Op-Ed Commentary

‘Pre-Polycrisis’ Hazard Mitigation

Nick King argues that industrial civilization has created many persistent and severe hazards (such as nuclear waste, methane leaking hydrocarbon infrastructure, contaminated sites, landfills, and deforested land), polycrises in the near future may significantly constrict humanity’s ability to manage these hazards, and therefore societies should prioritize long-term remedial actions now, while they still have the […]

‘Pre-Polycrisis’ Hazard Mitigation Read More »

The Terrible Twenties? The Assholocene? What to Call Our Chaotic Era

Kyle Chayka considers different possible labels for “our chaotic historical moment, a term that we can use when we want to evoke the panicky incoherence of our lives of late.” Contenders include artist and author James Biddle’s “New Dark Age,” which emphasizes the dangers and disappointments of the internet era; social strategist Liz Lenkinski’s “Age

The Terrible Twenties? The Assholocene? What to Call Our Chaotic Era Read More »

Why So Much is Going Wrong at the Same Time

Addressing critiques of the polycrisis concept from the political right and left, Thomas Homer-Dixon argues that the world is in a polycrisis generated by novel and unprecedented conditions, as measured by total human energy consumption, Earth’s energy imbalance, the human population’s total biomass, and global connectivity. He then highlights the interconnected nature of contemporary problems

Why So Much is Going Wrong at the Same Time Read More »

Hawaii Wildfires Expose Need for Resilience in a Polycrisis World

Joseph Fiskel argues that the Maui wildfire reveals just how unprepared communities are to face polycrises. In response, he advocates systems thinking and greater resilience: “Rather than simply ‘bouncing back’ from crises, a resilient organization will ‘bounce forward’ by sensing threats, adapting to new conditions, and improving its responsiveness to surprise events. This requires long-term thinking,

Hawaii Wildfires Expose Need for Resilience in a Polycrisis World Read More »

Let’s Avoid ‘Trigger Fixation’

The authors argue that a trigger event can’t start a crisis by itself; some underlying stress or stresses must also be operating. They contend that leaders should pay far more attention to these stresses, because they’re ultimately far more important. The original title of the article was “Let’s Avoid ‘Trigger Fixation.” The Globe and Mail

Let’s Avoid ‘Trigger Fixation’ Read More »

The Hard Right and Climate Change are Intimately Linked

George Monbiot argues that a vicious cycle is emerging between the rise of the political right, roll-backs of environmental policy and protections, increased migration, and worsening discrimination against refugees. “As millions are driven from their homes by climate disasters, the extreme right exploits their misery to extend its reach. As the extreme right gains power,

The Hard Right and Climate Change are Intimately Linked Read More »

Can Democracy Survive the Polycrisis?

George Soros argues that there are three main sources of the polycrisis (in order of importance): artificial intelligence, climate change, and Russia’s war on Ukraine. AI poses a “mortal threat” to open societies via disinformation, and it provides closed societies new instruments of surveillance and control; climate change threatens to make large areas uninhabitable; but

Can Democracy Survive the Polycrisis? Read More »

Dismissing the Term ‘Polycrisis’ has One Inevitable Consequence – Reality Always Bites

The authors respond to criticism of the use of the word “polycrisis”, arguing that the world’s current crises are in many ways unprecedented and thus merit a new word and require new forms of analysis. They argue, “the past isn’t a good guide to our present and future. Too many basic parameters – such as

Dismissing the Term ‘Polycrisis’ has One Inevitable Consequence – Reality Always Bites Read More »

Scroll to Top