Last week I was interviewed by Guy McPherson and Mike Sliwa on their Nature Bats Last podcast. It’s fun to turn the tables: I’ve interviewed Guy twice: Climate Change and Human Extinction – A Personal Perspective (2014) and Living Each Moment in the Face of Abrupt Climate Change (2015).
I started with my perspective on abrupt climate change and possible near-term human extinction — that basically we don’t know what will unfold or how quickly and where. What matters is that we live our lives in ways that contribute to the greater good. For that, I’m grateful for Peak Moment TV.
How did I get started in all this? I was intrigued by reading clairvoyant Edgar Cayce’s Earth Changes in the late 1960s, and McKibben’s The End of Nature on climate change in 1989. Peak oil hit our radar in 2005, which led to Peak Moment TV.
With our travels starting in 2006, we’ve recorded and met inspiring people and places — people who are doing good things in the world like permaculture and natural building and local currencies. I talked about the power of one person, my example being Judy Alexander of Port Townsend, with whom we’ve done five shows. Her first is our most-viewed program: How Much Food Can I Grow Around My House? Her other shows involve local farmers and eaters, community gardens, her sharing one car with another couple, and community-supported dying (forthcoming). She introduced us to the local bicycle ReCyclery, and LION, the local investment opportunities group.
Mike and Guy asked about how my awareness of climate chaos and the possibility of near-term human extinction has affected my relationships. Fortunately, Robin “gets it.” That said, I respect her wish not to hear every report as the effects worsen more quickly and deeply than forecast. My family? It’s not something we discuss very much. They know but there’s no need to pound them into believers. At 92, my mom is living her life to the fullest — exactly what I encourage for all of us, no matter how events play out.
A caller asked whether I had any regrets for our 25 years living off-grid and self-reliantly. Heavens no! It is a fabulous experience to live within resource constraints, learning resourcefulness and feeling happy with less stuff and more nature. The skills Robin and I gained in construction, water systems, 12v electricity, sewing insulating curtains, woods management, and preserving food have served us well. I put out the idea that maybe down the road someone (or several someones), especially younger people, might adopt us for awhile, so we can share some of those skills.
We also covered how climate change/peak oil is affecting our personal plans (like the current sale of our house), and my view on how peak oil has played out in the nine years after it hit my radar. I thought then that getting hit in our pocketbooks by increasing oil prices would change our behavior and prevent runaway climate change. It’s not unfolding that way, not in the least.
When we talked about interviewing others, I told them two questions I sometimes ask: “What are the challenges?” and “What inspires you?” Near the end of our conversation, they turned the tables and asked what inspires me. Take a listen to find out (you can also download it and listen later).