Making Sense Of Collapse: Funeral Procession Or Party Time?

Dandelion Salad

By Carolyn Baker
Speaking Truth to Power
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

[Correction: It was actually Pat Meadows, as quoted by Sharon Astyk, who originated the “theory of anyway”.–CB]

In his most recent post, Richard Heinberg asks “How Do You Like Collapse So Far?” and also asks why we should think or talk about collapse if there’s nothing we can do about it? He suggests that in the face of the gargantuan unraveling over which we have very little power, keeping in mind what it is about our species that is worth saving is a salutary emotional and spiritual practice. In fact he says, “…there may in fact be only one occupation worthy of our attention: that of identifying the qualities that make our species worth saving, and then celebrating and exemplifying those qualities. If we concentrate on doing that, perhaps we win no matter what. Outwardly, it will probably look a lot like what many of us are already doing: working to save a species, an ecosystem, a human community; to make a village sustainable, or to halt a new coal power plant.”

What Heinberg states here is exactly what many other collapse watchers have been up to for the past several years. We look at the truth, we feel it, we act. As we take action, we do not do so naively believing that any particular action or several actions taken even by masses of individuals will prevent collapse, but we do it because it’s the right thing to do-that is, acting according to what Sharon Astyk calls “The Theory Of Anyway.”


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  1. Pingback: Our Killing Culture by Dabra Grant « Dandelion Salad

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