Firebird Journal

Survival and Renewal in the Anthropocene

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How much climate chaos can we take?

  I asked ChatterBot, my AI research assistant, if there are ways to predict the behavior of complex systems. CB answered, “…predicting the behavior of complex systems is inherently challenging due to the numerous interacting factors, uncertainties, and nonlinear dynamics involved.” Umm, thanks. I’ll take it from there. So…considering that from, roughly, the beginning of […]

An iconic town, a perfect storm and a warning

I visited Lahaina, back in the day. My girlfriend and I pitched a tent and camped on the beach just south of town, where ginormous hotels now block access to the water. We wandered downtown and bought T-shirts and sampled the local cuisine. We visited the charming Lahaina Heritage Museum, with its priceless artifacts from […]

Our climate’s “new normal” is abnormal

At the rate we’re going this time we’re in now, as filled with catastrophe as it is, will be referred to as “the good old days.” Mary Sweeney commenting in the NY Times We interrupt this broadcast… So there I was, making notes on the longer-term impacts of climate change, when the news started pouring […]

Gaslighting away the planet’s future…and ours

This is the second post in a four-part series on methane. Read posts #1, #3 and #4. “The Partnership (for Energy Progress)…[spent] $2.8 million in 2020 convincing consumers that ‘natural gas is part of a clean energy future…’” — Susie Cagle, climate reporter for The Guardian In the 1970s, when ExxonMobil’s internal assessment showed that […]

Oregon’s (and America’s) coming internal climate refugee crisis

This is the second post in a two-part series on climate migration. Read post #1. “We can’t deter people fleeing for their lives. They will come.” ~ Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations When my wife and I moved to Oregon from California about 18 years ago, I predicted that we would be among […]

Most of the climate refugees roaming the U.S. will be U.S. citizens

This is the first post in a two-part series on climate migration. Read posts #2. “They’ll just dry up and blow away.” — One of my mother’s favorite expressions The three desert states of Arizona, Nevada and Utah have a combined population of 13.75 million people — and they’re growing like crazy. For example, the […]

Climate Chaos, Food Chaos and War

“Ukraine has only compounded a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe” —David M. Beasley, Director, U.N. World Food Program Climate change is the backdrop to everything on the global stage. So, when we discuss the burgeoning food crisis that’s causing hunger-driven instability in much of the developing world and price inflation everywhere, we are speaking […]

Prescription for a small planet: Preparing (or not) for pandemics and global heating

Sun’s corona? Virus? Earth in 2100?  “…this short-term threat [COVID-19], to a small percentage of humans, is being treated as a crisis — all hands on deck. Meanwhile, the existential threat to humans, plants and animals is all but ignored. SUVs keep humming, developers keep cutting trees, coal continues to be mined and oil gets […]

Ecoanxiety in the Anthropocene (part 1: Eco-greiving)

NOTE: This is Part 1 of a four-part series. (read Part 2) The publication of parts 3 and 4 will be postponed until an unspecified later date, as Firebird Journal’s content focuses on the COVID 19 pandemic. Ecoanxiety, defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a “chronic fear of environmental doom,” can cause feelings of […]