Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Six Months Out

In the roughly six months since I completed the last major phase of my research into population and consumption, and its implications for the future, I have been focused on two things: surviving, and writing books that will hopefully be ready for the Christmas buying season. This has resulted in a drop in blog posts and other writing, though I have occasionally released new music.

I recently reviewed blog posts from 2011, around the time I completed the previous phase of research, and found that many of the issues that concerned me then are still in play. Of course, now there is more evidence that the world is undergoing a human-caused mass extinction event; and that catastrophic methane release from permafrost is imminent, if not already in progress, which could push global temperatures above habitability in the not-too-distant future. The causes of the existential threats that I explored then remain extremely relevant now, such as the global domination imperative built into our culture and our economics. My current projects deal with much of that, using new material and old material, in both non-fiction and fiction.

A non-fiction book, to be titled "Confessions of a Reluctant Planet-killer," is entirely new and autobiographical. It begins with how my views have evolved, from exaltation of unchecked growth and open-ended innovation with an outward focus; through discovery (in my own unique way) of fundamental relationships between population, consumption, and happiness; to an awareness of the need for what I call "global responsibility" to offset the negative consequences of "personal responsibility." A pivotal part of the book, reflected in its title and many of my earlier blog posts, deals with how I've failed (and continue to fail) in exercising global responsibility to the extent needed by all of us if humanity is to have any future worth living in, thus contributing to the horrible alternative. This effort is meant as a "coming out" about something few people would even consider bad, an example that hopefully others may be inspired to follow, and together try to remedy.

Another book, tentatively titled "Creations of a Reluctant Planet-killer" is a mix of old and new creative writing, including short stories, poetry, and essays. While much of this work involves themes familiar to readers of my novel and blog posts (including some of those posts), it has a mix of entries that have a broader appeal. I continue to work on "Visitors," the sequel to my novel "Lights Out," which, like its predecessor, is an outgrowth of my research, and has gone through several major revisions as my research has evolved.

With a lot of discipline and some luck, I expect to roll out these books, and perhaps some related music, over the coming months. In the meantime, I will try to be more diligent in writing for my various blogs and Web sites, and perhaps add a few more "Universe X" posts along the way.