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Heinberg: Beyond Trump: The Path to Real Change

This webinar serves as a hopeful antidote to the paralysis felt by many following the election of Donald Trump as the 45th US President. In it, we go beyond the minutiae of the election campaign and explore the bigger picture, including:

  • The increasingly corporatized and globalized economic system which has led to the rise of Donald Trump and counterparts in Europe
  • The implications of Trump’s election for the international movement for trade justice, climate action, human rights, and localization
  • Why it’s important to differentiate between progressive resistance to free trade and the authoritarian nationalism of Trump
  • Most importantly, where we can go from here and how we can move forward with an agenda for positive systemic change

Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute and one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from fossil fuels, joined Local Futures’ Director Helena Norberg-Hodge for this webinar, to tackle these issues one by one. Together, they identified some promising strategies, particularly on the local level, for grappling with a post-Trump world, and for rediscovering the political power of community.

Resources to complement the webinar

My Thoughts Following the Election, by Richard Heinberg. November 9th, 2016

Trump: The Illusion of Change, by Helena Norberg-Hodge. November 18th, 2016

Localism in the Age of Trump, by Richard Heinberg. December 8th, 2016


32 Comments on "Heinberg: Beyond Trump: The Path to Real Change"

  1. shortonoil on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 6:38 pm 

    I am not quite sure of the size of the change. When moving from a unit system of $ to a unit system of BTU, and visa verse, things sometime change faster than expected. But the direction would be the equivalent to increasing the BTU content of every gallon of crude entering the US by 15%. (If applied to petroleum).

    What it would do to foreign producers I haven’t figured out; yet!

    But the US imports almost exactly what it exports??? 6 million crude, 6 million finished product.Trump appears to be going “localized” US.

  2. Cloggie on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 6:56 pm 

    Two notoriously nice progressive beta types talking about what to do against evil Trump. These folks have zero relationship to the deplorables who brought Trump to power. It is the same everywhere: progressives despise the workers/commoners and have instead adopted the holy third world, refugees, frogs, human rights and climate change and will fight “white privilege” around the clock.

    for grappling with a post-Trump world

    I hope for them they are able to hold their orgasm for eight years.

    I’m so completely done with low-hanging fruit cake Richard Heinberg.

  3. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 7:46 pm 

    Is there life after Trump?
    The democrats got 3 years to find a better candidate
    and start campaigning.

    When Hillary was getting rid of Sanders, people said that Sanders would beat Trump, but Hillary would not beat Trump. That turned out to be true.

  4. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 7:48 pm 

    Shillary also proved her incompetency by
    not making Sanders V.P.

    Democraps have a history now of
    mediocre Vice president picks.

    If Billary had made Sanders VP, she would be president in January.

  5. makati1 on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 8:44 pm 

    160+ million Americas over 35 (the age requirement for president) and, after 3 years of billion$ spent, lies, coverups and plain old bullshit, we narrowed it down to Killary and Trump. Speaks volumes about the 3rd world country called America, doesn’t it?.

    The whole world sees behind the curtain now, and that is a GOOD thing. What they are going to see in the next few years is going to destroy the “exceptional/indispensable” country. Trump is/was set up to fail. The economy is going to be allowed to fail catastrophically. When that happens the U$ will come apart like never before seen on this planet. I hope I am wrong, but…

  6. Sissyfuss on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 9:44 pm 

    Mak, if it comes apart too fast the debris and shrapnel will cause a lot of collateral damage.

  7. makati1 on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 9:47 pm 

    Sissy, yes, the whole world will change radically. If it is just financially, we will survive. If it is militarily …

  8. Plantagenet on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 10:02 pm 

    I’m less worried about happens after Trump then I am about what happens during Trump.

    Any chance of Heinberg giving a talk on that subject?


  9. Dooma on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 10:17 pm 

    In 2007 I Googled “America in financial trouble” and got about two hits. When I heard that Trump was running for President, I told my brother (who is in politics here) the he will win. My brother thought I was crazy. I think that the missing Russian “backpack” nuke will make an appearance in 2017.

  10. makati1 on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 11:10 pm 

    Which city? ^_^

  11. makati1 on Tue, 20th Dec 2016 11:33 pm 

    “A Reuters examination of lead testing results across the country found almost 3,000 areas with poisoning rates far higher than in the tainted Michigan city. Yet many of these lead hot-spots are receiving little attention or funding. … in Missouri, it’s a six hour drive southeast from St. Joseph to rural Viburnum in Iron County, situated in a mining district known as the Lead Belt. Viburnum’s tract had the sharpest rate of elevated childhood tests in the state, or 30 percent since 2010.”

    And they say China is bad….lol

  12. Davy on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 4:48 am 

    Makati, you always get your degree of emphasis turned around. There are a few hundred people in Viburnum. Last I checked there are 1.3Bil people in China with toxiix waste regions the size of nations. You mind operates like an adolescent in a 75 year old body.

  13. Davy on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 5:06 am 

    People like Heinberg need to focus on people that matter for change. He needs to focus on his own followers who live in a mistaken world of techno green optimism. Their attitudes are twisted and need proper direction. This is about decline and decay with alfulence initially then worse. While we still have relative affluence there is much that can be done by this gifted group. This group is motivated and believes in science. Where they are failing is with denial from techno hopium. Trumps crowd is a lost cause. Many deny science and or are motivated by profit over environmental and social morality.

    Heinberg could be honest with his followers by telling them there is no hope for our civilization in relation to the status quo green narrative of progress. Their vision is flawed and consequently bad investments in time and resources will be made. This collapse process is very much time defined. We don’t know this definition but we know we are nearing dangerous threasholds of change with populations in overshoot both with population levels and economic activity. Heinberg’s people can make America great again by attitude and action. Trump will fail as any leader will today. Where we can be great is facing the truth of our existential trap with honest action. A war can be lost but a retreat won. Let’s avoid a route in a disorderly retreat where many more suffer and die needlessly. In my book that is a metric of victory.

  14. makati1 on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 5:34 am 

    Davy, when you are dying of pollution, it does not matter how many neighbors you have. LOL

    If Trump gets his way, in 10 years China will look pristine compared to the U$. The U$ has covered up/ignored all the pollution it has. All those ‘Love Canals’ are still in existence, just not in the news. He plans to make many many more of them in your lifetime. lol

  15. Dredd on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 5:38 am 

    A group walked into a psychiatric institution seeking group therapy to heal their dementia.

    The shrinks told them to hold an election (Will Elections Cure The Disease? – 3).

    The American Psychiatric Association supported torture instead of group psychoanalysis, contrary to the counsel of “the father of psychoanalysis”:

    If the evolution of civilization has such a far reaching similarity with the development of an individual, and if the same methods are employed in both, would not the diagnosis be justified that many systems of civilization——or epochs of it——possibly even the whole of humanity——have become neurotic under the pressure of the civilizing trends? To analytic dissection of these neuroses, therapeutic recommendations might follow which could claim a great practical interest. I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness. But it behooves us to be very careful, not to forget that after all we are dealing only with analogies, and that it is dangerous, not only with men but also with concepts, to drag them out of the region where they originated and have matured. The diagnosis of collective neuroses, moreover, will be confronted by a special difficulty. In the neurosis of an individual we can use as a starting point the contrast presented to us between the patient and his environment which we assume to be normal. No such background as this would be available for any society similarly affected; it would have to be supplied in some other way. And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities. [p. 39]

    Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature
    to such a pitch that by using them they could now very easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this——hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension. [p. 40]

    (The Authoritarianism of Climate Change, quoting Freud).

  16. joe on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 5:59 am 

    I would never say that Trump is a good political figure, in fact I would say he is not a political figure, thats why he won. Liberals thought that their vision was correct, and its not. I find it so weird that it seems its easier to catch a guy that steals a six pack from a store than it is to catch a man who murders 12+ people with a truck. I think its weird that left is suddenly shilling for Communist China against Trump. I think its weird that the left is putting Trump in bed with China, where the Russians know exactly whats going on.
    The MSM is all the left has going now, and the Republicans will squash that when net neutrality is dealt win finally, somthing that Clinton and Obama should have done when they could have, that is a serious betrayal of the left. The people of the left surround themelves with like minded people from all kinds of cultural background, its a beautiful thing to see regular muslims, women, blacks, whites etc all getting along, but these lives tend to happen in wealthier places where money or development is more important than the lives of the masses who worry about eating and heating.
    The peak oil movement is not a movement really. Rockman refers to a POD, I call it ‘the bumpy plateau model of peak oil’, others refer to a more general ‘limits of growth’.
    People will ascribe to Trump the things which were gonna happen anyway. Clinton was not a friend of China, her idea in Syria was to fight the Russian airforce! Only the, truck killer’s would benefit. She didn’t really support continued globalisation, repatriation of profits stored abroad is a bipartisan idea.
    A world of a few hundred million people might be possible without oil, certainly one existed before. But before that world comes there must be allot of death danger and denial, so it’s not likely to come about without ww3 happening and that ends only one way.

  17. Davy on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 6:12 am 

    Right makati, I imagine you are breathing some nasty shit there in the middle of a Manila of millions of people. I don’t give you long. You best get over to the fantasy farm before real damage is done.

  18. Hubert on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 6:43 am 

    Dark Age 2.0 is Unavoidable.

  19. Cloud9 on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 7:51 am 

    It is interesting that guys like Heinberg and Kunstler have a visceral dislike of Trump and the people who voted for him. Yet, in the past, they both have made comments about trends that will undo globalization and force regionalism on all of us. One of Trump’s main draws was his assertion that he wanted nationalism to replace globalization. The idea of throwing up a fence to keep the teeming millions from Latin America from swamping the life boat resonated with a lot of people who happen to be black and brown. This fact escapes the liberal mind set.
    The real question is how long before we reach Liebig’s Law of the Minimum. How long do we have before a critical supply line breaks and the system collapses? None of us know. Ours is an organic system. Politicians and their legions of bureaucrats did not create it. It developed on its own. How much resiliency lies in the system is a major unknown.
    I do know this: Every turn of every century seems to be the harbinger of rising levels of complexity, chaos and death. This time last century, Europe was trying to murder itself in a ditch.

  20. Davy on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 8:21 am 

    Yea cloud, they want their cake and eat it. They want change but without the politically incorrect. They want civilization but on their terms. This is going to be like a trip to the doctor with a trip home with bad diagnosis.

  21. JuanP on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 8:59 am 

    I agree with Go Speed. The Democratic party should have let things play out without interfering and give Sanders a chance. Hillary should have selected Sanders as her vice presidential candidate. The Democrats and Hillary lost the elections because of what they did to the Bernie. If Bernie had been in the Democratic ticket then the Democrats would have beaten Trump, IMO. So many people were feeling the bern.

  22. JuanP on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 9:07 am 

    Cloud9 “The idea of throwing up a fence to keep the teeming millions from Latin America from swamping the life boat resonated with a lot of people who happen to be black and brown. This fact escapes the liberal mind set.” I agree. I am a white hispanic man and most people assume I am an American until they hear my accent. I have talked with many white American liberals who fail to understand this. Many hispanics and blacks I spoke to supported Trump. White liberals can’t grasp that they would vote for someone who insults them, but these people told me it was not a problem for them. Most whites underestimated how much hispanic and black people dislike and distrust Hillary.

  23. penury on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 10:02 am 

    Will life under Trump become better or worse for the populations of the world? Yes. When Augustus was appointed as monarch the masses cheered because everything was going to become wonderful again. History shows how that worked out. History will reveal once again that hind sight is 20/20 and forecasts are like the mutterings of the sybil.

  24. JuanP on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 10:24 am 

    Penury, life has been getting worse for most people for decades. Trump can’t change that. We are past the point of no return!

  25. Cloggie on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 12:11 pm 

    Snow in the Sahara, for the first time since 40 years:

    Q: are you going to ski in the Swiss Alps again this year?
    A: no, this year we go either to Grabbir Boubi, Mustaf Herod Apyur Poupr, Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sheik Urbooty or Usuqa M’Diq. One of these resorts in the Sahara.

  26. Anonymous on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 2:21 pm 

    I suggest most of you stop worrying about the ‘prez’, or what he will, or wont do. The position, is largely symbolic anyhow. More like a puppet show really, to keep the masses amused and distracted, and or enraged if required. Every single amerikants world seems to revolve around ‘electing’ a president that will fix all the ‘problems’ the empire faces. Of course, that never happens, and it won’t happen this time either.

    Its a good thing the devil-in-pantsuits lost. It truly is. Definitely the greater of two evils. But the don is evil too, that much is clear. When the only ‘choice’ you are permitted is two evil, vaguely human, and stupid sacks of meat to ‘lead’, what do you do? Do what amerikans always do. Talk, talk, and talk some more. And then go shopping. That is to say, nothing. Which is actually what the system is designed for. The uS ‘political’ system, is intended to avert, and prevent change, not foster it. Feature-not bug.

    Want to know who actually won the so-called uS ‘presidential’ election?

    The pentagon, uS oil corps, and wall st. did That would make, what? the 15th, or 30th or so consecutive win for that party. Wall st and the pentagon havent lost a single uS ‘election’ since the 1930s at least, an impressive achievement no doubt.

    Myself, I’m looking forward to 4 years of trump enraging all the make believe liberals of the uS ‘left’, while doing little about issues he tapped into to get elected. Like, rolling back free-trade, border security, draining swamp? (lol, that one got thrown out the window in record time), and so on. The ‘deplorable’ electors are likely going to be just as disappointed in the donald as the faux-uS left and hollyjewood will be enraged.

    Heinberg here is a good example of misdirected faux-liberal rage. This:

    The increasingly corporatized and globalized economic system which has led to the rise of Donald Trump and counterparts in Europe

    No Richard, it gave rise to Clintons, to the bushes, to the chenys, to Kissinger if you go back. They’ve always been there, but it seems Richard only noticed this ‘election’. Presumably, clinton was a champion of all richards human-rights pet causes, despite her being a serial warmonger and a verifiable criminal, on many counts, and corrupt as the day is long.

    Shillary (or the clintons if you prefer), never met a war or a bribe they didn’t like. Not sure how Richard failed to notice this, its not like plenty of others didn’t….

    And who are trumps ‘counterparts’ in Europe anyhow? Guess they don’t have names or identities, since richard couldn’t be bothered to actually you know, name any of them. The increasingly corporatized world, has been a feature for most, or all of Richards, adult life.

  27. penury on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 5:52 pm 

    Trump is a prisoner of his own choice. He chose to become POTUS and will suffer the same fate of others. Like an oil tanker the “ship of state” is too large for quick corrections. The U.D, was built on war and war will remain the option of choice for all the MIC. Voters by and large are immaterial to the U.S. system. Voters are told what to think, what to say and how to behave. Will a Trump Presidency effect any changes in the “American” way of life? certainly, just do not attempt to guess what the changes will be until after the 20 of Jan 17.

  28. Apneaman on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 5:55 pm 

    clogtard,snow in the Sahara? Why? How about because the humans fucked upped the jet strem and now it’s drunk. Google it retard. Do you ski the Alps? Better get going before it’s all gone. That goes for all ski resorts on the planet.

    Climate change is depriving skiers of snow in the Alps—and causing more injuries

    How snowless ski resorts are adapting to climate change

    Resorts are scrambling to adapt to climate change by offering ‘weather independent’ attractions, like wave pools and ‘mountain coasters’

    clogspiracy. Looks like y’all will need to add the ski resort owners, the ski resort managers and the workers who make the snow to the “hoax” list. The skiers too. They all in on it because they want those evil doer scientists to get their grant money N stuff. Whats that? Another couple hundred thousand more folks in on the climate change hoax? What are we up to? A few billion hoax participants now?

    Alt Right & White VS the World….poor widdle victims.

    “Global warming isn’t real because I was cold today! Also great news: World hunger is over because I just ate.” – Stephen Colbert

  29. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 6:22 pm 

    R.H. Is a hardcore hopium addict. He main lines the shit right into his jugular. Instead of going on on about the hope for change maybe these clowns might one day like to examine why change will not occur. And then do something about it. Of course that is an exercise in becoming a violent revolutionary. R.H. doesnt have the minerals for that I’m quite sure.

  30. makati1 on Wed, 21st Dec 2016 8:08 pm 

    For the “snow in the desert” types who believe it is a sign that there is no global warming… it has been an average of 2-3F degrees hotter this year in Manila than usual. The southern part of the planet has been having hotter weather, easily offsetting a few cold snaps in the north.

    It was 90F yesterday with a clear sky and a visibility of about 12 miles. I could see the mountains East of the city. The average for this month of December is 91F so far. The Historical average for December is 86F.

  31. Apneaman on Thu, 22nd Dec 2016 3:46 pm 

    Real change is already happening. Real pain (white people pain) is next.

    NASA ‘space laser’ detects eco-disaster in ocean

  32. Apneaman on Thu, 22nd Dec 2016 3:53 pm 

    Mak in denier child logic that few millimeters of Sahara snow means the Antarctic and Arctic are no longer in meltdown. Stopped – Never happened.

    A Flood of Warm Water the Size of 30 Amazon Rivers is Melting One of East Antarctica’s Largest Glaciers

    A weather buoy near the North Pole hit the melting point today — nearly 30 C above normal
    The arctic is experiencing a freakish warm spell at a time of continuous winter darkness.

    ‘Extraordinarily hot’ Arctic temperatures alarm scientists
    Danish and US researchers say warmer air and sea surface could lead to record lows of sea ice at north pole next year

    Bring on the Arctic blue ocean and start the countdown.

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