My denial of our ecological predicament was punctured when I reviewed the evidence, as interpreted primarily by climate scientists like James Hansen, Michael Mann, and Kevin Anderson, and by expert journalists like Bill McKibben and Katherine Kolbert. And my sobriety has been deepened by deep study of the intelligent conversations going on among ecologists who have projected current trends and concluded that it is too late to avert civilization-level disasters. Although I don’t share their certainty of collapse, you can outgrow denialism and gain gravitas by listening openly, honestly, and carefully to their perspectives.
- My friends Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow (thegreatstory.org) exited their conventional lives and partnered in a life of full-time evolutionary evangelism almost a decade ago. Since then, they have crisscrossed America in their van, recently focusing exclusively on our climate emergency. Their Deep Sustainability web page (thegreatstory.org/sustainability-audios.html) includes links to articles and books and especially an extensive library of audio files of Michael reading dozens of books by authors ranging from William Catton to Richard Heinberg to John Michael Greer clarifying and exploring the implacable nature of Earth’s biological and geological limits and their expectation that we are entering a post-industrial “eco-technic” future that retains scientific knowledge but in many ways resembles the pre-industrial past. Michael was the Virgil who guided my descent into an unblinking apprehension of the enormity and intractability of our ecological predicament.
- Carolyn Baker (carolynbaker.net) is a psychologist, futurist, community organizer and environmental activist who concluded some years ago that industrial civilization is already in the process of collapse, and set about trying to help people navigate the enormous psychological and spiritual adjustment to that reality. Through her webinars, podcasts, live workshops, books, and articles, as well as one-on-one life coaching, Carolyn creates “islands of sanity” among people preparing for the dire consequences of the collapse of industrial civilization and abrupt climate change. She also publishes a comprehensive Daily News Digest.
- John Michael Greer (ecosophia.net) is acknowledged as the Archdruid of two American Druidic organization and long authored the widely-read weekly blog, The Archdruid Report, as well as more than thirty books on a wide range of subjects, including peak oil and the future of industrial society. He sneers at techno-optimism as he envisions The Eco-technic Future, a Dark Age America, and recommends we Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush.
- Radical environmentalist Derrick Jenson (derrickjensen.org) is a coauthor of Deep Green Resistance, and the author of Endgame, The Culture of Make Believe, A Language Older than Words, many other books, and is widely published in many general circulation publications. A scholar, soulful visionary, and radical activist committed to “the non-human world” he advocates radical and mostly but not absolutely nonviolent direct action.
- This section ends on a much more hopeful note with the Inspiring Transition Initiative (inspiringtransition.net) initiative, an open community that recognizes the grim severity of our global ecological emergency and the necessity for whole-system change to transition to a life-sustaining society. Convener Andrew Gaines and his friends have definitely not given up though, and work to equip others to become “citizen educators” but not with any centralized direction. Their website provides ready-to-use tools, including sample emails, guerrilla marketing, presentations, workshops, and focused “Kitchen Table Conversations”.