The Ecological Citizen

A free-to-access publication confronting human supremacy in defence of the Earth


Long article

This civilization is finished: Time to build an ecological civilization

Rupert Read

The Ecological Citizen Vol 3 No 2 2020: 157–62

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First published: 1 April 2020  |  Permanent URL  |  Download citation in RIS format


A terrible gamble is being taken that we can prevent or at least successfully mitigate lethal climate change and the extinction crisis. The likelihood of failure is high, so – despite widespread unwillingness to do so – we must face the alternatives presenting themselves without turning away. They span from a horrendous, completely irrecoverable collapse, on the one hand, to the rise of a successor civilization out of the wreckage on the other. We cannot keep avoiding the vast efforts required to adapt our communities to the rapidly changing world, and must engage in the transformational processes now necessary. We need, individually and collectively, to wake up to the dire reality of the ecological emergency, to think seriously about the successor civilization that will follow, and to rebuild community. We must also engage in forms of deep adaption, including holding actions to slow the damage as much as we can, and even non-violent direct action. Dramatically courageous things are now necessary.



Limits, Societal change, Techno-fixes, Visions