You asked for it! After we had our Connect the Dots: Systems in Collapse video panel discussion, some Peak Moment TV viewers asked to hear more of my perspectives. Host and producer Ivey Cone said sure, so she and I did Take Two.
Ivey and I got on a roll in Living with the Predicament. We were just picking up threads from our ongoing years-long conversation about the collapse of industrial civilization.
We started with how Peak Moment TV got started, going back to my being intrigued by Edgar Cayce’s Earth Changes prophecies, especially the image of California mostly underwater: how could that happen? Ivey relayed how she came up with “Peak Moment” for our show name after we all were rudely awakened to peak oil in 2005 by The End of Suburbia (watch it online)
I think we’re seeing multiple collapses happening at the same time:
- The American Empire
- Industrial Civilization
- A Global Economy depending on infinite growth on a finite planet (insane)
- Planetary Ecosystems, stripped bare by human over-population and consumption
This is not a problem. A problem can be solved. This is a predicament. We can’t solve our way out of this one, with technology or any other mythic fix.
It’s something we have to live with. Peak Oil (now a reality) is part of the predicament. Non-renewable resource declines are part of the predicament. And of course the corker in this predicament is runaway climate change.
If professor emeritus Guy McPherson’s view is right, global climate chaos has moved beyond the 12 significant tipping points amplifying each other. I was stunned with his presentation at the Bluegrass Bioneers conference. Guy thinks we may be seeing near-term extinction of the human species within the next 30-40 years (especially as we lose food-growing habitat, like the American great plains becoming a dustbowl or the dying oceans.)
How do you respond to a predicament of this magnitude? Ivey and I barely scratched the surface.
- Start by feeling what you feel about (essential but hard in a culture that prefers denial and delusion).
- Disengage from the system where you can—grow food, buy local, get out of debt.
- Live fully each day. Cultivate generosity and gratitude, like the awe inspiring my painting “We Live Here” (between us on the set).
I closed by reading from Handy Tips on How to Behave at the Death of the World by Anne Herbert, which concludes:
We are all the target so wear bright colors and dance with those you love.
Falling in love has always been a bit too much to apply to one person. Falling in love is appropriate now, to love all these things which are about to leave.
The rocks are watching, and the squirrels and the stars and the tired people in the street. If you love them, let them know, with grace and non-invasive extravagance.
Care about the beings you care about in gorgeous and surprising ways.
Color outside the lines.
Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty. This is your last chance.
What an incredible opportunity this is—a sheer wonder to be alive at this unprecedented moment in all of human history. And to be expressions of the universe becoming aware of itself.