October 2019: Facing Economic and Environmental Limits

Nate Hagens

To watch a video of this talk, click here.

Advanced economies are headed toward “The Great Simplification,” asserted Nate Hagens at our October Humanist Community Gathering. With our insatiable consumption of energy, we are living beyond the carrying capacity of the planet and a significant reduction in GDP is now likely.

Hagens covered a total of 20 modern myths that keep us from understanding the truth of our current predicament. Climate change is not the problem, but a symptom of our deeper problem of overconsumption and unlimited growth of our economies.

But Hagens laid out a very humanistic vision of a world in the last third of his presentation. He offered suggestions on how we could start imagining and creating different ways of being in the world – personally, in our local communities and associations (such as HumanistsMN), and in the larger society. This was somber content with a hopeful message.

If you want to get more involved with fellow humanists on this issue, consider getting involved with the Secular Saturday Sustainable Living group – the second Saturday of the month.

— Audrey Kingstrom



    • John-Anthony Burchall on November 7, 2019 at 8:00 am
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    There was a consistent theme here again. One voice. One perspective. One truth held court for 95 percent of the meeting. The discussion? Seven questions posed to the expert who stood at the front of the room. One voice. One European Expert male voice.
    Which country produces 80 percent of the trash, plastic bottles, CO2 emissions from gas guzzlers SUVs? Which country while only 5 % of the Globe’s population consumes 40 percent of the Globe’s natural resources and has so far spent more than 5 trillion dollars of tax payers’ money prosecuting war in Afghanistan and Iraq doing untold eternal damage to the planet, it’s water, it’s flora and fauna and it’s people? Which country has refused to sign the Paris Accords and the Kyoto Protocols? Which Country’s Unelected and Undemocratic Supreme Court declared that corporations have the same rights as human persons? The reality is that the Environment and the Green Movement are built on the displacement, forced removals and genocide of the original people’s if this land. Our national Parks are whited sepulchers and testaments to genocide as Teddy Roosevelt ran roughshod over Cherokee and Cree and Seminole and Dakota lands to make way for the National Parks system. Who benefits from this genocide? Every time you stand in a National Park remember…..my people once lived, hunted, raised children and told stories there….. until a set of illegals tore into this land, displaced its people so that you can enjoy your Cabins….up north. When you examine who makes use of these parks, who claim to love to camp and hunt in the great outdoors and find joy in Nature…….and you examine whose livelihoods were destroyed to make room for the National Parks Service you will have your answer. Unfortunately one lone male European voice dominated this discussion. I would have like to have talked about the racism, the genocide and the anti-human disrespect for the lives of the non-white and Original peoples of this land who were destroyed to make room for you to enjoy the National Parks System and your lovely cottages “up north.” Until we address the genocide that makes the Environment and the Green movement the cause celebration for the majority community of this land…. it will continue to be driven and shaped by the persons who do the majority of the polluting, and whose First World lifestyles are made possible through stealing and dominating the resources of others whose skin happens to be black, brown and non white. We can ……NO we MUST do better than this kind of scientific racism and “humanism” that erases the lives of the non white peoples of the Globe so that Europeans can flourish……..until THAT day……l will continue to weep and wail and tear my clothing in grief. Your Humanism is HURTFUL and detrimental to the Globe. Your Environmentalism drips in blood.

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