Jeremy Rifkin: ‘The Empathic Civilization’: Rethinking Human Nature in the Biosphere Era
Two spectacular failures, separated by only 18 months, marked the end of the modern era. In July 2008, the price of oil on world markets peaked at $147/ barrel, inflation soared, the price of everything from food to gasoline skyrocketed, and the global economic engine shut off. Growing demand in the developed nations, as well as in China, India, and other emerging economies, for diminishing fossil fuels precipitated the crisis. Purchasing power plummeted and the global economy collapsed. That was the earthquake that tore asunder the industrial age built on and propelled by fossil fuels. The failure of the financial markets two months later was merely the aftershock. The fossil fuel energies that make up the industrial way of life are sunsetting and the industrial infrastructure is now on life support. (read more…)

Joe Brewer: Toward the Global Transition — 2012 and Beyond
Big changes are coming. Every indicator suggests that the world is transitioning on a global scale. Last year we saw the emergence of populist movements in what has come to be known as the Arab Spring and later watched Occupy Wall Street grow rapidly, taking root in many countries where governing institutions have produced unbearable inequality and suffering. Alongside this civil unrest are a rising tide of natural disasters, rapid adoption of mobile technologies, and a growing recognition that humanity itself has become a truly global force of nature. (read more…)