Citizen Action Monitor

If worrying about climate change, resource depletion, species extinction is crazy… – Nate Hagens (42)

… then we have temporarily confused crazy and sane, and we need a lot more crazy.

No 2324 Posted by fw, July 1, 2018

To access links to all other posts in this series, click on the Tab titled “Where Are We Going? by Dr. Nate Hagens” in the top left margin.

“If worrying about the 6th mass extinction, energy descent, limits to growth and the coming Great Simplification makes one crazy, well perhaps the world needs a whole lot more crazy. We have temporarily confused crazy and sane.”  —Resilience.org 

In yesterday’s post, Pt. 41, continuum 40, Dr. Hagens made the case that, given what’s coming, “this end of growth thing,” choosing to look out for oneself is a non-starter. It’s far more likely that, in a crisis situation, caring Americans would immediately think — “What can I do for my community?

In today’s post, Pt. 42, continuum 41, the editor of Resilience.org considers that Americans are so often seduced and misinformed by simple stories, that people warning about coming crises are likely to be dismissed as crazy. But to be warned of coming environmental catastrophes may be the only path to sanity.

Below is the embedded video of Hagens’ 60-minute address, followed by an 18-minute Q&A session. My transcript of Pt. 42, continuum 41, runs from 54:00 to 54:34.

Alternatively, a video of Hagens’ talk, along with a “loosely related” essay on the talk, are available by clicking on the following linked title. This version, published by Resilience.org, also includes excellent readers’ comments, including responses by Hagens.

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Where are we going? by Nate Hagens, Resilience.org, May 8, 2018

TRANSCRIPT (from 54:00 to 54:34)

[THE INDIVIDUAL] –

54:00[Continuum 41: Crazy vs Sane] A lot of the things I’m talking about, if we’re worried about the Sixth Mass Extinction and climate change and resource depletion – and you talk about these things, sometimes you feel a little crazy. But frankly, if this is crazy, if the stuff I presented in this talk tonight is crazy, the world needs a lot more crazy. I think we’ve temporarily conflated crazy and sane. It’s okay to think about this stuff, not only okay, it’s essential.

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[Resilience.org Supplement] — Crazy vs Sane – At 50x the income of humans 200 years ago, it is no wonder the average American is so distracted by convenience and lulled by false narratives as to be asleep to the real issues.  People aren’t idiots nor are (most of them) liars.  But we are so often seduced and misinformed by simple narratives that those warning about the converging macro crises are generally considered crazy by the mainstream.  But to be ‘woke’ to the issues of the day is perhaps the only route for sanity. Owning a bit of grief and dissonance about what’s happening is eminently rational, even if it feels bad at times. If worrying about the 6th mass extinction, energy descent, limits to growth and the coming Great Simplification makes one crazy, well perhaps the world needs a whole lot more crazy. We have temporarily confused crazy and sane.

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About Dr. Nathan John Hagens – Hagens, 51, worked on Wall Street at Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers for 10 years before closing his own hedge fund in 2003 to develop a systems synthesis approach to the human predicament. At present, Dr. Hagens is a professor at the University of Minnesota where he teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar called Reality 101, A Survey of Human Predicament. The readings and lectures cover literature in systems ecology, energy and natural resources, thermodynamics, history, anthropology, human behavior, neuroscience, environmental science, sociology, economics, globalization/trade, and finance/debt with an overarching goal to give students a general understanding of how our human ecosystem functions as a whole.

Visit Nate Hagens’ personal website at The Monkey Trap.

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