It’s the End of the World and I Don’t Have Much New to Say

“Abrupt climate change is careening out of control, as the impacts of dramatic polar ice melt are given short shrift… Not a lot of new land is being made, and much of what remains is tawdry remnants of their former productive glory… And the middle class and political moderation are fading away. It is difficult to imagine how this can end in anything but utter and total collapse.” — Dr. Glen Barry

We are all in this together

We are all in this together

After decades of writing essays highlighting global ecosystem collapse, I haven’t had much to say lately. That’s not meant to suggest that I don’t care, the threats to our very being have diminished, or that I am not still taking action for Earth.

But as the World comes to an end, I just don’t have much new to say.

Over the years I have written hundreds of essays. Recently my thoughts were about as poignantly put as I am able in The Ecology Ethic and Absolute Radical Green Freedom. There my central theses of all these years can be found: Earth is dying from ecosystem loss and climate change, only a profound cultural transition can save us, and economic decline, mass migration, and the rise of fascism are indicators of looming global ecological collapse.

It’s not even that I have become jaded or immobilized. I continue to develop machine learning systems to catalogue, and identify and network solutions, from Earth’s ecological information. Much will be unveiled on this soon (see https://search.ecointernet.org/ and https://www.twitter.com/ecointernet3 for an early start).

But as I age I have become more pragmatic. Very few societal changes have come about until the elite see it is in their interest and embrace change out of the need for self-preservation. I am working hard to connect with and understand global economics, looking for ways to build bridges between deep ecology and sustainable commerce. Thus I work a gratifying day job in finance to pay for my decades of past activism.

Clearly things are worsening ecologically, economically, and socially. Abrupt climate change is careening out of control, as the impacts of dramatic polar ice melt are given short shrift. A relatively large amount of heat is required to melt ice. Once the “air conditioning” provided by this ice is gone, extra heat will dramatically warm oceans and land, orders of magnitude beyond the already calamitous warming already occurring.

Not a lot of new land is being made, and much of what remains is tawdry remnants of their former productive glory. Large naturally evolved ecosystems that power the biosphere are almost gone. The majority of the human family continues to focus upon serving invisible ghosts in the sky and buying more things, rather than concerning themselves with sustaining their shared habitat and thus community well-being.

Global economic inequity has reached obscene levels. A sizeable minority lives in cocooned techno-splendor, dying from over-consumption; as the majority barely gets by, many scrounging a miserable existence from industrially plundered environments.

And the middle class and political moderation are fading away. It is difficult to imagine how this can end in anything but utter and total collapse.

How long before the have-nots come to take what they need from those that have-so-much extra? Facebook friends will not be there to save you.

As we invest consider taking long positions in land, water, air, and food; and shorting fossil fuels, armaments, and spying. By doing so together we sustain a just, equitable, and free Earth; and we may benefit personally from funding solutions to our existential threats.

I do not think it is possible or necessary to seek perfection. But there is so much we can do individually and together to dramatically reduce the impact upon a sick Earth. Drive and fly, eat meat, and buy stuff way less. And find community, make peace, and share way more.

Recommit to humanity’s continual quest for self-improvement. Basic advances in the human condition such as slavery, racism, sexism, and militarism which nearly ended are once again threats due to profound ignorance, sloth, and greed.

We are all in this together. Resist the coming new Dark Age through love and connectedness with nature and fellow beings.

The three billion plus year old naturally evolved Earth is a masterpiece. The works of the hairless monkey with opposable thumbs are profoundly brilliant. We must continue our evolution, and doing so requires returning to our animalness, and relearning the most basic rule of all life: not fouling the nest in which you live.

Often I imagine a peaceful, thriving, loving humanity living enmeshed within rewilded nature abounding with old forests, rich gardens, and wildlife. I beseech you to make love not war, advancement not profit, equity not misery, ecology not ruin, justice not elitism, liberty not authoritarianism, respect not intolerance, knowledge not ignorance; and once again together strive for shared betterment.

Not sure how new this was. But I guess I had something to say after all.

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18 Responses

  1. Bob Oort says:

    Dear Dr. Glen Barry,
    I am a subscriber to your newsletters. Thank you for your latests issue and all the work you do of concern for our ecosystem and humamity.

  2. Phil says:

    Hello Dr Barry,

    I have just read your latest essay and I agree with you. No Doubt you have thought that once this current

    Bunch of not sure what the word is, I wont say leaders. How about people how are in control to a large extent, move on and are replaced by a kinder, more humane and enviomentally concise group of people, this planet and all her glory might bounce back? I think she would just the same, proving mother nature is always in control.

    I look at society in general and see a lot of negative. That is what is on the news mostly these days. Yet I tell myself

    And see there are people like yourself who do put a lot of effect into caring for this world. It is scary indeed when I see a person who becomes the head of a country and wants to open up the Amazon forest to big business! And the person right now who denys climate change exists……They live in their own little bubble and are blind to the

    Realities of our planet and society.

    Yet another person who buys a pipeline just to appease his oil rich donors and to get votes!

    Buys that pipeine with tax payers money!

    I hope there comes a day when society in general, and the planet will be in a better state.

    I look forward to your next essay.

    Regards,

    Phil

  3. Johan Streulens says:

    How explain the the younger once? Knowing, educated somehow, but being worse then the older generations leaving “unknown” their mess behind? Younger KNOW what mess they create..but DOESN’T care at all..only with words, active=0! Those “kids” , “adults” being , don’t care at all! Being spoiled..is the only reason. A future to have for adults or today’s kids? Booth are responsible! So:No one cares at all about future generation “having” already! Give an iPhone and grandchildren will applaud it! No matter the “negative” from 1 iPhone can cost.. ( or what ever product..) Future? America, Europe wanted it “all”..now it’s Russia, China, India, S-America, Africa..wanting the same! Why not? They have rights too, to have it all! There isn’t a “stopping” to want it all..like we have..spoiling the earth a great part! Shearing our luxury worldwide? No future at all, for no one! Those having it all..not wanting to share, and those wanting it all also..only having it today, but also not sharing at all! Human being..you know? Selfish today! Never thinking about their own children, grandchildren future to “have” to live in! Only “today” being happy together! Future? Who give’s a dime!!! Being in a grave..

  4. Rudy Haugeneder says:

    Good to hear your message again. It means hope continues to exist. And try to enjoy a few of the season’s fun tributes. Your family deserves them. Cheers:

  5. Hello Glen,

    Thank you for continuing to articulate your passion for our planet’s healing even as you struggle – like all awake people are now – to hold on to faith that we may yet connect to each other in the synergistic ways required to set Space Ship Earth aright.

    I have provided a link to your work at this page in my own website: http://imaginepeaceandplenty.com/climate-action and will be forwarding your current article as a link to your site in an email to my website’s readers soon.

    I know it is cliche to say “The darkest hour is before the dawn”. But it is a Truth and one I will hold fast to as I look with you – and listen for Guidance from within – to find our way forward to the realization of our shared vision of a world of Peace and Plenty for all.

    With Appreciation and Warm Regards,
    Chris

    Christopher Gruener MA, LMHC
    617-965-6552
    http://www.crossroads-counseling-services.com
    chris.gruener@comcast.net
    imaginepeaceandplenty@gmail.com

  6. Dear Dr. Barry,
    Fortunately the world hasn’t ended quite yet, and your wisdom hasn’t ended, either.
    Thank you for persisting in writing the truth; we need the encouragement to counter “alternative truths”.
    Richard

  7. Alan says:

    Dear Sir,

    Regarding, “It’s the End of the World and I Don’t Have Much New To Say”

    Very Very Well Said, well done and Thank You.

    Regards,
    Alan

  8. Richard says:

    Dear Dr. Barry,

    With your writing you have created the connectedness about which you have written. Please continue.

    Richard

  9. Anonymous says:

    Obviously, I couldn’t have said the following better, else wise I would have. xoxoxoxoxxoxo

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi Glen
    “Thus I am working hard to connect with and understand global economics, looking for ways to build bridges between deep ecology and sustainable commerce. Thus I work a gratifying day job in finance to pay for my decades of past activism.”

    A day job in finance?

    Wow, really? Doing what? I would have thought that was highly weird, dystopian, an oxymoron for an ecologist!

    These are the sort of bridges we need to be building, prep for The Ecological Singularity or prep for die-off, IMO…!

    https://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/living-bridges-in-india-have-grown-for-500-years-pics.html

    Regards

    Ted
    New Zealand

  11. Anonymous says:

    Probably you are aware of Bjorn Lomborg. I find him constructive. In dialogue here with the anti-nihilist psychologist Jordan Peterson : https://www.youtube.com

  12. Gaby says:

    Hi Glen, it’s the first time I have replied to your emails, I really like what you have done and are doing. This is something that has just recently emerged here in Australia and I wanted to share it with you:
    https://www.australiaremade.org/
    I wish I could donate but my funds are low due to our fight against ADANI here in Australia.
    Thanks for all you are doing
    Regards
    Gaby

  13. Sarah says:

    Hi Dr Barry,
    I agree with much of what you write and have appreciated your writing and email actions over the years.
    I am deeply sad about what I see, am still an active activist, and try to look for the beauty and love in the earth and with nature and particular people and other animal friends.
    We go on and do out best.
    Warm regards, Sarah

  14. Rod Silvers says:

    Please take note of Paul Hawken’s book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. https://www.drawdown.org

  15. Alan says:

    Hi Glen,

    Yes, the situation is pretty desperate: I think the melting permafrost across the Arctic with release of massive volumes of Methane, as well as collapse of large terrestrial coastal areas into the sea here, is probably on a par with the polar ice melt and, collectively, are providing positive feed backs to the global warming situation.

    And the way things are going in the early stages of the COP24 Conference in Poland, I don’t hold much hope to it being a helpful successor to COP 21 – 23.

    350.org is now being succeeded by the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ as it gathers support around the globe among the concerned public, but politicians seem oblivious and unmoved by such messages and the Paris/French rebellion against Macron’s attempt to curb fossil fuel use by raising prices through increased taxation sends a really bad message about the public’s concern for global warming and associated climate change eh!

    Where do we go from here eh! Sadly, Alan

  16. Dan says:

    Bravo Dr. Barry,

    You have hit on the most effective recipe in my humble opinion. We too, at
    e-Awakening.com, have struggled to do what we can to “Save” this wonderful earth, through our videos that shine a spotlight on environmental heroes here in our local area near Boston MA. This is a short example of our work xsv89nayqb

    KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! And thanks for making it as positive as possible. There is hope… In order to reach the masses, where the hope is, we must give them hope along with the truth.

    If you are ever in the Boston area we would love to do an interview with you for our website and the cable shows we do here in Abington MA. We are trying to make local cable the Voice of America.

    Loved the essay!

  17. Julian says:

    Respect to you. had you not written all else that you had, you might not have written this latest, which I shall be forwarding with gratitude.

    Yours,

    Julian

  18. Jan says:

    thanks glen, I see the same fate for the earth and life. it was
    great while it lasted. many of us began living simply back in the
    early ’70’s. I mistakenly thought all humans were seeing the
    necessity of reducing population and consumption sooner rather than
    later. I came to realize people were caught up in the anxiety of our
    society and unable to even know how to live in a natural world. these
    people are like aliens on earth. I too, will continue working on
    whatever I can; such as advocating issues in the following……..

    LIES ABOUT WESTERN FIRES
    My teeth clench when I hear the “foresters” who taught people how to
    exploit the forests, now explain how to “man-age” them to avoid fire.
    Journalist interviewers don’t know enough to question what they are
    told, and politicians parrot the same propaganda.

    While the California fires were not fires in forests, Trump is right
    about bad forest management being responsible for forest fires. Of
    course, the problem is not what he thinks. The original sin was clear
    cutting the continent east to west. Everything now suggested is a
    desperate attempt to mitigate that. It is not easy to get a fire to
    rage through a big, old, closed canopy forest. Old forests are cool
    and retain moisture.

    Forest “man-agers” are promoting the idea of thinning and prescribed
    burning of undergrowth in a vain attempt to imitate those mature
    native forests. When I was taking OSU forestry classes, we toured a
    property completely devoid of undergrowth. The fir trees were
    actually evenly spaced in rows. This was their idea of model forest
    regrowth, and I was strongly rebuked for saying it was not a forest
    but a tree farm.

    Oregon’s climate plan talks about emission controls and glaringly
    avoids deforestation. We need to keep saying that chopping forests is
    a massive contributor to carbon buildup in our atmosphere. Despite
    industry propaganda, several hundred young replanted trees per acre do
    not absorb the carbon of the enormous old original trees. The
    undergrowth in a natural forest not only also absorbs carbon, but is
    alive with habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, all kinds
    of insects and fungi, and micro-organisms; synergistically making a
    real biodiverse forest We have such a forest on our property. Be
    very skeptical of so-called foresters whose jobs depend on their
    latest “forest health” promotions. The practices they promote may
    actually create deadscapes.

    jan

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