“Perhaps it is only by imagining the end of the world that we can begin to imagine a better one.”
~ James Bradley, author of ‘Ghost Species’ and the essay ‘Unearthed: Last Days of the Anthropocene’
In 2018, Stuart Rosson published his first fiction novel, ‘East’, set in the 2720s – at a time when our current civilisation is long forgotten. In The Regenerative Hour he shares his thoughts about the impending societal collapse, which more and more people anticipate in the near future, and how we best prepare for what is coming.
The Carbon March to Canberra
Stuart is part of a group planning a major #BurstTheBubble walk, inspired by Gandhi’s historic Salt March, to the Federal Parliament in Canberra, with the first steps being taking already on 4 February 2020, and with much bigger and more ambitious plans for September, aspiring to gather up to 400,000 Australians at the steps of the Parliament building for an entire week or more.
About Stuart Rosson
Born in Geelong, south west of Melbourne, Australia, Stuart Rosson was educated at Geelong College and Deakin University. After a Bachelor of Science and a brief foray into molecular biology, he studied journalism before landing a job as the medical and science writer for the Sun News Pictorial in Melbourne.
Throughout the mid to late 80’s he covered news and feature stories relating to every aspect of science, health and medicine. Returning from overseas in 1989, he purchased a restaurant – casting himself as manager and chef of a small French eatery.
The restaurant was listed in the Age Good Food Guide but, fell victim to the localised recession which followed the collapse of Geelong’s home-grown building society. Moving to Torquay on the Surfcoast, he spent most of the 90’s managing the mountainwear division of a local surf company, where he was often co-opted into writing marketing copy for the global corporation.
After leaving the Surf Industry he studied natural medicine and astrology, and went on to practice as a naturopath until 2009.
He claims the idea for ‘East’ came to him whilst up a ladder cleaning out the gutters at his mother’s house. By the time he came down the ladder he had the ‘bare bones’ of the plot for all three books.
The first book in the trilogy was completed a few years ago, but went on the shelf whilst he built himself a house in Torquay. After being edited by accomplished local editor, Nan McNab, ‘East’ was released in November 2018.
Biography from Amazon.com.au
Mentioned during the hour:
In the podcast towards the end, we play excerpts from the following two youtube-videos:
Jem Bendell: Collapse is coming. Get ready
“The current predicament could be seen as an invitation to think again and feel again about what it is to be human and to live in community and support each other – not to just trade, but ask and to give. We could reframe collapse as not just a catastrophe, but as actually an enforced letting go of a hell of a lot of things which didn’t make us happy anyway.”Jem Bendell
“We could see changes of state so abrupt and profound that no continuity can be safely assumed. Only one of the many life support systems on which we depend – soils, aquifers, rainfall, ice, the pattern of winds and currents, pollinators, biological abundance and diversity – need fail for everything to slide.”George Monbiot, in The Guardian on 14 November 2019
→ The Guardian – 14 November 2019:
The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us
“Climate breakdown could be rapid and unpredictable. We can no longer tinker around the edges and hope minor changes will avert collapse.” Opinion-piece by George Monbiot
. . .
“You think the world is a chaotic place now? Just wait. As bad as you think climate change might be in the coming decades, reality could be far worse.”Jeff Goodell, in Rolling Stone on 12 October 2018
→ Rolling Stone – 12 October 2018:
What’s Another Way to Say ‘We’re F-cked’?
“One of the leading climate scientists of our time is warning of the horrifying possibility of 15-to-20 feet of sea-level rise.”
“The lights are going out, my friends. The hard right wanted them to go out. The left stopped caring. The center turned to Fakebook and reality TV to numb the pain of it all away. I don’t think any of us are blameless. I think we all have a lot of reflection to do, these days, watching the world go dark. Because that is exactly what is happening today. The lights are going out. There are just a few left now. Canada, Europe here and there, New Zealand. That is not much light left for a whole world. And if they go dark, too — at least if enough of them do — then we will be the people we once were. Scurrying from monsters in the darkness, lashing out at each other in pain, looking for a place to hide, wondering why the sun forgot to rise again today.”
~ Umair Haque
→ Medium – March 2020:
Why It Feels Like We’re on the Threshold of a New Dark Age
“I look at the world these days and I shudder. I wonder why more don’t. The lights are going out, one by one. The lights of democracy, progress, and civilization.”
“Sometimes I wonder if I should really just throw it all in and invest in a cave full of beans up a mountain in New Zealand. There I’d be safe from the climate emergency, surely.
And then I remember that upskilling, pressuring local government, building community resilience, growing food and forging connections with those around me are the best buffer to the climate crisis that I can have. And they’re also heaps of fun.
Now we’ve got that sorted, I can just get on with the act of living life to its fullest. Who’s with me?”
~ Brenna Quinlan
“Gone with the wind – and the flood, heat wave, drought”
“Sensible communities might establish siestas during the summers, so the work week would look different. We’d eat less meat; in fact, we’d eat a lot less food in general. Our employment, education, and recreation would change if we couldn’t drive our own cars and had to rely on the level of public transportation that could be managed without the power of fossil fuels. Our neighborhoods would look different. What we spent our money on would change. And these are just a random sample of the overarching adjustments we’d have to make. Truly, my students’ lives would be unimaginably altered.
They would probably argue here that alternative energy will fill the gap and enable them to go on living as they have been. But that’s a vain hope. While solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources are wonderful, they don’t pack the concentrated energy punch that millions of years of stored sunshine does. We also haven’t found a practical way of manufacturing alternative energy infrastructure without using fossil fuels. The kinds of windmills and solar panels we use now are a transitional technology that will have to be changed in the future, when fossil fuels are exhausted. There’s no way around it: the life that wealthy nations have lived in the last century will be gone with the wind – and the flood, heat wave, drought, and other extreme weather event.
So yes, whether we do the right things or keep doing the wrong things, whether our current systems collapse or are carefully dismantled and rebuilt, even young Hoosiers leading modest lives in a small town in western Indiana will be personally affected by climate change. I am sorry, guys. And you still have to turn in your homework.”
~ Damaris Zehner, in the blogpost titled ‘Climate Change Goes Local’
“By 2026, I expect a full civilisation collapse…”
~ Jim Qually-McHenry
→ Science Alert – 3 December 2019:
It’s Official: This Is The Hottest Decade in Recorded History, UN Warns
→ Science Alert – 2 December 2019:
UN Chief Warns Global Warming ‘Point of No Return’ Is Hurtling Toward Us
→ Science Alert – 28 November 2019:
Tipping Points That Could Unleash a Planetary Emergency Are Now Active, Scientists Warn
→ Nature – 27 November 2019:
Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against
“The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions.”
→ Yale Environment – 25 November 2019:
The New Climate Math: The Numbers Keep Getting More Frightening
“Scientists keep raising ever-louder alarms about the urgency of tackling climate change, but the world’s governments aren’t listening. Yet the latest numbers don’t lie: Nations now plan to keep producing more coal, oil, and gas than the planet can endure.” Article by Bill McKibben
“The lag time between rising global temperatures and the knock-on impact of coastal inundation means that the world will be dealing with ever-rising sea levels into the 2300s, regardless of prompt action to address the climate crisis, according to the new study.”
→ The Guardian – 6 November 2019:
‘Like turning the Titanic around’ / Sea levels to rise for centuries even if emissions targets met
“Generations yet unborn will face rising oceans and coastal inundations into the 2300s even if governments meet climate commitments, researchers find.”
→ VICE – 25 October 2019:
U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says
“The report says a combination of global starvation, war, disease, drought, and a fragile power grid could have cascading, devastating effects.”
→ Rolling Stone – 10 August 2018:
Hothouse Earth Is Merely the Beginning of the End
“Not the end of the planet, but maybe the end of its human inhabitants.”
“Systemic problems are multiplying with breakneck speed now, and “climate change” has moved, faster than anticipated, from a heady discussion to a gut-wrenching existential issue, reverberating in our hearts. Our inner climates in response to the news and crises deserves attention as inner sea walls (trauma, social breakdown) will crash upon us too.”Vicki Robin
Movie trailer for National Geographic’s ‘Collapse’ from 2010 – about world societal collapse. www.natgeotv.com/ca/2210-thecollapse/videos/collapse-of-earth
On the Facebook page dedicated to this movie – “National Geographic: Collapse movie”
www.facebook.com/NationalGeographicCollapseMovie – the number one post asks:
“What can I do”?
“When my daughters are in their forties…”
“There is a conversation I do not know how to have, a conversation about what happens if we are heading for disaster. It is not a theoretical question for me. I have two daughters. The older has just turned 13, the younger is nine. On current projections we will pass the point at which it is possible to hold warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels before the younger has finished school. By the time she is at university the coral reefs will be gone. By the time they are in their early thirties we will be committed to two degrees. By their forties they will inhabit a world in which the ice shelfs are collapsing, the Amazon is burning, and ecosystems around the world are collapsing. A world of massive refugee flows in which hundreds of millions will die of hunger, heat, disease and the accelerating effects of social and economic breakdown.
It is difficult to see how our society could survive in anything like its current form in such a world. Five million Syrian refugees deranged Europe, a fraction of that has dramatically affected the dynamic of Australian society. What happens when tens of millions head north and south from Indonesia and equatorial or sub-Saharan Africa? When Central America or parts of India become uninhabitable? When Bangladesh and Myanmar flood? What happens when that occurs at the same time food grows scarce, water resources dry up and economic activity contracts to less than nothing as global commerce collapses?”
~ James Bradley, Unearthed: Last Days of the Anthropocene
Gail Bradbrook: The crime against humanity
“So here’s the thing. The UN Convention on Human Rights Article 2 obliges the Government to take reasonable measures to safe guard the right to life, and it includes provision of accurate information regarding threat to life. The Public have a right to information and that was established in a case law in the Convention Institutions. Now The UK Government is breaking that convention. It is not giving us accurate information and it isn’t protecting life. It isn’t protecting British people”, Gail stated with her customary calm resolve as she referred to her notes.
“The process is accelerating”
“This time delay is the reason it is so imperative we decarbonise rapidly: the accumulated effect of emissions already released will drive temperatures higher no matter what we do, and each year—each month—we delay reduces our room to move. Worse yet, this process is accelerating. Of the nearly 1600 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions humans have released into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, approximately a quarter were released across the first 200 years or so, another quarter between 1968 and 1991, another quarter between 1991 and 2007, and another quarter between 2007 and 2018.
So we have released as much CO2 into the atmosphere in the past decade as was released in the first 200 years, and half of all emissions have taken place since 1991. This means large amounts of warming—and the consequent disruption and damage—are already locked in, irrespective of what we do now. Or, as Elizabeth Kolbert has observed, ‘We are living in the climate of the past, but we’ve already determined the climate’s future.’
More disturbingly again, many of the effects of climate change are non-linear, meaning that once we pass certain critical thresholds, the climate may change rapidly and uncontrollably no matter what we do. It is possible—even likely—that we are already seeing the first stages of this process: recent studies suggest the Greenland and West Antarctic icesheets have already passed the point of no return, making their collapse inevitable.
As our experience in Australia brutally demonstrates, higher temperatures result in more fires; as trees burn they release yet more stored carbon dioxide, further elevating carbon dioxide levels and raising temperatures even higher; likewise, as forests die back, their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere diminishes. As rising temperatures melt the permafrost, it releases stored methane and carbon dioxide, raising temperatures further and causing yet more permafrost to melt. As the oceans warm, their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide falls, causing atmospheric levels to rise more rapidly.
The scale and speed of this transformation is almost incomprehensible.”
”I remember feeling physically ill when I first learned about the bleaching events that struck the Great Barrier Reef in 2016, but as the disasters have grown more frequent, I have grown less and less able to process them. It is not that I have been inured to what is going on: I am so angry about the squalor of our politics and the weakness and wickedness of our politicians I can barely speak. Instead I feel heartsick and desperate and—perhaps most of all—terrified.
After all, none of what is happening is a surprise. We have been warned, repeatedly.”
~ James Bradley, Unearthed: Last Days of the Anthropocene
. . .
“This report unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for action. The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world’s peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out.”
~ Frank Ikard — president of the American Petroleum Institute, aspeaking at an oil industry conference in 1965, describing the research into climate change caused by fossil fuels.
Doom: the mid-point between denial and regeneration…with or without us.
Post-doom: what opens up when we remember who we are, accept what is inevitable, and invest in what is pro-future and soul-nourishing.
In a conversation with Michael Dowd and his co-host Ganga Devi Braun, Deb Ozarko shares her personal evolution toward a life of activated presence in these times of social, ecological and climate collapse. The interview is part of the Post Doom Conversation series that will be released later this year on www.postdoom.com
According to Michael Dowd, creator of the Post Doom Conversation series, the theme of the Post Doom conversations is as follows:
“A foreboding sense of climate chaos, societal collapse, and ecological “doom” is now widespread. Acknowledging our predicament and working through the stages of grief takes one only to the midpoint: acceptance. What lies beyond? Michael Dowd (with occasional co-hosts) invites guests to share their personal journeys along this trajectory and especially the gifts they have found on the other side of the post-doom doorway.”
Michael describes a post-doom heart and mindset as follows:
“Living, loving, and relating honorably with full awareness that there are levels of climate chaos beyond human control, our predicament encompasses all aspects of life, human-centered measures of “progress” are ecocidal, technology and the market are false gods, and the near-term extinction of Homo colossus is both inevitable and necessary and the extinction of Homo sapiens is possible.
A post-doom mindset is a hard-earned and perhaps fluctuating state of being. For many, classic stages of grief are among the stepping stones; the darkness of despair can rarely be avoided. Nonetheless, mere acceptance of “doom” (civilizational, ecological, our own species) need not be the endpoint. Indeed, what we hope to explore in this series are possibilities other than emotional detachment, stoic resolve, and spiritual transcendence. Rather, what shifts in perception, understanding, relating, and identity become possible when we walk through a post-doom doorway? How do priorities, lifeways, and outer-world involvements shift and clarify on the other side? And how do such changes call forth genuine equanimity, even joy?”
”This is an important conversation that I feel will resonate with those who have chosen a different way in the face of biosphere collapse. Those who have chosen a path of deeper connection to their Selves and to Life—both embodied and beyond—will no longer feel so alone.
This month I offer to you a powerful conversation about Activated Presence in Times of Accelerating Collapse”: www.debozarko.com/livingactivatedpresence
We are currently seeing estimates of nearly 40% of insects in serious decline, with about one third considered endangered. In many ways, insects really are the “canary in the coal mine”, demonstrating a sign of coming environmental collapse.
Some of the more popular bugs like butterflies and bees, we know are vital to our existence, but many unsung heroes in the insect world play pivotal roles in natural systems.
Just think how many birds, reptiles and fish rely on abundant insect populations for food.
Of course insects of all kinds are also vital to soil creation, which we know is foundational for all other life on Earth.
Many experts agree, it is industrial agriculture that is mostly to blame for the plummeting insect numbers.
This is why the work of regenerative and organic agriculture is so important. Until we, as human consumers, release the toxic pressure we’ve placed upon these vulnerable beings, we are unraveling millions of years of evolution and beckoning the destruction of the natural world.
Here’s what you can do to save insects!
Plant native trees, shrubs, and plants in your yard and neighborhood.
Only use organic fertilizers, as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides can damage so much more than the targeted “pest”.
Leave areas on your lawn or garden with natural ground cover like leaves, brush, or by adding compost and mulch.
For clothing, sheets, towels, buy organic cotton products, as conventional cotton can wreak havoc on insect populations.
Don’t use bug-zappers, as they’ve been proven to not kill mosquitos effectively, but do destroy other harmless bugs. Not to mention, studies show electrocuting bugs creates a spray of airborne bacteria particles. Ew!
Create mini bug habitats on windowsills and balconies. In other words, build little gardens!
→ The Guardian – 11 February 2019:
Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’
“In mainstream economics, nature is termed as an “externality”…”
This presentation by Stuart Scott and Alison Green was delivered to the ‘Foresight Group’ of the EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, in November 2018.
Dr Alison Green’s part of the presentation is entitled: “The Sense of an Ending”. Alison Green is United Kingdom’s National Director of the Scientists Warning to Humanity.
Stuart Scott is an eco-social strategist, devising innovative projects and approaches to influence the economic and social factors destabilising the Earth’s climate and ecology. Stuart participates as an observer to the UN climate negotiations. He is known for his compelling presentations and innovative initiatives. Stuart Scott is Executive Director of the Scientists Warning to Humanity.
“The assessment of our global prospects is extremely severe. The conclusions may be upsetting and perhaps life-changing for many. But the conclusions should not be taken in lightly,” says Scott.
→ The Guardian – 31 October 2019:
The US city preparing itself for the collapse of capitalism
“From a festival that helps artists trade work for healthcare to a regional micro-currency, Kingston is trying to build an inclusive and self-sufficient local ecosystem.”
→ Eudaimonia – 20 February 2019:
The Age of Catastrophism
“Why Forces Welcoming Economic, Social, and Planatery Collapse Are Rising Around the Globe.”
“Paradoxically, it may exactly be letting go of any hope that we are going to avoid collapse, that will enable us to avoid collapse.”Charles Eisenstein
Serving life rather than death
Deep Adaptation Q&A with Charles Eisenstein hosted by Jem Bendell
Rethink the building
“We want to rethink the building as a shared space, a space we share with all the various plants, bugs, birds, the moss on the roof, the spiders in the rafters, the flowers in the graveyard. If we rethink the building in this way we can rethink the organisation into a place where we can ask the questions that contribute to the debate and understanding of what causes climate change.”
~ Anthony Roberts, CEO Colchester Arts Centre
“We have so much to do. And we must do it together.”
~ Pope Francis, in the film ‘A Man of His Word’
Sharing solutions that make the climate safer and our cities more liveable