justice, writing poetry every chance I get, and relearning hope.
The Transition Towns Movement: Its Huge Significance and a Friendly Criticism
by Ted Trainer   
Editor's note: "Transition Towns" is one of the best ideas in decades, and is being put into practice widely. Author Ted Trainer has a respected track record among energy realists and devotees of sustainability. He wishes to help along a good movement. Culture Change also attempts to support the cause, mainly via activism that has articulated a similar vision vis-à-vis Transition Towns since the early 1990s.
The Dominant Critique: Empty Politics of Many Progressives
by Jan Lundberg   
In "How to Get Our Democracy Back" Lawrence Lessig wrote in The Nation, Feb. 3 (and soon after in the San Francisco Chronicle), a somewhat scathing indictment of Congress and the President.

In my soon to be released book, Petrocollapse: The Basis of Crash and Culture Change, part of it discusses the political and socioeconomic system we live under. A section of that part goes into what I call the Dominant Critique. Those commentators or leaders participating in it constitute what has come to mean the "Left."

Musical Message: Singing Our Way to the Next Culture Change
by Jan Lundberg   
Note: Worldwatch Institute focused on culture change for the theme of its new book State of the World 2010. The following was originally written at the request of Worldwatch for the book. This report was ultimately rejected as "too historical and U.S. based." Worldwatch did thank me in the beginning of their book, and kindly mentioned my old band The Depavers. (The songs attributed to us in the book are not ours, although "It's Up to Us" is by my daughter Spring who had been in the band. To listen to it and Depavers tunes, go to Depavers.) - JL

A lot of people’s favorite songs are about peace, justice, and defending nature.

Stuck Accelerators: Toyotas and the Fossil-Fuel Growth Economy
by Jan Lundberg   
The story of Toyota cars having accelerator-pedal and brake problems, causing out of control speed and possible crash death in a fireball, is a near perfect allegory for something far more serious: the burning of the planet with fossil fuels including gasoline for cars. The vehicle for the burning of the planet is none other than the fossil-fueled growth economy. The difference this has with the Toyota phenomenon is that we do have real brakes for the global vehicle of destruction, which Toyotas may not have ("News Alert: Toyota Says Prius Brakes Had Design Flaws" - New York Times, Feb. 4, 2010).
High Schoolers Fast to Aid Haiti
by Jan Lundberg   
On Feb 3, 2010 I heard from a high-school teacher who organized a large student group to do the Fast for Haiti. She wrote:
I teach 8th and 10th grade English at a small school in Michigan. We study the Holocaust and read The Diary of Anne Frank in 8th grade. Because of the emotional reactions of a group of students two years ago, we formed an organization called Donate Pennies. Our goal is to collect pennies to honor the victims of the Holocaust and to help the refugees from Darfur.
Food and Population
by Peter Goodchild   
Farmers are invisible people, and middle-class city dwellers choose to pretend that the long lines of trucks bringing food into the city at dawn every day have nothing to do with the white-collar world. Perhaps it is a mark of the civilized person to believe that the essentials of food, clothing, and shelter have no relevance to daily life. Yet if the farmers stopped sending food into the great vacuum of the metropolis, the great maw of urbanity, the city would soon start to crumble, as Britain discovered in the year 2000 [5]. The next question, then, is: Where does all this food come from?
Climate Science: Shooting the Messenger
by Alex Smith, Radio Ecoshock   
Regarding the recent attacks on top climate scientists, Radio Ecoshock takes the case of Richard B. Alley. He is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, at Penn State University. Alley is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His popular book about ice cores is called "The Two Mile Time Machine."

Alley was expected to give one of the best speeches of the December 2009 annual meeting of the AGU in San Francisco, and he did not disappoint. Here is a short digest of that hour-long Bjerknes Lecture to the AGU in San Francisco in December.

The Fast for Haiti - in the Context of U.S. Anti-Community Culture
by Jan Lundberg   
In mid-January I organized the Fast for Haiti, and ended mine after 10 1/2 days. Just on water, getting plenty of rest, I did some healing and contemplation that otherwise could not have happened. What about other participants in the Fast for Haiti, and what has been the effect?

It was clear to me that breaking through to millions of people in TV land or other realms of mass corporate media would have required I fast at least 20 days. Perhaps another faster is doing that at this very moment. The popular Portland listener-supported radio station, KBOO-FM, aired this report on the fast:

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