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November 8, 2016

All those who know me well know that I’m a big picture guy. I see our current world as the convergence of climate change and the end of the fossil fuel era, with all the economic and political dislocations that follow from these epochal historical changes. So it follows that I interpret this presidential election in the context of those transitions.

Ever since I read “The Limits to Growth” back in the mid-1970’s, I’ve believed that as we approached the limits of our resource consumption, there would be a reactionary fascist response from the American people, who would not accept a reduction in their lifestyles and a diminishing in their belief in the American cultural myth of inevitable “progress”. That is what just happened tonight.

No one can predict the future with any precision. But given that the American people just turned to an ignorant demagogue to lead their government, it’s pretty safe to anticipate four years of complete economic and political chaos, which will only accelerate the momentum of the fearful forces that brought Donald Trump to power. The fate of the nation we call the United States, two and a quarter centuries old, now hangs in the balance.

How should we proceed? What can we do? I have two suggestions. First, become involved with your neighbors and local governments to help prepare for the hard times ahead, by creating local resilience on the model of the Transition Town movement. (http://www.transitionus.org/transition-towns) Second, prepare for the increasing dysfunction and failure of the federal government, and the possibility that to assert and protect its supremacy, that government may become increasingly tyrannical.

I take no pleasure in painting such a grim picture. But history offers many examples of civilizations that collapsed into anarchy as a result of resource constraints. The difference is that today we live in a world civilization, so the collapse with not be only local but global. Of course Donald Trump understands nothing of all this, but he is all too eager to lead us off the cliff. Each of us must make our own decision whether to follow him or oppose him.

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This article from Andrew Sullivan ends with these words: “In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such.” If you love your country, if you believe in the Constitution, please read it.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/america-tyranny-donald-trump.html?mid=fb-share-di

If you want to get beyond the propaganda to understand the TRUE history of bipartisanship in SCOTUS nominations, please read this (brief) article. The author lays out the factual record as clearly as anyone could.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-r-stone/the-supreme-court-vacancy_b_9310498.html

Richard Heinberg’s talk on “Our Renewable Future” is set among all the frightening news about fossil fuel depletion and accelerating climate change. His message is serious but positive. He asks how our daily life will change as we fully embrace the era of renewable energy, and how will we need to shift the ways we use energy – offering both opportunities and challenges.

http://www.postcarbon.org/our-renewable-future-a-talk-for-willits-economic-localization

How can we grapple with deeper issues like grieving cultural and climate collapse? Author Carolyn Baker, video producer Ivey Cone and Peak Moment producer Janaia Donaldson engage in a wide-ranging conversation about keeping our hearts open while witnessing the crumbling of industrial civilization. They discuss tools for holding our center, supporting each other, gratitude, and witnessing the powers of the universe at work. Here is the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmOR6HunFuM

Energy Voter

The past year has seen some of the hottest, most destructive weather in history.   We see the effects of global warming all around us, and we’re causing it with our greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.  Let’s end our addiction to oil, coal and natural gas, and turn to energy conservation and renewable sources of energy.  Plenty of jobs there.  I’m John and I’m an energy voter.

I’ve created this blog to publicize my research and opinions involving my teaching and other activities in my capacity as Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Dominican University of California, particularly in the areas of Sustainability, Cinema Production and Writing, and other areas of Communication research.   Welcome!