One week ago I emailed my subscribers and asked them to submit any burning question they may have about me or Planet: Critical. I expected most questions to be personal, about me and my journey. Instead, most were asking for advice or my opinion on the state of the world. I guess I never thought about the moment when I would become more than the interviewer, but three years of Planet: Critical have furnished me with more knowledge, ideas and dare I say wisdom than I ever imagined possible.
Thank you to everyone who submitted to the form, there were many questions to choose from, and many of them touching on similar themes. Here are the 13 I chose:
You've had many answers to your opening question, all of which go some way to approaching a single dimension of the meta-crisis. Is there a picture building in your head which brings together and synthesises these threads, or could start a conversation to do just that?
What political ideology would you say you closest identify with?
How can we quickly change the way everyone on the planet understands and engages with the causes and effects of climate change, so that we can have more concerted and faster progress to prepare for it's effects and stop it from becoming worse?
Truly deeply madly, what do you, (you personally) - based on all the knowledge and inspiration you have acquired through your interviews - think this world will look like in 2100?
What role do you see for religious innovation/improvisation in our civilisations ongoing & unavoidable decline?
Rachel: people talk of the gut/brain axis, and the heart/brain axis. When you were moving towards Planet: Critical, what was your road between your gut, your heart, and your mind?
How has what you have learned from Planet Critical changed you? Your mindset, priorities and how you live?
How important is the United States government to the health of the planet? Can climate action happen without the government?
Do you think mainstream centrist politics will ever come round to the idea of degrowth or the steady-state economy?
Can women save the world?
What helps you stay steadfast and optimistic in the face of so much knowledge of how deeply tragic our situation is?
Members of Novara Media say it is very important to them that they work in a team with editors. You seem to be all alone. How do you manage?
I listened to your episode with George Monbiot, and you both mentioned the "machine" ratcheting up. This is despite the well-meaning people shouting from the rooftops in protest for decades, if not centuries (if we reach all the way back to, say, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir). Do you feel that your podcast and similar endeavours from other people (such as George Monbiot, Nate Hagens, Jem Bendell, James Hansen, Resilience.org etc.) make any difference or are you bound to "bark as the caravan moves on"? If the latter is the case, are you at peace with it? Is it enough for you that "you tried", as Louise Harris sings in her song that you've shared? Do you think humanity will have a change of heart at the 11th hour or do you think that the "machine" will run until it hits the hard physical, biological and climatic boundaries?
Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it. Support the project with a paid subscription.