Connect the Dots: Systems in Collapse (Video)

despair_empower_600Our close friend Ivey Cone hosted and produced Connect the Dots: Systems in Collapse, a panel discussion with Nevada City, CA activists Terra Nyssa, Tom Grundy and myself in late March, 2013.

It’s a courageous discussion about some of the issues we face at this time of the sixth great extinction and the collapse of industrial civilization. Portrayal of the planetary predicament includes video clips with Derrick Jensen and Guy McPherson; an indigenous elder and young activist speaking against proposed coal terminals near Bellingham, Washington, and mathematical cosmologist Brian Swimme on the universal cycles of creation and destruction.

How might we respond?

Terra Nyssa expressed heartfelt empathy for the plight of the salmon fighting to return upstream to their home despite dams, development and other blockages — a potent symbol for Life surging for continuation.

Tom Grundy shared an image portraying the ongoing cycles of despair and empowerment that many people go through.

Janaia Donaldson shared stories of people acting locally to produce food, live with a lighter footprint and cooperating. Other topics included preparedness, providing emotional support for one another, stepping outside the system, and working for the more-than-human world.

Recorded at Nevada County, CA Digital Media Center. Thanks to producer Ivey Cone for permission to post.


  1. I agree that things couldn’t look much worse and have followed a great deal of the science. With our Eco-Sense home (you may wish to view the Peak Moment episode on our home and lifestyle) we have tried to live a local resilient lifestyle with a focus on mitigation and adaptation…with a great deal of beauty and fun. It can be done, but the odds are not on our side. In the face of complete despair I continue to find hope in the fact that as humans, we are not all knowing and mother nature (planetary physics and the biosphere), may have more tricks up her sleeve. We simply can not say we understand everything that is happening and exactly how it will play out…even though our current knowledge indicates we may be toast in a few decades. It’s not over until it’s over, so as long as the birds are singing and there are still bugs in my veggies gardens, I can still try and I can still find happiness and hope. Keep trying everyone. Ann Baird (Biologist and MUD house dweller)

  2. You’re right: I don’t have much hope. Consider this excerpt from an essay updated 23 April 2013 (

    On a planet 4 C hotter than baseline, all we can prepare for is human extinction (from Oliver Tickell’s 2008 synthesis in the Guardian). According to an informed assessment of BP’s Energy Outlook 2030, published in January 2013, global average temperature of Earth will hit the 4 C mark in 2030.


  1. […] work is mentioned in the video embedded below, which is from Connect the Dots: Systems in Collapse. Moments about my work appear during the following intervals: 33:15-36:30, 58:45-1:00:30, and […]

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