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Transforming to an Ecological Civilization: The Alternative Is Unthinkable

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/02/19/transforming-ecological-civilization-alternative-unthinkable


Thank you. MORE, please! Some of us here, worry: If THIS “Democratic administration were resoundingly successful on all fronts,” we’ll be on a diametrically opposite course! Extraction, rent-seeking, neo-liberal Catastrophe Capitalism has demonstrated what’s in store, as the rich feed essential workers to wave after wave of blatantly UN-natural crises? As ISDS Panels dictate autocratic duopoly & block any sane remedy; co-opt & cynically spin easily workable solutions & complicit media distracts, obfuscates, ignores or simply repeats corporate lies, to increase insane income disparity.






Agreed more of these types of articles and less of the “republicans are bad and Democrats are good” type articles should be posted here.

We need to evolve ourselves away from the dead end that is Capitalism and as a corollary to that away from Political Parties that support Capitalism and “GDP Growth”. There can be no progress unless Capitalism dismantled.


For sure SP.

Yup - the writing is on the wall for Biden - business as usual.


Change may have to come from below, like that US farmer on the regenerative agriculture article.

We are beating a dead horse with Biden.


Very interesting. Thanks for publishing this.

One practical thing that I see coming, and that is going to be a huge task, so we should soon stop making things worse, is urban sprawl. A more compact city has two basic advantages. It is more energy efficient, and it leaves more land open for stuff, including food, to grow and suck up carbon from the atmosphere.

Picture for instance a living space with 2000 sq ft. If this is a stand-alone, single-family house, it has to be insulated on all sides to achieve anything like energy efficiency. If that 2000 sq ft is a 40x50 portion of a floor in a multi-story building, then only one or two (corners) sides of the cube is exposed to the outside. The rest share a wall or floor with other interior space. Plus, large heating and cooling systems can be more efficient than smaller ones. Of course, in a city of multi-story buildings, it takes less energy to travel to work or shops or entertainment, which would be nearer in distance. You might even be able to walk.

Urban sprawl is a relatively recent phenomena in human history. It only began with the age of oil around the beginning of the 20th century. But, transforming the basic physical structure of our cities that has built up over the last 100 years is going to be a very large task. And in a country that tries to overthrow the government when told they need to wear a mask for the public health, convincing people to give up remote, single-family homes is going to take awhile. This is why I see this change as one of the major challenges facing an America that is number one in the world in urban sprawl.

And no, I don’t expect Joe Biden or the Democrats to take a single step in this direction. With their power base around the cities, the Democrats are in many places the party of the property developers.


My cynical brain reads the last part and responds … “Change ALWAYS comes from below.”

There are in history occasional, rare exceptions of enlightened rulers, but the modern world appears to make sure that such people can no longer rise to power.

There is of course the famous Margaret Mead quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”


Yea - OK - agree entirely.

Let’s nominate that regenerative rancher in “Kiss the Ground” for a Nobel Prize, and if there isn’t one in that category - why not ?


Oh, and thanks for the movie recommendation. I think that’s the flick for the evening. I was already interested, then I saw Woody Harrelson was doing it and thought that anything he’s promoting is usually at least worth listening to.

If there isn’t a category for “Saving the Planet”, then we should put his name in for Peace Prize. I haven’t seen the film yet, but anything moving this world towards renewing and sustaining nature is a a path towards peace.

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It’s awesome HV - hope you like it as much as I did.

Yes, but who is this royal “we” to whom this article keeps referring? That is not a satirical question; it is in fact the nub of the problem!


A very frustrating read. A mixture of true insight and naive reformism.

the recognition of the deep interconnectedness of all things.

Marxist materialism has at its basis a monist philosophy.

The World Socialist Movement incorporates the demand for fundamental change in the way run society.

It is worth look at as a reminder of what real revolution should lead towards


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Very interesting and productive.

Sorry to be the “Debbie Downer”, but I saw no plan to take down neoliberal capitalism in this article. Without that first step, we’re putting the cart before the horse, and none of these good ideas will come to light.


To change capitalism you must change the sponsoring beliefs behind it.

These are part of our cultural story ,myths that have never been seriously challenged.

The whole idea is based on our separation as individuals with the natural world and each other ; Disunity and the equally damaging thought of not enough to go around ; Insufficiency .

These twin illusions are central to our whole economic system.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”


I would suggest this would only work in a just world, something we don’t live in. Capitalism was designed by the rich, to benefit the rich, for them it will never be obsolete. They will not allow the system to go the way of the Whigs without a major fight. Thinking just building a better model, will do the trick isn’t going to get us there imo.


Oh how right you are!

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Bravo to CD! In the survey I filled out only days ago, I suggested–please! How about some hope and positivity! And CD comes through. More of these articles, please!!! Indeed!!!

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Kinda makes you wonder, just WHO benefits, as goalposts shift, heros declared villans and new thugs take their place with reality infotainment show-trials? I had been standing beside a well placed person from a gas company who was itching to weld up a pipeline & promote fracking in NY, as they were funding Cynthia Nixon (whom I like) to divide Cuomo’s vote (it didn’t work, but was instructive to see?)

~https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-02-19/cuomo-s-covid-19-death-count-problem-goes-beyond-nursing-homes (something else posted here by several of us; which DNC trolls “corrected” with CNN/ MSNBC utter fucking lies, cynically cut & past by lefty blogs). Mind you: Bloomberg, Gates, Bezos simply BUY out honest sources.

~https://www.grubstreet.com/2021/02/nyc-indoor-dining-35-percent-increase.html (Mmmm… GREEN beer pee!)

Food for thought! Kind of blows the mind! Twists and turns and spinning lies…

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When NYC had ~24.7K dead from COVID (of 35K “excess fatalities”) they were spouting 17-19K each and every day, spewing glib, self-aggrandizing bullshit; when LIES were quite literally killing people: Anthony, Oxiris & de Basio were saying shit on EVERY media forum, daily, that were eliciting almost EXACTLY the wrong results (that we’d been correctly informed by Asian, Italian, Iranian and our own clinicians?) Now, they’ve simply LIED to teachers about the exact same long verified, information, to ensure Mr Market’s feeding frenzy (Plague OVER, back to NORMAL, where’s my brunch!)