Why does the sun shine? A random result of coalescing gases igniting nuclear fusion? Or is it in order to give its light and warmth to Life? Why does the rain fall? Is it the senseless product of blind chemical processes of evaporation and condensation? Or is it to water life? Why do you seek to pour forth your song? Is it to show off your genetic fitness to attract a mate, or is it to contribute to a more beautiful world? We may fear those first answers but it is the second that carries the ring of truth. Read More
Perversely, the dominant global warming narrative facilitates denialism by shifting alarm onto a defeasible scientific theory whose ultimate proof can only come when it is too late. With effects that are distant in space and time, and causally distant as well, it is much easier to deny climate change than it is to deny, say, that whale hunting kills whales, that deforestation dries up the land, that plastic is killing marine life, and so forth. By the same token, the effects of place-based ecological healing are easier to see than the climate effects of photovoltaic panels or wind turbines. The causal distance is shorter, and the effects more tangible. For example, where farmers practice soil regeneration, the water table begins to rise, springs that were dry for decades come back to life, streams begin flowing year round again, and songbirds and wildlife return to the area. This is visible without needing to trust distant scientific institutions. Read More
THE PEOPLE VS THE SCHOOL SYSTEM Read More
“I would remind you…that Socrates was executed not for his megalomania or grandiose propositions or certitudes, but for stubbornly doubting the absolute truths of others.” — John Raulston Saul
While central banks pulled out all the stops to protect the banking system, society’s tepid response to the 2008 financial crisis—both during and after—was a missed opportunity of massive proportions. We can now say, without being accused of hyperbole, that the power of finance ideology comes close to controlling human destiny and the planet’s. Fully aware as we are of Raulston Saul’s cautionary words to those who dare doubt “absolute truths”, this paper calls into fundamental question the finance ideology that now dominates our lives, and advances in its stead a radical alternative that addresses our mounting and multiple 21st Century crises. Read More
In Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World, HRH The Prince of Wales declares: “At the heart of the matter lies a crisis in our perception – the way we see and understand how the world works.”
And Albert Einstein once said, “It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”
I believe these assertions hold both important truths and great wisdom. Together they offer critical insight into the root cause of the crisis in economics and, in turn, the crises facing civilization. More than bad behavior or selfish people, or some fatal flaw in human nature, I believe it is our failed economics and reductionist finance driving our decision making that is the source of our accelerating and interconnected social, political, and ecological crises. The institutions that run the world are directed largely by good people who are victims of this crisis in perception, failing, in Prince Charles’ words, to accurately “see and understand how the world works.”
That we subscribe to flawed economic theories may seem a trivial matter. But at a time when the all-powerful global economic system is running on a theory that no longer fits the cultural realities of what human beings value and the physical realities of how the natural systems of planet earth actually work, we are in trouble. Now is such a time. We are in trouble.
Because our flawed theories of economics blind us to our impending crises and are ill-suited to addressing them—and because economics has become, in a very real sense, the universal religion of modernity—the gospel of economics is leading us towards a cliff.
We are trapped, seemingly incapable of altering course for fear of collapsing the system that is leading us to collapse. We have created for ourselves, the ultimate prisoner’s dilemma. Read More
In this paper I use the example set by Prof. Jan Szargut as point of reference for a brief look at the current state of thermodynamics—the doctrine, its reach and importance. I start with my first encounter with Prof. Jan Szargut in 1979, and I show how his work influenced mine. Next, I review the structure that underpins thermodynamics as a discipline: the laws and the self-standing phenomena that they underpin, and graphic methods that convey these principles. Along the way, I draw attention to a recent trend that is caused by the inflation in scientific publishing due to the internet: the most common mistakes and misconceptions in thermodynamics, and how they are being spread. In sum, this paper is a call to action, to value, improve and defend the science of thermodynamics. Read More
This study examines the system-deciding principle of economic rationality for its logical soundness and effects in global practice. Analysis demonstrates the fallacious structure of the underlying assumptions of homo economicus across theories and institutions, and explains how cumulative destruction of global economic, social, and ecological life systems follows from its life-blind mechanism. Higher-order concepts of life-capital, life-value efficiency, and life-good supply and demand are then defined to bring economic rationality into coherence with terrestrial and human life requirements. Read More
This essay was delivered as a commencement address at the University of California–Berkeley School of Public Health on May 17, 2015. Reflecting on events spanning from 1990 to 1999 to 2015, when I gave my first, second, and third commencement talks at the school, I discuss four notable features of our present era and offer five insights for ensuring that health equity be the guiding star to orient us all. The four notable features are: (1) growing recognition of the planetary emergency of global climate change; (2) almost daily headlines about armed conflicts and atrocities; (3) growing public awareness of and debate about epic levels of income and wealth inequalities; and (4) growing activism about police killings and, more broadly, “Black Lives Matter.” The five insights are: (1) public health is a public good, not a commodity; (2) the “tragedy of the commons” is a canard; the lack of a common good is what ails us; (3) good science is not enough, and bad science is harmful; (4) good evidence—however vital—is not enough to change the world; and (5) history is vital, because we live our history, embodied. Our goal: a just and sustainable world in which we and every being on this planet may truly thrive.
What lessons reside in the CCJ referendum failures in Antigua/Barbuda and Grenada? A resounding win in an election does not automatically translate to referendum success of one’s position. The Office of the Prime Minister is not invincible, notwithstanding its far-reaching powers. Caribbean people understand the value of checks and balances on the exercise of political power. Read More
Guess Who’s Sleeping With Our Insecurity Blanket? For many people the “military-industrial-complex (MIC)” brings to mind the top twenty weapons manufacturers. President Dwight Eisenhower, who warned about it in 1961, wanted to call it the military-industrial-congressional-complex, but decided it was not prudent to do so. Read More