The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Unfolding of Climate Change Catastrophe

Globe on FireI want to keep this a very simple post.

There are three likely initial problems which will make the current situation turn into its first catastrophe.

I’m putting aside violent weather events like hurricanes.

The three are water, food, and other supply chain disruptions.

Water should be obvious. Aquifers are drying up, rainfall patterns will change, snowfall patterns will change, and glaciers are dying. This means that all our water sources are in play – groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams. Many of these will just dry up. The annual cycle of rebuilding snowpacks and glaciers accounts for much of the world’s water.

The American Southwest will run out of water. Period. Most of India is borked, and so are vast parts of China, and so on. You need to do the research for wherever you live. Start by figuring out where your water comes from now and whether it is vulnerable.

Supply chains are a problem. It is barely an exaggeration to say that we have created the the most easily disrupted supply chain in world history. Things tend to be made or grown in a few specific areas, then shipped all over the world.

A severe climate shock which really wrecks food production will cause a huge rise in food prices, which will lead to various famines. That will lead to hoarding, looting, and violence.

But it needs to be emphasized that supply chains are a more general problem. Are you on a drug or medicine from which withdrawal will be ugly–or even deadly? This includes a lot of legal psychiatric drugs, including SSRIs and so on. Withdrawals are really ugly. Most people don’t have an extra supply. If the supply chain is disrupted, and at some point it almost certainly will be, you could be in a world of hurt.

Our capitalists, who are already killing people by raising prices on drugs like insulin, will, of course, capitalize on this and kill many more.

So these are the three most likely initial catastrophic scenarios. There are others like heatwaves and category 6 hurricanes and cyclones, but those tend to be localized. When water is scarce you have only days to live. When food is scarce a few weeks (you can go a week or two if you are healthy without any real problem, it’s just unpleasant.) And when medicines or other supplies you need go away, well, that may put you down or incapacitate you.

Look at your vulnerabilities in these areas, and if you can do something to mitigate them, please do.

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 4, 2019


Why We Need to End Banks and Shadow Banks



    I posted this to another thread but I doubt anyone saw it so I will post it here too. A climate change documentary from 1984.


    It’s all the proof you need to know that Trump is right, climate change is a Chinese hoax. This 1984 documentary proves it.

    The 1984 Climate Change Documentary

  2. Ché Pasa

    Our Rulers have known this for decades and they’ve been preparing for decades. They are prepared. We, the Rabble, for the most part are not. And it is by design. The more chaos and confusion can be sown among the lower orders, the less preparation can be done. The less the Rabble are prepared, the more likely they are to perish in their multitudes — which is perhaps the most desirable of outcomes for the mighty, those Titans of the future.

    They don’t need or want us, not any more, and they care not at all about the loss of billions of souls to the looming and long predicted catastrophic global warming. No, for them, it means greater and greater advantage. The fewer of us there are, the better. If anything, they’re looking for ways to accelerate the process.

    With their endless wars of aggression, their theft of primal resources (like fresh water), their restrictions on medical care, and so on, that’s exactly what they are doing. Life expectancy is declining throughout most of the developed world, not to mention what’s happening pretty much everywhere else. Surplus populations are being disposed of at an increasing pace.

    The nightmare the Middle East and much of North Africa have been turned into, killing off millions and creating tens of millions of refugees — with, now, no refuge — is spreading like an uncontrolled cancer. That is the fate that awaits most of us. We got to preview it at the start of the century, then most of us forgot it.

    It’s way too late to reverse global warming, if it was possible in the first place many years ago. It’s unlikely to plateau within decades or centuries, but it’s also unlikely to result in the extinction of “all life on earth.” No, some living things will flourish, as some most certainly did during previous warm/hot eras.

    The question is who or what will flourish.

  3. Herman

    @Ché Pasa,

    Your point about surplus populations being disposed of already is why I often think that a big catastrophe might be better than the alternative, which is a slow, painful process of destruction of weak populations via neglect. I don’t think the current situation is planned, it is just that most people don’t care about what happens to the weak. The devastation needs to start climbing up the social ladder to produce real change. For example, the Great Depression was so devastating to so many people that it was impossible to dismiss poverty as something that only hurt the lazy and immoral and this prompted reforms.

    For most of the neoliberal era (since the 1970s) few people cared about economic decline and inequality until the negative consequences started to hit parts of the population that used to be prosperous, particularly middle-class whites. Now economics and inequality are back on the table even if not to the extent that we would want. The same process might play out with climate change. If the disasters hit enough affluent people then powerful people might care.


    Now economics and inequality are back on the table even if not to the extent that we would want.

    Lip service does not equal “back on the table.” The only economics that makes sense at this point is a new economics of contraction to a steady state whatever that steady state may be. That is not on the table. Only growth economics is on the table and what constitutes that growth.

    The system will not allow anything from within it to undermine it or usurp its synergistic power. It’s the system itself that must be opposed and eliminated and replaced to include the roots and seeds of it so they don’t sprout and grow within the new system that takes its place.

    This excellent documentary explains it better than I ever would or could. It applies Durkheim’s Social Fact theory to Western attitudes about, and alleged ameliorations of, poverty but it could equally be applied to climate change and the economics that induced that climate change and the proposed solutions (to date) to it.

    Poverty, Inc.

    Basically the idea is that there is a broad set of norms, institutions and assumptions that transcend individuals and define and constrain the way we act. It is “the way things are.” Durkheim argues that social facts have a coercive influence on us. Even if the social facts are immaterial (norms, meanings, assumptions, sentiments, etc), they are still external to the individual and control the individual.

    Here is the interesting part to me. Even if we challenge our own assumptions, break the mold and do something innovative, we are still acting inside our social facts:

    “The social fact puts constraints on how we think and act, leading us to take many things for granted. It becomes simply the way things are done. This does not mean that there is never innovation or attempts to fix the system…the trouble is that most of the innovation takes place inside the assumptions, beliefs and values of the social fact.”

  5. Willy

    Trump once signed an open letter to Obama and the then-congress calling for aggressive climate action. Today I bet his “wall” attempts really are part racism, but also a preemptive defense against future stampedes of climate refugees. Of course the latter isn’t in Trumps short term self-interest to say as much – that swarms of uncontrollable brownies invading PTB personal properties is a real fear.

    As far as some concerted nefarious mass murdering PTB plot, I don’t think so. Instead it’s the usual components of the historic human condition:

    Natural law winners of power games (usually the most cunning, ruthless, and otherwise well-armed). Malignant power pathology (wealth and power becoming an addiction as self-gratifyingly destructive as any substance abuse). The callousness of emotional separation (I am far more humble being poor than back when I was rich). And lately, corporate reality (demands that short term profit projections are met). There are probably others, but I’d think that’d be most of it.

    So today we have a deep state, a PTB, a neolib/neocon hegemony… whatever it is you might call it, forming a power culture which is driven to make the ground ever more fertile for itself, the rest of the world be damned. Same old shit different time. Except this anacyclosis go-round, the timing and global effects are critically different.

    But you’ve already heard all that. The question is, what can we do about it?

  6. Have you been drinking four o five? You know what fluids do to your circuitry.

    Best estimates I’ve seen is 3 weeks we start eating each other. Bit more out in the country. It isn’t necessarily the strong, or the heavily-armed, that will survive. Afarensis.

  7. BlizzardOfOzzz

    uncontrollable brownies invading PTB personal properties is a real fear

    Willy, what a doofus you are. You really haven\’t noticed yet that the \”PTB\” are 100% for the brownie invasion?

  8. different clue

    How many years do we have before the Internet is subjected to random blackouts? How long before the Internet goes Dark and stays Dark without ever turning back on again?

    However many or few years people think they have before that happens, they should perhaps spend those few years finding and disseminating all the information/data/etc. they can over the Internet before there is no Internet to learn on or teach on.

    If a New Dark Age is advancing, perhaps a few thousand or better yet a few million computer-owners who can afford Internet should start acting like the Irish Monks of the early Dark Ages and begin copying every possible thing from the Internet which they think is useful. By copying, I mean getting their own desktop printing and publishing machine capability and printing out everything they think is useful into the future onto acid free paper designed to last for several centuries.

    Those who can learn non-aggressionist survival skills for surviving-in-place should try learning those too. Dmitry Orlov wrote about that kind of thing in some of his “surviving the collapse” series of articles, before he decided to become a PayWalled Russian Nationalist blogger. His early articles can still be found on line with enough effort. Those who succeed in finding them with enough work will be those who have shown themselves worthy of deserving to see them.

    Mankind is beginning its Long March through the Valley of Selection. Darwin’s Discards will fall by the way. Darwin’s Darlings will be those who survive at the end of the Long March.

    The SuperRich plan to be the Only Survivors. That is what applied Jackpot Design Engineering is all about. Our mission, should we decide to accept it, is to help as many of eachother as possible to survive the Long March through the Valley of Selection. Perhaps those of us who make it will be in a position to “deal with” the SuperRich and their minions as they emerge from their Survival Bunkers.

  9. different clue

    Ian Welsh hasn’t so far grouped all his past articles into Titled Topic Area Groups of articles. It may happen, it may not.

    But there is still a semi-simple way to put survival information and sources onto an easily findable category of threads.

    Every post has a picture at the top. Posts of-a-category all have the same picture. These “World-On-Fire” posts all have the picture of the World On Fire at the top of the post.

    If survival information is put onto a thread from any one of these World On Fire posts, seekers can easily find it by looking for the World On Fire pictures and reading all the threads for just those World On Fire posts.

  10. Dan

    Any thoughts on the deep adaption movement Ian? My sense has been you read and say about the same things, but you tend to separate your writing on spiritual-inward resources and don’t have much to say about communal-cooperative options (other than join a tribe or church of some sort), whereas the DA people seem to be very focused on bringing all of these things together.

  11. Hugh

    The NYT has a map on water scarcity on its front page. I believe its source is the World Resources Institute.

    The WRI says, “More than a billion people currently live in water-scarce regions, and as many as 3.5 billion could experience water scarcity by 2025.”

    Article with lots of maps on water stress and some discussion of mitigation. Nothing of course on overpopulation.

    It looks like an interesting site to explore.

  12. bruce wilder

    It is not the assaults by Nature which will signal the collapse of civilization, but the inability to respond, repair or rebuild. Or, reform.

    The collapse of America was already on display in Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Or, the Deepwater Horizon incident.

    But, the greatest catastrophe to date — for its implications for civilization’s collapse — is the restorationist response to the GFC of 2007-8. Neoliberalism ought to be dead, but it continues its grip on power and the political possibility space.

    Aside from the purely financial policy, somehow (i realize how little i understand real politics when i think about how little i understand how this policy choice was made) the decision was made to restore U.S. oil and gas production with the fracking boom.

    I should not say it was not a financial policy choice, because it clearly was, in both its means and ends. But, it has delayed re-building the energy basis of the U.S. economy and by extension the global economy. We will not be prepared for what follows because we were doing this crazy thing instead of initiating the radical energy conservation necessary to a sustainable energy basis for continuing civilization.

    And, in our current state of political thoughtfulness, where Russia,Russia,Russia made sense to lots of people, the vast majority do not see the problems. Even or especially the shadowy elites who chose this course without visible public debate apparently do not see the problems.

    TPTB i think imagine that high tech responses will handle the problems of resource depletion and waste accumulation, and the consequent ecological collapse. Turn up the air conditioning as a response to higher temps.

    But, civilization has to constantly reproduce itself, reproduce its infrastructure embodying its solutions to extracting and distributing surplus. When it cannot look ahead and respond appropriately, and the surplus drains away, the bottom layers of society are starved and squeezed as the top redoubles its efforts to extract what it needs, with a lack of imagination. It is Justinian building the Hagia Sophia and reconquering Italy while famine looms, and the great Plague that bears his name sweeps thru the world.

    As other commenters have noted, it may be the neglect and abandonment of the lower orders is simply an unintended by-product of an elite failure of imagination embodied in the neoliberal determination to restore an order that never worked the way they imagine.


    It is not the assaults by Nature which will signal the collapse of civilization, but the inability to respond, repair or rebuild. Or, reform.

    This is a prime example of Durkheim’s Social Fact theory in play aside from the “respond” part of it.

    The Social Fact compels responses such as “repair” and “rebuild” in the face of such an intractable systemic conundrum. It also compels responses, or especially compels responses, like “reform.” Reform is a built-in system safety feature that ensures you’ll keep the system responsible for it all intact even in the face of an overwhelming existential threat induced by the system itself. You can’t reform that which was designed, wittingly or not, to do what it’s doing and that design is to grow until the planet is entirely destroyed and/or consumed.

    How we respond is CRUCIAL in all of this even if it most likely is too little too late. If the response is to repair and rebuild and reform that which has taken us to this precipice, then count me out. Count homo sapiens out because homo sapiens will be no more and will have gone extinct long before the species’ expiration date as a species and by its own hand and doing. It didn’t have to be this way. But it did.

    The proper response should be depair & debuild & deform in regard to the current system and if those aren’t verbs recognized in any language let alone english, then let’s make them recognizable if we want to mitigate the worst effects of the shitstorm to come.

    There’s a wall that needs to come down and its demolition is many times more crucial & important than tearing down the Berlin Wall. That wall is Wall Street. Tear it down, now.

    Mr. Trump, tear down THIS WALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Before you never build any new ones.

    Tear Down This Wall

  14. Ché Pasa

    “Eco-fascism” is a term I’d never seen or heard of prior to the advent of the El Paso Massacre-ist’s Manifesto. But it seems to sum up the thinking of at least some climate catastrophists.

    The logic seems to be that since “we” (to be defined anon) are not in a position to significantly change our lifestyles, the only real answer to resource depletion, global climate catastrophe and the looming onslaught from the global south — where I guess the main problems of global warming lie — is to form racially homogeneous societies and nations in the north — where climate change effects will be moderate(?) — and reduce the population of Mud People by any means necessary.

    “We” of course are the White People (aka Wypipo) of lore and legend. The pinnacle of humanity. The civilizers and bringers of all knowledge and wisdom. Etc.

    Ethnic cleansing to start now; genocide of the lesser people, the brown and the black in particular, to follow as needed.

    There you have it. That in a nutshell is the basic problem with a focus on overpopulation. It leads inevitably and directly to genocide as the one true answer. What else can you do, after all? When there are too many people, too many of “those” people, and they threaten your way of life, what can you do?

    Whether the El Paso Massacre Manifesto will serve as a trigger for much more ethnic cleansing and the eradication and disposal of surplus populations as an act of Eco-Kindness and Eco-Necessity, I don’t know. But it clearly could. It’s getting more play than I would have imagined. And observers are remarking on how logical, even well-written, it is. “This is not the ravings of a madman.”

    Just throwing that into the mix for consideration about the path we take in dealing with the present and preparing for the future, come what may. Fascism of one sort or another is quite the political fashion these days, and Eco-Fascism fits right in to the terrible zeitgeist.

  15. Herman,

    Perhaps you are right that it is just lip service but it seems like economic inequality is being taken more seriously now than say 20 years ago at the height of the neoliberal consensus when very few people would even acknowledge that inequality was a problem. I also agree that a more sustainable economy will force us to give up on our fantasies of endless growth and that is still far from being a realistic option right now but that is why a crisis could produce the change we need to get steady state economics on the table.

    @Ché Pasa,

    Eco-fascism is just one of the possibilities for the future, obviously one of the bad ones. However, history shows that people can come together in the face of adversity. The Great Depression and World War II produced an increase in solidarity and set the stage for social reforms after the war ended. As pessimistic as I am about the future I do hold out some hope that humanity can get through the looming crisis without slipping into fascism or some other hellish nightmare. However, it will take good (probably great) leadership and a willing population to make it happen.

    Jimmy Carter tried to convince Americans to accept a more moderate lifestyle but that was not going to fly in the 1970s when environmental disaster seemed remote and when you could plausibly argue that capitalism was still working for the majority of American workers. Conditions have deteriorated to the point where many people are losing faith in the system so there might be a chance for positive change. The key is to capitalize on any crisis before reactionary forces do.

  16. Anon

    Things are bad, and they’re going to get worse, but sometimes I get the feeling that people like you get off on scaring people. And there are lots of people like you. You’re no better than the people who get off on pretending that everything is fine. Yes, the Apocalypse is now. But then again, the Apocalypse is always now. Don’t you get that, yet? Haven’t you been alive long enough to know that the world is always ending?

  17. StewartM

    Yeah, our supply chain system is idiotic, but that’s the norm for capitalists. You see it within firms as well. A wisely planned system includes redundancy and reserve capacity; but that’s just added unnecessary costs for investors whose sole object is the next quarterly profit report. Worse, the globalized economy also assumes the continuation of a pro-capitalist pax Americana (i.e., keep open the shipping lanes, and squash by force or fraud any attempts at socialism) so its costs are externalized, as well as emitting more CO2 and other air pollution into the atmosphere (those cargo ships no longer travel under sail).

    CP–the elites may think that they can “off” large portions of the world’s population, but only because they suffer from John Galt delusions. People who don’t know how to actually make or produce anything are the ones who will disappear. You see this in mass extinctions and you see this in social collapses–in the former, “lower” forms of life continue far more often than the big, spectacular forms (which is why we still have cockroaches and not tyrannosaurs) while during social collapses, if life continues, it’s the kings and emperors and nobles and priests who disappear while the peasants plod on.

    The reason why we are heading the way that Ian describes is that our elites are so disconnected and insulated from any reality, either environmental or social, that nothing actually real registers on their radar.

  18. atcooper

    There really is nothing comparable in the historical record. One has to go to myth to find something comparable. Noah’s flood for instance.

    To say it is otherwise shows a lack of discernment.


    “Eco-fascism” is a term I’d never seen or heard of prior to the advent of the El Paso Massacre-ist’s Manifesto. But it seems to sum up the thinking of at least some climate catastrophists.

    You apparently didn’t look hard enough. It’s been an undercurrent in environmentalism since environmentalism’s inception.

    Can you provide some examples of any “climate catastrophists” you know who it seems to sum up aside from this latest shooter? I can. There was a freak, Progress4Conserve, over at Kunstler’s fascist blog, a blog monetarily supported by many a Jew by the way, who fit this description. He was a proud card-carrying member of NumbersUSA and he wasn’t alone at that blog. In fact, he and his cohorts controlled, and still do, the comments section along with some cynical Jews who feel that life is but a joke and fascism is something to be enabled and toyed with like a cat plays with a mouse. As well, the author of Moon of Alabama blog fits the description. He was/is a proud card-carrying member of the German Greens and as the link below reveals, the German Greens are steeped in the sewage of Anthroposophy.

    Anthroposophy and Ecofascism

    Reading between the lines of Trump’s speech related to these latest shootings, a speech prepared by Stephen Miller, Trump’s administration, in coordination with the DOJ and the FBI more specifically, will be cracking down on “climate catastrophists” in a precrime manner. Mass shooter manifestos are convenient that way, aren’t they, and the beauty is, you can get so-called “leftists” to help carry that water when these so-called “leftists”refer to anyone speaking radically about climate change as a “climate catastrophist.”

  20. bruce wilder

    Herman: Eco-fascism is just one of the possibilities for the future, obviously one of the bad ones. However, history shows that people can come together in the face of adversity. The Great Depression and World War II produced an increase in solidarity and set the stage for social reforms after the war ended. As pessimistic as I am about the future I do hold out some hope that humanity can get through the looming crisis without slipping into fascism or some other hellish nightmare. However, it will take good (probably great) leadership and a willing population to make it happen.

    What history shows is the failure of liberalism as a practical governing philosophy in the face of serious economic problems tends unintentionally to produce fascism. If the liberals cannot bring themselves to govern, sooner or later the suffering masses turn to more authoritarian leaders to solve problems.

    Our times’ brand of liberalism is the exhausted and discredited neoliberalism that has produced globalization and financialization, but somehow “competitive markets” cannot keep the price of insulin from skyrocketing. (Way to bend the cost curve, Obama.) So, here we are: liberals are convinced that Trump is embarked on a malevolent project. (You can be pretty sure it will turn out to be a stupid project and stupid is often somewhat malevolent in execution.) It cannot possibly be that Trump is responding to real problems largely caused by Democrats failing to govern sensibly or responsibly when they were handed power.

    That we are constantly hectored into talking as if racism is the driving force is itself evidence that neoliberalism continues aspire to power. Neoliberal capitalism is the malevolent project we ought to be worried about, not Trump’s pathetic twitters.

  21. Hugh

    Speaking of impossible, totally divorced from reality, unsustainable supply chains, China’s Belt and Road has got to be the epitome of the genre, thousands of miles long through some of the most politically unstable and climate change impacted regions on the face of the earth.

  22. Hugh

    “It is not the assaults by Nature which will signal the collapse of civilization, but the inability to respond, repair or rebuild. Or, reform.

    The collapse of America was already on display in Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Or, the Deepwater Horizon incident.”

    Beautifully put, bruce.

  23. While all the pretty boys are agog at Moonbases and Mars Bitches! … there is a very real possibility the only way we as a species – the human species – survive will be in sealed environments. Controlled environments. They may be orbiting habitats, but I find it highly unlikely we will move somewhere between seven and ten billion people out there in the generation or so required. Caves of Steel. The only way we\’re gonna\’ get off the surface is go under it. Like Moonbases and Mars Bitches!, sealed environments. Controlled environments. An authoritarian environment. I would venture survival as a species will require a Martial environment, fascist, if you wish. Sealed environments. Controlled environments.

    Like the migrations north out of the increasingly uninhabitable equatorial and tropical regions of the planet, it is inevitable, you can’t stop it. There may be a few survivors in the farthest regions of the Northwest, but it will be a mean and brutish survival indeed.

  24. jawbone

    Thanks, Hugh, for highlighting Bruce’s summary.

    Ever since I read Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, I’ve been trying to keep track of what our Elites are actually doing about climate change — and it’s not much.

    Will the Children’s Crusade of the 21st Century do better than our elites? I fear not.

  25. Ché Pasa


    Liberalism inadvertently produces fascism? No, I think not. I think fascism is the natural product or end/ideal state of the liberal/neoliberal ruling paradigm. It is the state mirror of the corporate structure. It’s one reason why fascism is both appealing and successful — at least for a while.


    Our elites are not terribly bright, and from the outside looking in, they are not actively engineering the demise of the masses/rabble. Any more than the British actively engineered the depopulation of Ireland or the repeated famines in India. Rather, they “let nature take its course.” It doesn’t take much to “assist” nature in her course, either, does it?

    What they’ve been brilliant at is preventing the rabble from coalescing against them. “Divide and rule” is their principal tactic and it works.


    In the long term, I suppose the elites eventually perish, and the lower orders ultimately prevail in an unending cycle, but that long term can be and typically is many, many generations long, thousands of years in some cases. In other words, any given generation is unlikely to witness or participate in the demise of whatever elite is in charge.

  26. While I don’t respect CO2 catastrophism, climate catastrophism is a very real threat. One would have hoped that governments, in general, would be more prudent in hedging against climate catastrophes, but we don’t observe nearly as much of this as would make sense, to me.

    So yes, it’s best to also prepare on an individual basis. However, individual preparations will only protect against relatively mild and/or localized shocks. For more severe shocks, probably the best you can do is to emigrate to a more primitive country, that isn’t water stressed and is self-sufficient in food.

    Probably the worst possible natural catastrophe that could occur, short of a major asteroid strike, is a Carrington Event level solar storm. It’s believed that our electrical grid will not survive such an event. That will soon lead to nuclear power plants failing, as their backup diesel generators will only have fuel for something like a week.

    Some years ago, Gary Null had created an assessment of environmentally safer places to live, in the US, and perhaps beyond. I don’t want to go searching for it, though.

    I’m not up on the science behind the claim that solar cycles are related to increased volcanic activity, but such is proclaimed by Robert Felix, of Major volcanic eruptions will cool the earth, and interfere with normal farming.

  27. Ché Pasa

    A comment or two about Anthroposophy sand Steinerites before the topic of climate catastrophism peters out again.

    As it happens, I spent a fair amount of time dealing with Steinerites and their educational philosophy in the ’80s and early ’90s. They were some of the nicest ladies I’d ever met. “Ladies” yes. If there were men associated with Steinerism and Waldorf education, I never met them. The ladies were all white of course. They were showy in their counter-culture- successor way. They were not in any way eco-fascists that I can recall, though they were deeply imbued with Earth-consciousness and had long since integrated ecology and an almost Earth-Mother worship into their program.

    They saw what they were offering as a kind of artistic endeavor meant to build up people’s consciousness and awareness of what was truly important in our world and the worlds beyond. But any casual research on Rudolf Steiner showed clearly that at least some of his approach to philosophy, religion and society was racist and it pre-figured a good deal of the Nazi domestic program in Germany. There was no escaping it, and the ladies acknowledged that yes, it was there as part of the spirit and zeitgeist of the times; times had changed, hadn’t they? And none of Steiner’s more questionable beliefs and attitudes were part of the Steiner and Waldorf programs now; just the opposite. It was all very inclusive, open hearted, and fully rejected racism, authoritarianism, and the rest. Times had changed.

    And yet, like much of the ecology movement then and now, the Steinerites are overwhelmingly white, deeply imbued with a European cultural world-view, that sees themselves and people like them as the “good stewards.” It’s not overtly racist, and yet it is still locked in a white supremacist viewpoint that isn’t particularly different than former Euro-American Imperial and missionary viewpoints toward Our Brown Brothers and Sisters. A viewpoint that insists that we (white people, the pinnacles of creation) know what’s best for them. And we don’t.

    We. Just. Don’t.

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