Do green movements play the doom card too frequently? And, if so, does it matter?

These questions have been on my mind lately, particularly in relation to an article entitled “The Uninhabitable Earth” (link) which recently caught fire on social media. This post briefly considers these questions and related questions about human action on climate and energy issues. The questions are not simple or straightforward to consider, but topical high-profile …

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To collapse or not to collapse: is it just a stupid question, or should it be discussed?

Last night I went to the Sustainable Living Festival’s annual great debate, this time on the somewhat convoluted topic (perhaps written by a committee?) of “To collapse or not to collapse: Pushing for economic ruin or building a great transition”, juxtaposing: At one end of the spectrum, [are] some environmentalists [who] are fueled by a …

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Preoccupations with collapse and crisis, and the risks of such tendencies

It seems to be increasingly common to consider the prospect of collapse (or some form of major “breakdown”) in the near-future (e.g. here, here, here, here). Authors and activists like Paul Gilding assert that some form of collapse is inevitable. Gilding writes that “the time to act preventatively has past” and asserts that “the coming …

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Worst case scenarios – how should we deal with low-probability risks of disaster?

Worse case scenarios are an important part of sustainability discourses which I’ve recently been prompted to consider more deeply. Indeed Cass Sunstein – in his book Worst Case Scenarios (published by Harvard University Press in 2007) – talks about “worse-case specialists”, a group which he contends includes environmentalists (along with many others such as those …

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