Breaking Down: Collapse

Interview with Shaun ChamberlinEpisode 114 – Interview with Shaun Chamberlin

Shaun Chamberlin is an author and activist who has been exploring collapse and possible responses for over twenty years.  He is the editor of ‘Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy’ and his late mentor David Fleming’s ‘Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It’, as well as executive producer of 2020 film ‘The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?’

He puts the theory into practice as one of the custodians of Ireland’s legendary free pub ‘The Happy Pig’ and was involved with the Transition Towns movement since its inception, co-founding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, ‘The Transition Timeline’, back in 2009.  He was also one of the first Extinction Rebellion arrestees, in 2018, and now leads Sterling College’s online program ‘Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time’.

Shaun’s website: http://darkoptimism.org

‘Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Times’ courses/community: http://ce.sterlingcollege.edu/surviving-the-future…

David Fleming’s books: http://flemingpolicycentre.org.uk/books/

Free access to David Fleming’s Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It: http://leanlogic.online

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Environmental arsonist fled the country in 2005 to avoid lengthy prison sentence — it worked

The FBI put out a wanted poster with a $50,000 reward, searching for Joseph Dibee after he was indicted for his alleged role in crimes committed by the Earth Liberation Front or the Animal Liberation Front.via Federal Bureau of Investigations
The FBI put out a wanted poster with a $50,000 reward, searching for Joseph Dibee after he was indicted for his alleged role in crimes committed by the Earth Liberation Front or the Animal Liberation Front.
via Federal Bureau of Investigations

Joseph Dibee, former international fugitive and supporter of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front, got a shorter sentence than his co-defendants, raising questions about how the federal government prosecutes what it considers domestic terrorism

LINK TO AUDIO AND PRINT

As California’s wells dry up, residents rely on bottled water to survive

In drought-parched Central Valley, thousands rely on trucked and bottled water as they wait for new wells

As California’s wells dry up, residents rely on bottled water to survive
Bryce Johnston of Big River Drilling works on drilling a new water well in August. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Wells are running dry in California at a record pace. Amid a hotter, drier climate and the third consecutive year of severe drought, the state has already tallied a record 1,351 dry wells this year — nearly 40 percent over last year’s rate and the most since the state created its voluntary reporting system in 2014. The bulk of these outages slice through the center of the state, in the parched lowlands of the San Joaquin Valley, where residents compete with deep agricultural wells for the rapidly dwindling supply of groundwater.

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Analysis of “Joker”

The Joker Tried To Warn You

I: Introduction

Joker is a 2019 supervillain origin story film directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. Though based on the DC comic book character, this film takes many liberties with the story material by creating a background for the Joker that has hitherto been kept deliberately mysterious.

The notion of him starting out as a failed comedian comes from Batman: The Killing Joke, but other elements come from two Martin Scorsese films starring Robert De Niro—Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. This origin story nonetheless can be reconciled with the comic book canon somewhat in that, given how the story is told from the Joker’s point of view, and given his psychotic penchant for mixing fantasy with reality, he is an unreliable narrator; so it hardly matters if events in the movie contradict those of the comic books.

Phoenix’s performance deservedly won him the Best Actor Oscar. For her plaintive, brooding cello soundtrack, Hildur Guðnadóttir won the Best Original Score. The film itself has also been praised (with nominations for such Oscar categories as Best Picture and Best Director), in spite of such controversies as the baseless fear that its sympathetic portrayal of a mentally-ill loner, who shoots people, would inspire incel murders. Actually, the film–despite Phillips’s denial of having intended any political message–is clearly presenting a drama of class war.

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The Fourth Revolution

The Light Age is the Dark Age, part two

The Fourth Revolution

By now, you might have heard about the rising threat of ‘eco-fascism’. If you haven’t you soon will, because the number of people warning about this alarming new danger to civilisation seems to be growing exponentially. In publications right and left and neither you’ll be able to read long expositions of the origins and intentions of this frightening movement, which seems to be taking root all over the world.

Those essays and articles could be rolled into one easily enough, and sometimes it seems like they have been. The formula is always the same, and can be usefully applied across the political spectrum. Start with talk of the ‘rising tide of authoritarianism’ all over the world, as evidenced by ‘populism’, Brexit, Georgia Melloni, Viktor Orban, Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, Joe Biden or any other leader you don’t like. Move on to explore how much of this ‘rising authoritarianism’ is reflected in environmentalism, as evidenced by Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion, the Green New Deal, the Great Reset, Bill Gates, Greta Thunberg or [insert name of bête noire here]

After this, list the historical inspirations for these new green authoritarians: Ted Kaczynski, Pentti Linkola and Dave Foreman should do for starters. Dig into the most miserable chans and reddits of the Internet and ‘expose’ a few anonymised avatars promoting race war in the name of the planet. Mention the Christchurch shooter. Use the phrase ‘dark undercurrent’ a lot. Quote Murray Bookchin. Chuck in the names of a couple of nature writers from the 1930s who became fascists. Mutter darkly about ‘blood and soil’ and how Hitler was a vegetarian. Did you know there was an organic garden at Dachau? It makes you think. If you’re lucky.

Having got here, you can move on to the meat of the thing: sombrely intoning about the ‘new threat to democracy’ which is represented by this ominous movement. Depending on where you’re coming from, you can now explain how these new eco-authoritarians represent either [a] a threat to our God-given right to drive, mine, manufacture, fly, burn oil and freely enjoy the glories that only Western Progress can provide, or [b] a threat to diversity, equality, human rights, LGBTQIA++ people, refugees, ‘global justice’ and a woman’s right to choose. Either way, the conclusion will be much the same: a non-specific but ominous call for more monitoring of ‘problematic’ views, more work to tackle ‘radicalisation’, more ‘hate speech’ or anti-protest laws and probably more Internet regulation. For the safety of us all, of course.

The problem, though, is that actual ‘eco fascism’ is notable mostly by its absence. Dark corners of the Internet aside – you can find any craziness there, after all – it’s hard to find a single ‘eco fascist’ anywhere out in the real world. No public intellectuals, no writers, no philosophers, no politicians, no popular movements embrace anything of the kind. Plenty of people get the label applied to them of course – without the prefix, the word ‘fascist’ has been a meaningless, all-purpose insult for decades – but they all reject it. I was in and around the green movement for a long time, but I never met an eco-fascist, though I did have the pleasure of being called one.

So why all the dire warnings? I can think of two possible explanations.

RED

By now, you might have heard about the rising threat of ‘eco-fascism’. If you haven’t you soon will, because the number of people warning about this alarming new danger to civilisation seems to be growing exponentially. In publications right and left and neither you’ll be able to read long expositions of the origins and intentions of this frightening movement, which seems to be taking root all over the world.

Those essays and articles could be rolled into one easily enough, and sometimes it seems like they have been. The formula is always the same, and can be usefully applied across the political spectrum. Start with talk of the ‘rising tide of authoritarianism’ all over the world, as evidenced by ‘populism’, Brexit, Georgia Melloni, Viktor Orban, Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, Joe Biden or any other leader you don’t like. Move on to explore how much of this ‘rising authoritarianism’ is reflected in environmentalism, as evidenced by Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion, the Green New Deal, the Great Reset, Bill Gates, Greta Thunberg or [insert name of bête noire here]

After this, list the historical inspirations for these new green authoritarians: Ted Kaczynski, Pentti Linkola and Dave Foreman should do for starters. Dig into the most miserable chans and reddits of the Internet and ‘expose’ a few anonymised avatars promoting race war in the name of the planet. Mention the Christchurch shooter. Use the phrase ‘dark undercurrent’ a lot. Quote Murray Bookchin. Chuck in the names of a couple of nature writers from the 1930s who became fascists. Mutter darkly about ‘blood and soil’ and how Hitler was a vegetarian. Did you know there was an organic garden at Dachau? It makes you think. If you’re lucky.

Having got here, you can move on to the meat of the thing: sombrely intoning about the ‘new threat to democracy’ which is represented by this ominous movement. Depending on where you’re coming from, you can now explain how these new eco-authoritarians represent either [a] a threat to our God-given right to drive, mine, manufacture, fly, burn oil and freely enjoy the glories that only Western Progress can provide, or [b] a threat to diversity, equality, human rights, LGBTQIA++ people, refugees, ‘global justice’ and a woman’s right to choose. Either way, the conclusion will be much the same: a non-specific but ominous call for more monitoring of ‘problematic’ views, more work to tackle ‘radicalisation’, more ‘hate speech’ or anti-protest laws and probably more Internet regulation. For the safety of us all, of course.

The problem, though, is that actual ‘eco fascism’ is notable mostly by its absence. Dark corners of the Internet aside – you can find any craziness there, after all – it’s hard to find a single ‘eco fascist’ anywhere out in the real world. No public intellectuals, no writers, no philosophers, no politicians, no popular movements embrace anything of the kind. Plenty of people get the label applied to them of course – without the prefix, the word ‘fascist’ has been a meaningless, all-purpose insult for decades – but they all reject it. I was in and around the green movement for a long time, but I never met an eco-fascist, though I did have the pleasure of being called one.

So why all the dire warnings? I can think of two possible explanations.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

The US megadrought won’t just end – it will change the land forever

Patterns of drought and deluge are common throughout history, but human-driven climate change is disrupting these cycles, making it more difficult to predict exactly how the current megadought in south-western North America will end

An abandoned pomegranate orchard during a droughtGetty Images/Bloomberg Creative/ David Paul Morris
An abandoned pomegranate orchard during a drought
Getty Images/Bloomberg Creative/ David Paul Morris

The current drought began when Kent Norman was just 2 years old. Farming is in his blood. His family has worked the land in Stockton, California, for generations. But the last two decades have created one of the most severe droughts in the region history: Over the course of his life, south-western North America has become drier than it has been in more than 1000 years.

LINK: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2344912-the-us-megadrought-wont-just-end-it-will-change-the-land-forever/

WINTER WHEAT CROP IN POOR SHAPE AMID DROUGHT

WINTER WHEAT CROP IN POOR SHAPE AMID DROUGHTOnly 28% of the U.S. winter wheat crop is in good or excellent condition, one of the worst starts for the crop in years, said the USDA’s Crop Progress report on Monday. Three-quarters of winter wheat land is in drought, including nine of every 10 acres in Kansas, the top wheat producing state.

By comparison, at this point in 2021, 45% of the U.S. crop was in good or excellent condition and in 2020, 43% rated as good or excellent. Brownfield Ag News said this year’s rating of 24% was the lowest since 1992, when it was 23%.

Wheat is a hardy crop grown in a wide range of climates and soils but best suited to temperate regions with annual rainfall of 12 to 36 inches. In the United States, the central and southern Plains are the heart of winter wheat production. Winter wheat is sown and sprouts in the fall, lies dormant during the winter and is harvested in late spring and summer.

In its first listing of winter wheat condition this fall, the USDA said 22% of wheat in Kansas was in good or excellent condition. In Oklahoma, the corresponding rating was 11% and in Texas, it was 4%.

Nationwide, 35% of winter wheat rated as poor or very poor, compared to 21% one year ago.

LINK: https://www.agriculture.com/news/business/winter-wheat-crop-in-poor-shape-amid-drought

World close to ‘irreversible’ climate breakdown, warn major studies

Key UN reports published in last two days warn urgent and collective action needed – as oil firms report astronomical profits

LINK: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/27/world-close-to-irreversible-climate-breakdown-warn-major-studies

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