André S. Clements: An Artist’s Journey to Extinction Rebellion.

To understand Extinction Rebellion (XR), you must start with its value system, or “axiology,” says André S. Clements, of South Africa. The ten principles give rise to an ethos of autonomy, André says, which allows individuals to connect to the organization and deliver whatever particular skills and energy they have.

The third principle – “We need a regenerative culture,” with its emphasis on “care” – is particularly meaningful to André, because it relates to his practice as a visual artist.

“The crux of caring is about, in the first place, paying attention,” he says. As an artist, “I’m paying attention, and there’s a quality of relationship in that. … And that caring expands out into the audience and into the world.”

Extinction Rebellion showed André a route from capturing images of the world to taking action. He serves Extinction Rebellion South Africa on their media and message team, as part of their strategy circle, and on the International Support Team working on regenerative culture.

André is also an incisive and original thinker, examining the “cybernetic construct” of XR through the lens of Nietzsche’s “will to power” and the Enneagram, to reach for alternative perspectives on humanity’s dire predicament.

You can see some of André’s art – which involves the superposition of photographic images – on his artist’s Facebook page.


Find Extinction Rebellion at https://rebellion.earth/.

Phoebe Barnard: We Know How to Save the World

Phoebe Barnard was one of five co-authors of the recently published paper Scientists’ Warning to Humanity of a Climate Emergency (BioScience, November 2019), which has gathered more than 12,000 signatures from scientists around the world.

Phoebe is fully informed about the dangers to humanity and to the planet posed by climate change. And yet, she sounds cheerful! In this interview, she shares her solutions to our dire predicament, and her optimism that human beings can act fearlessly to implement them.

Phoebe believes we can and must transition to a humane and regenerative economy, which will support the restoration of the global ecosystem.

“It’s a tall order,” she says. “I only know that I am not the person with the DNA to say it’s too late, it’s a lost cause. I don’t think it is. I am intrinsically so optimistic that I will go down with the ship, still exhorting people to make changes and bail the boat.”

Phoebe talks about the messaging that is needed to encourage people to change the things they can. She describes the transition to localized economies that must occur. She explains the six specific courses of action laid out in her recent paper. And she evaluates human beings from an evolutionary standpoint, to identify the bright spots and challenges that we face.

You can learn more about Phoebe Barnard on her website at https://www.phoebebarnard.com/

Andrew Constantino: How to Live in the Rubble of Empire.

From his vantage point as the leader of a homeless encampment in Seattle, Andrew Constantino is “witnessing collapse through the rubble that has already fallen.” He has a front-row seat in the “shadow underworld” which is the inevitable companion to the “golden shining empire” we have built with fossil fuels and mechanization.

Andrew has been homeless himself, but now he works to provide shelter to the homeless. As the Site Coordinator for a “tiny-house village” in Seattle, Andrew acts as an organizer, a counselor, and, when there are disputes, a judge. He has learned that human beings of all classes and conditions have conflicts within themselves, which must be reconciled if we are to find successful ways of living together.

He has discovered an admirable resilience in the lives of homeless people. Indeed, he says, when collapse comes, “these are the people most prepared to survive, because they know how to survive with nothing.”