Monday, September 25, 2023

Enjoying the Present, Extending the Future

Since early 2022, I have posted several times about the disturbing matter of the likely collapse of the world order in which we now live. Many of you are probably tired of hearing/thinking about that. So, here I am focusing on enjoying the present as well as extending the future of our civilization. 

We humans are prone to embrace extremes. There are many people who focus so much on the present that there is but scant consideration given to future perils. Of course, many such people are so busy with work and family there is little time to think beyond the press of daily affairs.

On the other hand, others think/worry so much about the future in light of the current ecological predicament, their present happiness is stifled. This is especially true for those who realize that TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) may soon become a reality.

Eco-anxiety is a current psychological problem for many, and especially for many younger people—and I encourage you to read this Sept. 16 article posted in the New York Times, which Thinking Friend Anton Jacobs sent me last week.

Is it possible, though, to be keenly aware of the likelihood of TEOTWAWKI in the near future and still live with joy in the present? I think so.

As in many other situations, we must seek to be firmly established in a position between the poles—in a radiant center, if you will. At the very least, we need to learn how to “toggle” between the opposites.

How can we live with enjoyment of the present while being aware of the collapse that lies ahead in the not-too-distant future?

I asked Bard (Google’s AI chatbot) for suggestions about how to live joyfully in light of the current ecological predicament.

I fully agreed with the beginning of their response: “The ecological predicament is a serious one, and it is important to be honest about the challenges we face. However, it is also important to find ways to live joyfully in the present moment.”

Indeed, that’s what we must seek to do: both to be honest in assessing the world’s ecological challenges and also to learn how to live now with a sense of joy.

Bard’s suggestions regarding how to do the latter were not bad. They included “spend time in nature,” “connect with loved ones,” “be grateful,” and “give back to others.”

(They also suggested, “do things that you enjoy,” but it didn’t seem very intelligent for AI to say the way to live joyfully in the present is to do things that you enjoy.)

Enjoying the present largely depends on not allowing the fears of the future to dominate our thinking. Rather, we must be fully present in the present for much of the time.

Knowing that industrial civilization will at some point collapse—and sooner than most people are willing to consider probable—doesn’t mean we can’t live with enjoyment in the present. We individuals, especially we older adults, know that death is coming, but we still can experience much joy now.*

But it is imperative that as we enjoy the present we don’t jeopardize the future by damaging the environment. Or, more positively, our goal should be living joyfully in the present and also doing all we can to extend the future for the coming generation(s).

While TEOTWAWKI is most likely to happen sooner than any of us want to think, human action now can push that collapse further into the future. Twenty years from now is far better than ten years, and collapse in 40 years is much to be preferred over 20 years.

What can we do to extend the future while enjoying the present? Here, very briefly, are three important things we can do in this regard:

1) Seek increasingly to practice simple living.**

2) Continue to develop good environmental practices and to encourage friends and acquaintances to do the same.

3) Work actively for the election of Senators and Representatives who have a good understanding of the current ecological predicament and who will work to enact public policies that will, indeed, help to extend the future.


* I have already dealt with this matter to some extent in “Memento Mori,” my 1/28/23 blog post, see here, and I encourage you to read that post (again).

** A helpful book in this regard is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Simple Living (2000). This book is now out of print, but several used copies (reasonably priced) are available at Abe Books. I also encourage you to read “The Shakertown Pledge: Nine Ways to Make a Difference,” my 5/5/11 article on the GoodFaithMedia website (here). 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

"Windows to God": Introducing Kelly Latimore

Perhaps many of you haven’t heard, or don’t remember, the name Kelly Latimore, but he is a man who deserves to be known because of his work as an iconographer. I am posting this article to expand the circle of those who know & appreciate Latimore’s outstanding artistic creations and what we can learn from him. 

Ruth Harder, my pastor, is finishing her work on “Stained Theology,” the name of her pastoral study grant project funded by the Louisville Institute (which you can learn more about here).

Her project grew out of concern at Rainbow Mennonite Church regarding the large stained glass window in our sanctuary, which I wrote about in my 10/10/20 blog article titled “What To Do about a White Jesus?”.

Pastor Ruth’s meticulous study has been not only about stained glass windows but also how images of Jesus in such windows and elsewhere have stained, in a negative way, theological understanding and has abetted racism and attitudes of white supremacy.

In her research, she visited Kelly Latimore in St. Louis, and while he is not directly involved with stained glass windows, he has produced many striking images of Jesus (and his birth family).

This past Sunday (Sept. 10), Kelly was the guest speaker at Rainbow Mennonite Church.*

Kelly Latimore is a youngish (b. 1986) artist who grew up as a PK (pastor’s kid) in a conservative church in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Greenville College (now University), a conservative Christian school in central Illinois. And then his religious viewpoint/understanding expanded.

From 2009-13 he lived/worked on the Good Earth Farm in Ohio as one of the Common Friars, affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It was there in 2010 that he painted his first icon.**

After Trump was elected President in 2016, the first icon he drew was “Refugees: La Sagrada Familia,” in which Latin immigrants crossing the desert depicts the holy family’s flight to Egypt. A picture of that icon is on Pope Francis’s 2018 book A Stranger and You Welcomed Me.

Kelly’s most widely known (and in some circles infamous) icon was the one titled “Mama” (pictured above). It was painted in 2020 in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Kelly and this icon, among others, was featured in a 5/5/21 Christian Century article (see here).

These two icons elicited hate mail and even death threats. Kelly says, though, that such opposition is confirmation that his “icons are preaching as they should.”

In his Sunday talk at Rainbow Church, Kelly referred to icons as “windows to God,” and his icons mainly show God and God’s actions in the world now, not in the past.

He emphasized that as an artist he must “pay attention,” and that all of us “must practice seeing.” Kelly’s icons help us to see, to engage in what he calls “holy pondering.” He also challenged us not only to see, but to become “living icons,” acting for peace and justice in this needy world.

The icons of the past, most prominent in the Eastern Orthodox Church, always portray the holy family or recognized saints with halos. Kelly’s icons are of contemporary people who have not been formally designated as saints by any Church, but they are “saints” nevertheless because they are windows to God.

His modern-day “saints” include several African Americans, such as MLK Jr., James Cone, and John Lewis. But there are also notable White saints as well: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henri Nouwen, Mr. Rogers, and Mary Oliver, for example.

Although he didn’t mention it Sunday, one of Kelly’s recent and publicized paintings is of Matthew Shepard. It is now in the Washington National Cathedral. Their website explains:

On Dec. 1, 2022, on what would have been Matthew Shepard's 46th birthday, the Cathedral dedicated a devotional portrait of Matthew Shepard by acclaimed iconographer Kelly Latimore.

I encourage you to open this link to see a picture of that portrait and the story about it.

My prayer is that we all will learn from Kelly how to see God more fully through the icons, the “windows of God” around us, and that we, too, can more and more become living icons.


* The YouTube video of that worship service is available for viewing by clicking this link, and Pastor Ruth’s introduction and Kelly’s talk begins at the 18:50 mark.

** Kelly tells about painting his first icon in this article.

NOTE: Learn/see more about Kelly’s icons by clicking this link to his website. Reproductions of his icons can be purchased by linking to “store.”  

LKS posing with Kelly on Sept. 10

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Why God Gets Angry

“When you see God getting angry in the Bible, it’s often because the poor are being mistreated.” These are the words of Matthew Desmond in the August issue of Sojourners magazine (see here).

Over the years I have written about poverty several times on this blog, but reading the Sojourners’ interview with Desmond spurred me to post here again about that troubling topic.*1

Matthew Desmond is a sociology professor at Princeton University. His first book was the Pulitzer Prize-winning Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016). His new book, Poverty, by America, was released in March. I was highly impressed by what I read in both books. 

In introducing their interview with Desmond (b. 1979/80), the editors of Sojourners note that he “is the son of a pastor, and his work is rich with spiritual metaphor and flare while founded in the material realities of poverty and the conditions that cause it.”

Indeed, rather than an outside academic studying the problem of poverty from the “ivory tower,” Desmond did his research by living among the poor for extended periods of time, becoming friends with those suffering from the many perils of poverty.

Interviewer Mitchell Atencio began by asking Desmond to comment on Gustavo Gutiérrez’s depiction of poverty.

The Peruvian liberation theologian defined poverty as “premature and unjust death,” and stated that “the poor person is someone who is treated as a non-person, someone who is considered insignificant from an economic, political, and cultural point of view.”*2

Desmond agreed, noting that “one of the leading causes of death in the United States is poverty.” For that and other reasons, Desmond declares, “I want to end poverty. I don’t want to treat it, I want to cure it. I don’t want to reduce it, I want to abolish it.”

Accordingly, he challenges his readers to join him in becoming “poverty abolitionists.”*3

The abolitionist movement was the name of the long struggle for the eradication of the enslavement of human beings mostly to do manual labor without pay.

There have also long been attempts to abolish capital punishment. The Death Penalty Information Center has a webpage titled The Abolitionist Movement, and it is, of course, about the history of attempts to abolish the death penalty.

Some people are seeking to abolish abortion. For example, the “Abolition of Abortion in Missouri Act” was introduced to the Missouri Senate last year.

Little has been said, though, about the abolition of poverty. There was, of course, “the war on poverty” launched by President Johnson in 1964. Although opposed by GOP politicians from the beginning, some positive steps to reduce poverty were made. But it soon began to lose effectiveness.

Accordingly, early in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., started the Poor People's Campaign to address what he saw as the shortcomings of the war on poverty—and his trip to Memphis where he was assassinated in April was not to struggle against racism as such, but to protest against poverty.*4

Desmond’s call for a new abolitionist movement is something that we need to take seriously. That is so for all people of goodwill and especially true for those of us who are Christians, or Jews, and take our Scripture seriously.

Reflecting on what Desmond said about why God gets angry, consider the words of the Old Testament prophets speaking for God in judgment on those who are wealthy and mistreating or neglecting the poor, words, for example, found in Isaiah 1:11~17, Ezekiel 22:29~31, and Amos 2:6-7a, 4:1-2.

If we are going to work to abolish poverty, we must work toward ridding our neighborhoods, and our churches, of segregation—not of racial segregation so much as economic segregation. Most of our neighborhoods and churches now have far more of the latter than the former.

As Desmond says, “Segregation poisons our minds and souls. When affluents live, work, play, and worship mainly alongside fellow affluents, they can grow insular, quite literally forgetting the poor.” (Poverty, p. 162).


*1 My May 20, 2015, blog article was titled “The Culture of Poverty,” and it has been one of my most accessed blog posts with over 3,000 pageviews.

*2 “50 years later, Gustavo Gutiérrez’s ‘A Theology of Liberation’ remains prophetic” is the title of an informative 8/17/23 article in America (the Jesuit review of faith and culture) about Gutiérrez and his ground-breaking book first published in English in 1973.

*3 How to Be a Poverty Abolitionist: On Matthew Desmond’s ‘Poverty, by America’” is an excellent review of Desmond’s book published on March 21 by the Los Angeles Review of Books.

*4 In 2018, William Barber II launched the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival, seeking to complete what King started 50 years earlier. (See my May 5, 2018, blog post: “Can a Barber do what a King couldn’t?”.)

Thursday, August 24, 2023

“We” Most Probably Won’t Do It

For decades now, I have had high regard for Al Gore, who served as vice president of the U.S. from 1993 to 2001 and who barely lost the presidential election in 2000. Since then, Gore, who celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this year, has been known primarily as an environmentalist.
Logo of Climate Reality Project
(started by Gore in 2006, new name in 2011)

An Inconvenient Truth is the name of Al Gore’s film about his campaign to educate people about global warming. in July 2006, June and I went with friends here in Liberty to see that powerful new documentary, which includes Gore’s slide show about environmental issues.

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was shared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Gore “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

In January 2008 I had the privilege of hearing Gore speak (and show slides), and I was highly impressed with not only what he said (and showed) but with him as a genuine, insightful person. I thought again how it was such a shame that he didn’t become POTUS in 2001.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is Gore’s 2017 film documenting his ten years of effort to combat global warming after his first film that had garnered so much publicity. (I can’t explain why June and I hadn’t watched this until last week; it certainly was well worth watching.)**

The climax of this documentary is about the Paris Agreement reached at the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP 21). On Earth Day (Apr. 22) 2016, 174 countries signed that agreement.

But Gore’s joyful hope soon turned to feelings of despair as the Trump administration announced in 2017 that the U.S. was withdrawing from the Agreement as soon as possible (in 2020).

The film, of course, doesn’t show how Pres. Biden announced on his first day in office that the U.S. was rejoining. Since then, Biden has continually pushed measures to counteract the steady and detrimental increase of global warming, in spite of constant opposition from the GOP.

But has he done enough? Perhaps he has done about as much as he could have done because of the climate change deniers, but no, he has not done nearly enough to stem the coming collapse.

Al Gore remains hopeful that “we” can solve the problem of climate change, etc. A 9/20/19 opinion piece in the New York Times is titled: “Al Gore: The Climate Crisis Is the Battle of Our Time, and We Can Win.”

Speaking at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Oct. 2021, Gore declared, “We have the solutions…. I have an enormous amount of hope about our future.”

Then last month, David Gelles published an article based on a recent interview with Gore. The NYTimes reporter stated that “the events of the past few weeks have Gore even more worried than usual.” Still, “Despite the apocalyptic weather news, Gore is also hopeful.”

Gore said in that interview, “The faster we stop burning fossil fuels and releasing other planet-warming emissions, the more quickly global temperatures can stabilize.” Further, “We know how to fix this…. We can stop the temperature going up worldwide…” (bolding added).

While these words are perhaps true, the sad fact is that in all likelihood, “we” won’t do it. All the books and films about global warming end with what we need to do. But in spite of some encouraging signs, we (meaning the vast majority of people on Earth) don’t seem to be making much progress.

Part of the Paris Agreement goal was the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere to no more than 350 ppm. In 2006 that figure was 380 and it had risen to 410 by 2017. But now in August 2023, it is 420, and it keeps going up, as is clearly seen in the following chart. 

I’m afraid the much-respected Mr. Gore is somewhat affected by “hopium” (holding on to false hopes that prevents us from accepting reality). “We” are most probably not going to prevent the coming collapse resulting from overshoot.

But we (you and I) can work to push the collapse further into the future.  


** We watched this on Amazon Prime (at a nominal charge), and then discovered that the DVD was available at our local library. In addition to the two books published with the same titles as the two movies, and several earlier books, Gore is also the author of The Assault on Reason (2007, 2017), Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis (2009), and The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change (2013).

Note: The Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence at Central Seminary in Kansas is offering a five-part course titled “Creation Care in a Changing Climate: Doing Our Part to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Please click here to learn more about this course, and if you would like to participate, you can register there. (Courses such as this can help with doing what I suggest in the last sentence of this article.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Thoughts on My 85th Birthday

Today (August 15, 2023) is my 85th birthday. That being so, I am sharing personal reflections on this milestone day. 

I am truly grateful to still be alive and “sound in mind and body.” Many don’t live this long. Three of my closest lifetime friends have been gone for years now: Bobby Pinkerton (1937~2008), Clyde Tilley (1935~2013), and Joe Wolven (1939~2015). I still miss them.

Although I am happy to say I have no illness of any kind, I am experiencing reduced activity, and especially markedly reduced travel, because of the decrease in physical energy/stamina.

At this point, I am not planning to go with June to attend our beloved grandson David’s wedding in Georgia the first of next month, and I will also likely not make the trip to south Missouri later in September for the burial of June’s only brother, who passed away early this month at the age of 88.

Thankfully, modern technology makes significant connectedness possible from the comfort of one’s own home—and for introverts such as I, being home, even home alone, is often more enjoyable than being in a crowd of people.

I can honestly say that overall, I have had a wonderful life during these 85 years. Three years ago, I published a brief book for my children and grandchildren with the subtitle The Story of My Life from Birth until My 82nd Birthday (1938~2020). The book’s title is A Wonderful Life.

As I wrote on the first page, that title “is not an evaluation I have heard from others. In fact, some may well think my life has not been particularly wonderful—and that’s all right.” The point is that I believe that I have had a wonderful life, and I am genuinely grateful for how my life has been graced.

Tomorrow and in the following weeks, I will continue revising and updating that book with the goal of publishing a new edition of it, with numbers in the subtitle changed to 85th and 2023, before the end of the year.

However, for as long as possible I want to continue focusing on the present and the future rather than the past. I plan to keep reading, thinking, and writing blog articles (and perhaps an occasional book review).

I want my grandchildren, and their children, to know something about my life story, but I am even more interested in trying to share with them knowledge and, hopefully, wisdom about the world as it is now and is likely to become.

I deeply desire to leave a meaningful legacy to my descendants, but not a legacy of material things or of things past. I hope to leave them a legacy that will encourage them to think critically, meaningfully, and creatively. I also want to motivate them to think deeply about the meaning of life.

To that end, last month I wrote a letter to my great-grandson on his first birthday, asking his parents to keep it for him to read years from now. I decided then that for as long as possible I will write a thoughtful letter to each of my family members on their birthday.

Yesterday I wrote a letter to my youngest grandson on his 16th birthday. And today I will finish writing a letter to my oldest son, whose birth on August 15 was the best birthday present I ever received.

Looking forward, I want to do all I can to help my children/grandchildren, and as many other people as possible, to think well and to choose wisely, in order that they, too, will have as wonderful a life as possible—and a life that will make a positive contribution to peace and justice in the world.  

In closing, I am sharing this little poem I have written for today:

I’m eighty-five and still alive.
The good old days have parted ways,
but days are new and joyful too. 
So, I’ll go on ‘til time is gone
with gratitude my attitude 
and faith in God until the sod 
will cover me. And then I’ll see
a blissful state, my lasting fate.


Monday, August 7, 2023

The Radiant Center Challenged by Criticism of Centrists

As many of you know, I am an advocate of what I call “the radiant center.” The last part of the last chapter of my book The Limits of Liberalism (2010, 2020) is about seeking and advocating a radiant theological center between the extremes of fundamentalism and liberalism (see pp. 317~330).

Last month, though, a man I greatly respect published an online opinion piece criticizing centrists. Naturally, I had to think about whether that was also a criticism of my strong emphasis on seeking the radiant center. 

Mitch Randall has been CEO of Good Faith Media (GFM) since July 2020. GFM evolved from what once was the Southern Baptist Convention’s Christian Life Commission (CLC), which I highly evaluated and appreciated in the 1960s through the 1980s.*1

Randall began his July 20 article by asserting, “The greatest enemy of freedom is not white Christian nationalists breaching the U.S. Capitol. It’s white moderate — now centrist — Christian males advocating for civility over justice.” He immediately moves to MLKing’s powerful writing 60 years ago.

On April 12, 1963, King’s “The Letter from the Birmingham Jail” was published. In that pointed letter, King wrote that “the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White citizens’ ‘Councilor’ or the Ku Klux Klanner.”

No, that stumbling block is “the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

I fully agree with King’s emphasis on positive peace and the necessity of justice. But it seems quite clear to me that King was also a centrist in that he was firmly between the extremes of doing nothing and of acting violently. He did not engage in the extremism of Malcolm X or the Black Panthers.

There are some who say that it was the extremism of the violent Blacks that made it possible for King to be so effective, but it is hard to know whether that was so. What we do know is that King had the “strength to love” and used those words for the title of his influential book also published in 1963.

Since I oppose the extremes of doing nothing and violent action, I guess I could be called a White centrist Christian. But according to Randall, such centrists “have done more to thwart the progress of faith and freedom than any fascist or anarchist.”

Moreover, Randall charges that such centrists “decry those demanding justice for the isolated, marginalized and oppressed” and they brand people like him as extreme because he advocates “for inclusion, affirmation, and equality for all of God’s children.” 

But I want to remind Randall that the center is quite wide, and the radiant center I advocate for ethics as well as for theology includes those things he so strongly calls for.

There are some who want the justice, the inclusion, the affirmation, and the equality that Randall desires but who are willing to use violent action to seek those good ends. However, I haven’t seen Randall advocate such violence, so I would place him, just as I did MLK, in the radiant center.

Seeking the radiant center doesn’t mean embracing “bothsideism.” When the opposing extremes are vacuous inactivity and violent action, the radiant center calls for “neithersideism.”*2

I have often emphasized the importance of both/and thinking. But there are also times that the emphasis needs to be on neither/nor. The radiant center often stresses the latter. So, in considering the radiant center with reference to ethics as well as theology, these words still are applicable:

The radiant center radiates the heat (passion and compassion) and light of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the gospel about Jesus. The radiant center is engaged, for light does not stay in the bulb nor heat in the radiator. Radiance entails engagement.*3

Yes, being in the radiant center means actively engaging in efforts to produce peace and justice for all, which usually means moving to the far left side of that center—and I appreciate Mitch Randall for criticizing those centrists who are on the far right and are not radiant.  


*1 When the CLC was significantly changed (and later renamed) as a part of the conservative takeover of the SBC, the Baptist Center for Ethics was formed in 1991 by former Southern Baptists who had established the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship the year before, and in 2017 Randall became the second director of that organization, which is now GFM.

*2 I don’t remember ever seeing/hearing the word “neithersideism,” so I thought maybe I was coining a new word. But in searching the Internet, I soon found that journalist Matt Labash subtitled his 4/21/22 Substack article “The case for Neithersideism.”

*3 The Limits of Liberalism: A Historical, Theological, and Personal Appraisal of Christian Liberalism (2020), p. 329.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Living/Dying in the Capitalocene

The term Anthropocene is increasingly being recognized as a proper term to depict the current geological era, replacing the long-used term Holocene, the era that began some 11,650 years ago. This new term was helpfully explained in an article about two new movies that opened last week.*

Theologian Joerg Rieger, however, thinks there is a more accurate term to use for the present age, and he writes about that in his new book.

Joerg Rieger is a professor of theology at Vanderbilt University. He was born in Germany and will celebrate his 60th birthday next week. An ordained Methodist minister, Rieger had already authored/edited 20 books when he joined the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2016. 

Theology in the Capitalocene: Ecology, Identity, Class, and Solidarity (2022) is the title of Rieger’s significant new book. Since I am also writing a review of it,** I asked GPT chat for help. Here is how they described the book:

Theology in the Capitalocene by Joerg Rieger is an important and thought-provoking book that offers a critical examination of the intersection of theology and capitalism in the context of the Anthropocene era.

Rieger’s book is not a quick read nor is it easy to digest all of his salient emphases. One criticism I have of his valuable book is the overabundance of references to other scholarly works.

This would be an excellent book for doctoral students writing their dissertations on related issues. But it may be overwhelming for the general public. And even I, who finished a doctoral dissertation over fifty-five years ago (though in a far different field), found his book challenging.

Here are some of Rieger’s main emphases that are worth serious consideration, and I am grateful to him for introducing each of these.

* Emphasis on the importance, and neglect of serious consideration of, “unpaid reproductive labor” that is directly linked to discrimination against women.

* Emphasis on the distinction between power and privilege. This has ramifications that are often overlooked.

* Emphasis on class as a societal structure rather than “classism,” which is largely based on stereotypes.

* Emphasis on “deep solidarity.” I have long thought that solidarity is something that we who are privileged, to whatever degree, can choose out of loving concern by becoming allies of those who are “underprivileged.”

While there may be reason to retain some of that emphasis, Rieger stresses that solidarity is a fact that needs to be acknowledged rather than something chosen in an over/under relationship.

All of these, as well as his prevalent emphasis on ecological concerns, are related to the pernicious power of capitalism in the present world.

My main criticism of Rieger’s book is his apparent belief that the serious ecological predicament facing the world today is a problem that can be solved. His position contrasts with what I have written over the past eighteen months about overshoot and the collapse of civilization.

Most scholars who are currently university professors and embrace deep ecological concerns hold the same position that Rieger does. The following words spoken in the 1930s are still quite relevant and true today: 

I can certainly understand why one in Rieger’s position would not want to publicly talk about the possible “end of the world as we know it” in a decade or two. If they believed that to be true, most high school students would likely decide that there would be no use going to college.

Rieger does show considerable compassion for the people who are suffering now because of capitalism as well as for the natural world that is being ravaged by the forces of capitalism, and I appreciate that concern.

Still, there needs to be more awareness that we who are now living in the Capitalocene era will soon be seeing massive numbers of people (and non-human life) dying in this present age because of the ever-expanding predicament produced by capitalism.


* See “‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ tell the same terrifying story,” an intriguing July 19 opinion piece in The Washington Post.

** Last month I received a free Kindle copy of Rieger’s book by promising to write a blog article and/or review of it. The promise was made to Mike Morrell, who operates “Speakeasy,” a website that offers “quality books in exchange for candid reviews.” Here is the link to the rather long review I have written, subject to further revision. Among other things, that review amplifies the too-brief treatment of Rieger’s emphases given above.