We Need a Plan for the Transition to Renewable Energy

DAVID FRIDLEY and RICHARD HEINBERG – It seems wise to channel society’s efforts toward no-regrets strategies—efforts that shift expectations, emphasize quality of life over consumption, and reinforce community resilience. Even though it may be impossible to envision the end result of the renewable energy transition, we must seek to understand its scope and general direction.

What’s More Powerful Than a Ruling Authoritarian?

WINSLOW MYERS – Everything I do or don’t do affects you, and everything you do or don’t do affects me—authoritarians and would-be authoritarians included. That’s a wrenchingly positive enlargement of our conception of true self-interest. As a Peace Corps volunteer once said, and it cannot be repeated too often: “The earth is a sphere, and a sphere has only one side. We are all on the same side.”

The Tears of War Belong to All of Us

ROBERT KOEHLER – First you call them terrorists. Then you say you’re defending yourself. Moral problem solved! You can kill as many of them as you want. Well, maybe there will be consequences later (and maybe not), but for the moment you have overcome your own moral barriers and can start doing your job as a soldier: killing people. And in the process, you are making the world – your world, not theirs – safe. War is such a paradox: killing one’s way to peace. But apparently it’s humanity’s primary organizing principle. Citizens of America, citizens of Israel, citizens of Russia . . . citizens of the world . . . this has to change! Now is the time to end war, by which I mean transcend war: disarm, demilitarize. 

Empire Decline and Costly Delusions

RICHARD D. WOLFF – The last 40 to 50 years of the economic history of the G7 witnessed extreme redistributions of wealth and income upward. Those redistributions functioned as both causes and effects of neoliberal globalization. However, domestic reactions (economic and social divisions increasingly hostile and volatile) and foreign reactions (emergence of today’s China and BRICS) are undermining neoliberal globalization and beginning to challenge its accompanying inequalities. U.S. capitalism and its empire cannot yet face its decline amid a changing world. Delusions about retaining or regaining power at the top of society proliferate alongside delusional conspiracy theories and political scapegoating (immigrants, China, Russia) below.