Winner of two awards at Sundance and nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, Diane Bell’s ravishingly beautiful debut feature OBSELIDIA tells the story of lonely George, a man out of step with the 21st century who is writing an encyclopedia of obsolete things. On his quest to catalogue endangered occupations, he meets Sophie, a cinema projectionist at a silent movie theater, and together they journey to the desert of Death Valley to interview a maverick climate scientist who is predicting the eminent end of the world. Part road movie, part love story, OBSELIDIA is an intelligent, thought-provoking bittersweet meditation on loss and how we live with it – given that everything we love is going to end.
Naresh Giangrande, co-founder of the Transition Movement, in conversation with Richard Swift, author of “SOS Alternatives to Capitalism” and an editor of the New Internationalist magazine. Brought together in the Caribbean island of Dominica, with Earthbooktv’s Jessica Canham and Timothy Speaks Fishleigh at the Earthbook retreat centre in the mountains of Dominica.
The economist Raúl Ilargi Meijer wrote an interesting essay explaining why there is a Donald Trump in September. He credited Trump’s rise to “the most important global development in decades.”
That development, says Meijer, is “the end of global economic growth, which will lead inexorably to the end of centralization (including globalization). It will also mean the end of the existence of most, and especially the most powerful, international institutions.”
“In the same way it will be the end of — almost — all traditional political parties, which have ruled their countries for decades and are already today at or near record low support levels (if you’re not clear on what’s going on, look there, look at Europe!),” he wrote.
“This is not a matter of what anyone, or any group of people, might want or prefer, it’s a matter of ‘forces’ that are beyond our control, that are bigger and more far-reaching than our mere opinions, even though they may be man-made.”
The end of growth is tied inexorably to the deplorable quality of energy now being fracked and mined in North America. Bitumen and fracked oil just can’t support rich societies because these poor resources invite debt, environmental ruin and poor returns.
If you’ve been following (and supporting, I hope) our project for more than a year, you’re probably familiar with our tradition of holding a free, worldwide screening of GrowthBusters every Black Friday. It’s been our way of pushing back on the overwhelming consumerist pressure in reporting and advertising that accompany that day.
Free Black Friday Screening Expands to 10 Days
This year I’m making it easier than ever for you to see and share the film. From November 23 to December 2 you can stream the film at any time, at no cost. You can watch it on any connected device. You can invite friends over for a viewing party at a day and time that suits you. You can elect your growth-addicted elected officials, journalists, clergy, and college professors to see the film. If you don’t want them in your living room, just share this free screening link and urge them to watch.
Are you optimistic about technology? Let’s talk about why. Could the majority of our proposed technological solutions be doing little more than kicking the can down the road towards ecological collapse? Politicians and economists speak of the ability for technological innovation to boost and grow economies, yet where does their techno optimism come from? Do technologies hold intrinsic values or are they neutral tools that are misused by a species with the wrong intentions?
In Extraenvironmentalist #37 we discuss technological optimism with Dr. Michael Huesemann. Michael explains his fifteen year study into environmental science and philosophies of technology as outlined in his recent book Techno-Fix, co-written with his wife Joyce Huesemann.
The growth economy is historically relatively recent, and is now consuming 1.5 Earths and growing. Compound interest is sucking the lifeblood out of the real economy, from households to countries. Mike Lewis, co-author of The Resilience Imperative, tells the story of the successful JAK cooperative Bank in Sweden, which is based on saving on behalf of others and uses only simple interest. It’s one example from the book which illuminates “alternate pathways to move from a growth imperative to a resilience imperative… It presumes we will transition ourselves back to one Earth and find a different way of dealing with a number of ways we meet our basic needs — whether it’s with food, energy, shelter, land, or finance (an important part of the problem).”
Transition initiatives share many of the same goals as other groups, and works collaboratively with a variety of organizations in their local areas. Transition differs in that it focuses specifically on preparing communities for the changes associated with unprecedented resource depletion and transitioning away from fossil-fuel dependency.
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark