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New World Notes - The Crisis of Civilization (Part 1)

10/02/2012 12:00 pm
10/02/2012 12:30 pm


This week on New World Notes: radio program #238, September 25, from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., host Kenneth Dowst plays the first part of a two-part digest of an engaging documentary film, The Crisis of Civilization, written by U.K. political analyst, Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed.

In it,  Ahmed surveys seven serious global crises that are now besetting Western civilization. Ahmed argues that the seven are very much interrelated. So none can be fixed (or even much improved) without addressing the other six.

The (by my count) seven crises Ahmed identifies are these:

1. climate change

2. peak energy

3. food production and distribution

4. economic instability

5. international terrorism

6. militarization

7. destruction of civil liberties

In two installments of our show, we'll cover the final four listed (without denying the importance of the first three). This week, in Part 1 (of 2), we'll hear about the crises of economic instability and international terrorism.

Looking at the big picture--Ahmed argues--we can see that Western civilization cannot continue on its present path. It is unsustainable. We cannot keep pumping oil, warming the planet, acidifying the oceans, depleting the soil, destroying civil liberties, acquiring resources by military force, engaging in endless wars, taking land from subsistence farmers, and basing the world economy on financial speculation.

We can make intelligent plans to change to a more sustainable way of doing things. Or we can maintain the status quo until the catastrophe comes. I predict the latter, but Ahmed is encouraging the former. Clips from old movies enliven Ahmed's (already interesting) discussion.

The Crisis of Civilization was produced and directed by Dean Puckett. The film is available, without charge, online:

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "radar") of WWUH-FM, a community service of the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both A-Infos Radio Project and (from #90 onwards) the Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chronological listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page; each page has links to the recorded audio; and a handy table of contents will quickly find the installment you want.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want--and what they're trying to make us settle for.