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Chapter 1: The Problem

1., “Two-thirds of polar bears at risk.”

2. Butler, “Climate Change.”

3. Wilson, The Future of Life, p. 74. See also Olson, “Species Extinction Rate.”

4. Ravilious, “Only Zero Emissions.”

5. Aitkenhead, “Enjoy Life.”

6. Jensen and McMillan, As the World Burns, p. 15.

7. Jensen and McBay, What We Leave Behind.

8. Jensen, Endgame, p. 36.

9. Leber, “Trash Course,” p. 21.

10. In a small bit of good news, seven individuals were found in 2014. So the Aldabra snail is in big trouble, but not yet actually exinct.

Chapter 2: Civilization and Other Hazards

1. See for example Derrick Jensen’s Endgame or Eric Fromm’s The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.

2. See Sanderson et al., “The Human Footprint and the Last of the Wild.”

3. In terms of food production, the population spike is mostly the result of the use of synthetic fertilizers, especially the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process for fixing nitrogen, and the substitution of fossil fuel energy for animal energy (including humans and draft animals). Industrial agriculture uses roughly ten fossil fuel calories for every calorie of food energy produced, a net loss of 900 percent.

4. This dependency is exhaustively covered in the peak oil literature. See the introductory chapter of Aric’s Peak Oil Survival: Preparation for Life after Gridcrash as well as the suggested readings on energy at the end of this book.

5. Homo habilis was a tool-using human species that appeared about 2.5 million years ago. If we assume human civilization is 10,000 years old, then civilization has only existed for 0.004 percent of human history. If we compressed the entirety of human history to one year—365 days—then civilization would appear at around 8:00 pm on December 31.

6. The word itself comes from the word for “city” see etymological discussion in Endgame, vol. 1.

7. Lewis Mumford’s monumental work The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects is perhaps the best book ever written about the history of the city as an entity. It discusses many effects of city development in great detail.

8. Mumford, The City in History, p. 53.

9. Diamond, In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization, p. 1.

10. Gibbon, Decline and Fall, pp. 173–174.

11. It’s ironic and deeply sad that for a species to be plentiful chiefly means that it takes a long time for the dominant culture to wipe them out.

12. Hansen et al., “Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?” Of course, even 350 ppm does not offer a guarantee.

13. This and subsequent figures are from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Climate Change 2007. Between writing and editing this, estimates have gone up even more. Virtually every scientific estimate seems to be deemed overly conservative within a few years of its publication, not a pattern I would like to bet the planet on.

14. Climate Change 2007, p. 17.

15. See, for example, Ward, Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us about Our Future.

16. Officially called the Permian-Triassic extinction event.

17. Mrasek, “Melting Methane.” Also Hanley, “Climate Trouble May be Bubbling Up in Far North.”

18. Blakemore, “NASA: Danger Point Closer Than Though From Warming.”

19. See Sample, “Warming Hits ‘Tipping point.’ ” Also Blegley, “Climate-Change Calculus.”

20. Science Daily, “Pollution Causes 40 Percent Of Deaths Worldwide, Study Finds.”

21. Toy, “China Covers Up Pollution Deaths.”

22. Bullard et al., “Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty.”

23. Marufu et al., “The 2003 North American Electrical Blackout.”

24. Derrick and Aric wrote in much more detail about garbage, waste, and pollution in their book What We Leave Behind.

25. Sourced from and, especially Gordon, “Ethnologue.”

26. Milanovic, “True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993.”

27. Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, p. 354.

28. According to David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agricultural sciences at Cornell University. Also Science Daily, “Pollution Causes 40 Percent Of Deaths Worldwide, Study Finds.”

29. See Shah, “Structural Adjustment.”

30. Jubilee Debt Campaign, “Debt and Public Services.”

31. The estimated 2007 US Defense Budget was $504 billion dollars, divided by the 8760 hours in a year. See

32. Shah, “World Military Spending.”

33. Hellman, “The Runaway Military Budget.”

34. Duncan, “The Peak of World Oil Production and the Road to the Olduvai Gorge.”

35. It is true, although capitalism and science are capable of employing rough substitutes for many particular metals, something that’s not true for energy. Some minerals do represent sources of energy. Fissionable materials like uranium may be in short supply, especially after peak oil dramatically increases demand for non-petroleum-based energy supplies.

36. Gordon et al., “Metal Stocks and Sustainability.”

37. Salonius, “Intensive Crop Culture for High Population is Unsustainable.”

38. Pearce, “Asian Farmers Sucking the Continent Dry.”

39. Brown, “Emerging Water Shortages.”

40. Ibid.

41. Paulson, “The Lowdown on Topsoil.”

42., “Africa May Be Able to Feed Only 25% of Its Population by 2025.”

43. Facilitation Committee, “Interlinkages Between Drought, Desertification and Water.”

44. Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005 (Synthesis.)

45. Ibid.

46. Sanderson, “The Human Footprint and the Last of the Wild.”

47. Salonius, “A 10,000 Year Misunderstanding.”

48. Worldwatch Institute, Vital Signs 2007–2008.

49. Myers et al., “Rapid Worldwide Depletion of Predatory Fish Communities.”

50. Black, “Only 50 Years Left for Sea Fish.”

51. EurekAlert, “Bottom Trawling Impacts, Clearly Visible from Space.”

52. Australian Marine Conservation Society, Orange Roughy: Down and Out.

53. Culum Brown, “Animal Minds: Clever Fish.”

54. BBC News, “Scientists Highlight Fish ‘Intelligence.’ ”

55. McGinn, “Promoting Sustainable Fisheries.”

56. CBC News, “Pine Beetle Outbreak Adds to Greenhouse Gas Woes.”

57. Heaney, “Phillipine Deforestation” ReforestHaiti, “International Conference on Reforestation and Environmental Regeneration of Haiti”, “Nigeria: Environmental Profile.”

58. Wilson, The Future of Life.

59. Laurance, “Reflections on the Tropical Deforestation Crisis.”

60. There are a few mathematical assumptions here. I’m assuming that your eyes are just shy of 5.5 feet off the ground, which is taller than average globally, but which makes the width of our swath work out to almost 10 km wide. And I’m assuming that you can hike 30 km a day every day without breaks, a very good clip for a backpacker.

61. Worldwatch Institute, Vital Signs 2007–2008.

62. Butler, “Soybeans May Worsen Drought in the Amazon Rainforest.”

63. Butler, “Deforestation in the Amazon.”

64. Lean, “Dying Forest: One Year to Save the Amazon.”

65. Rosenthal, “An Amazon Culture Withers as Food Dries Up.”

66. Lean, “Amazon Rainforest Could Become a Desert.”

67. For numerous examples of this, see a blog that specializes on the subject: Shifting Baselines: The Cure for Planetary Amnesia at

68. Name since changed to protect the guilty.

69. See Hubbert, “Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels.”

70. The discovery of the greenhouse effect is credited to Joseph Fourier. Arrhenius mistakenly predicted that global warming would take about 3,000 years to develop because he failed to anticipate the dramatic increases in fossil fuel consumption that were about to begin. His predictions of the amount of increase (about 5°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2) are consonant with current estimates, but a lack of knowledge about ecology and meteorology led him to suggest that the change would be largely beneficial.

71. Of course, even the unsustainable corporations are doing a pretty good job of bankrupting themselves these days. Obviously there is some advantage to taking a “green” approach to business, since many people are willing to pay more for a green premium. But show me an example of a company that is anything more than “slightly greener” than its close competitors. It would arguably be nice in theory if companies would race each other to become less destructive, but the “green” trend in business seems to function mostly to devalue and debase the idea of genuine sustainability to gain a slight competitive edge.

72. See Rainforest Action Network, “About the Campaign” and Reuters, “Jane Goodall Says Biofuel Crops Hurt Rain Forests.”

73. Censky, “GE: 7,000 Tax Returns, $0 U.S. Tax Bill.”

74. Aric and Derrick took on this very idea at length in What We Leave Behind.

75. See Derrick’s extensive discussion of this in Endgame.

Chapter 3: Liberals and Radicals

1. Mrasek, “Melting Methane.”

2. MacKinnon, Towards a Feminist Theory of the State, p. 47.

3. Smedley, Race in North America, p. 23.

4. Kennedy, “Institutionalized Oppression,” p. 492.

5. Frye, The Politics of Reality, p 33.

6. Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone, p. 266.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid., p. 267.

11. Roszak, The Making, p. 61.

12. Barber, “Leading the Vanguard,” p. 110. Barber argues that the reason SDS fell was because it failed to address racism, sexism, and empire.

13. Talk at Bluestockings Bookstore, New York, New York, October 4, 2007.

14. Varon, Bringing the War Home, p. 58.

15. Ibid., pp. 59–60.

16. Ibid., p. 60.

17. Ibid.

18. Mather, “A History,” p. 109.

19. Cleaver, Soul on Ice.

20. Pearson, The Shadow, p. 292.

21. Fasulo, “The Revolution,” p. 23. See also Ogbar, “Rainbow Radicalism.”

22. Ibid.

23. Fasulo, “The Revolution,” p. 24. See also Ogbar. “Rainbow Radicalism.”

24. See also Abramson, Palante.

25. Fasulo, “The Revolution,” p. 23.

26. Allen, “Reactionary Black Nationalism.” See also Neal, New Black Man, and Collins, Black Feminist Thought.

27. This is William Harper’s 1837 defense of slavery: “President Dew [another speaker at the conference where he first delivered this message] has shown that the institution of Slavery is a principal cause of civilization. Perhaps nothing can be more evident than that it is the sole cause. If anything can be predicated as universally true of uncultivated man, it is that he will not labour beyond what is absolutely necessary to maintain his existence. Labour is pain to those who are unaccustomed to it, and the nature of man is averse to pain. Even with all the training, the helps and motives of civilization, we find that this aversion cannot be overcome in many individuals of the most cultivated societies. The coercion of Slavery alone is adequate to form man to habits of labour. Without it, there can be no accumulation of property, no providence for the future, no taste for comforts or elegancies, which are the characteristics and essentials of civilization. He who has obtained the command of another’s labour, first begins to accumulate and provide for the future, and the foundations of civilization are laid.… Since the existence of man upon the earth, with no exception whatever, either of ancient or modern times, every society which has attained civilization has advanced to it through this process.”

28. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, p. 270.

29. Morgan, The Demon Lover, p. 49.

30. Kennedy, “Institutionalized Oppression.”

31. Maier, From Resistance, p. 16.

32. Ibid.

33. Bushman, “Massachusetts Farmers,” p. 79.

34. Maier, From Resistance, p. 54.

35. Conser et al., p. 5.

36. Ibid., p. 251.

37. Ibid., p. 8.

38. Raphael, The First.

39. Ibid, p. 65.

40. Ibid.

41. Ibid., p. 67.

42. Ibid., p. 78.

43. Ibid., p. 2.

44. Ibid., p. 3.

45. Conser et al.

46. Quinn, Beyond Civilization, p. 95.

47. Ibid., p. 6.


49. Ibid.

50. Heinberg, Powerdown, p. 139.

51. Heinberg, Peak Everything, p. 45.

52. Philosophy Dictionary.

53. The Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement.

54. Harrison, Visions of Glory, p. 16.

55. Watters, “When Prophecies Fail.”

56. Festinger, When Prophecy Fails.

57. Sharp, The Politics, p. 64.

58. Ibid., p. 67.

59. Quoted in Jensen, Endgame, Vol. 2, p. 515.

60. For an example of “eco-friendly wedding” advice, see “Green Guru,” p. 46.

Chapter 4: Culture of Resistance

1. There are untold numbers of cultures around the globe, and each one will resist in ways that are unique to it. That means they have their own specific histories and strengths, their own blind spots and failings. In the contemporary US, leftists across the progressive to radical spectrum come from diverse backgrounds. Sometimes these groups have been able to build working coalitions with functioning community norms. What I am critiquing here is the culture created by largely white, more or less privileged young men. To the extent that the values and norms of that group became hegemonic across many movements, this critique needs to happen, as those values will create neither a successful resistance nor the coalitions necessary for social transformation. But my analysis may not have much bearing on other cultures of resistance, nor would it be appropriate for me to criticize cultures of which I am not a member.

2. Catholic Encyclopedia, “Adamites.”

3. Wikipedia contributors, “Diggers.”

4. Thanks to Annemarie Monahan.

5. I need to point out that this man, who is famous for his treatise on child-rearing and education, abandoned as many as five of his own infant children to foundling homes, where most likely they died.

6. This is not to say that nonhumans do not create cultures. It is merely to say that all humans do.

7. Just and Lust, Return to Nature, p. 4.

8. Kennedy and Ryan, Hippie Roots.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Eley, From Unification, p. 172.

12. Blackborn, History of Germany, p. 302.

13. Wikipeida contributors, “Talk: Völkisch movement.”

14. Wikipeida contributors, “Johann Gottfried Herder.”

15. Lunn, Prophet of Community, p. 101.

16. Ibid., p. 5.

17. Ibid.

18. Ibid., p. 111.

19. Weindling, Health, Race, and German Politics, p. 78.

20. Blackborn, History of Germany, p. 373.

21. Biehl and Staudenmaier. Ecofascism.

22. Biehl and Staudenmaier, Ecofascism. Barbaric is precisely the wrong word. Barbarian is what the civilized Greeks called the indigenous of Greece, making fun of their language. Whatever atrocities those indigenous may have committed, they are not of the same magnitude nor motivation of those committed by mechanized societies like modern Germany.

23. Ibid., p. 33.

24. Ibid., pp. 48–49.

25. Crossman, “Introduction,” Young Germany, p. xviii. And the next wave of the German youth movement in the 1920s was, of course, far less ambiguous.

26. Laqueur, Young Germany, p. 49.

27. Dworkin, p. 30.

28. Wilson, Bohemians, p. 2.

29. Ibid.

30. Spender, World Within World, p. 134.

31. Wilson, Bohemians, p. 3.

32. Ibid.

33. Rousseau, Émile, p. 169.

34. Melville, Communes, p. 101.

35. Melville, p. 64.

36. Blackborn, p. 265.

37. Walsh, Why Do They, p. 16.

38. Ibid., p. 31.

39. Ibid., p. 44.

40. Ibid., p. 149.

41. Ibid., p. 37.

42. Ibid., p. 37.

43. Ibid., p. 46.

44. Roszak, The Making, p. 39.

45. Melville, Communes, p. 12.

46. Ibid., 55.

47. Ibid., pp. 55–56

48. Hoffman, Revolution, p. 36.

49. Ibid., p. 27.

50. EST (Erhard Seminars Training) was a seminar for “personal transformation” that started in 1971, kicking off the whole workshop culture.

51. Though it has since been taken up by right-wing ideologues as an excuse for their racist, misogynist, and entitled attitudes.

52. Kennedy, “Institutionalized Oppression.”

53. Thompson, A Discussion.

54. See Fendrich, “Radicals Revisited,” p. 161, and Nassil and Abramowitz, “Transition or Transformation,” p. 21.

55. Tye, Rising from the Rails, p. 252.

56. Ibid., p. 253.

57. Mackenzie, Shoulder to Shoulder, p. 205.

58. Obomsawin, Kanehsatake.

59. Mackenzie, Shoulder to Shoulder, p. 2.

60. Ibid., p. 19.

61. Ibid., p. 20.

62. Ibid., p. 199.

63. Queenan, Malcontents, p. 519.

64. Jensen, “Pornography.”

65. Dworkin, Right-Wing Women, p. 226.

66. Dines, Pornland.

67. Haddow, “Pornocalypse.”

68. Jeffreys, The Industrial Vagina.

69. Dworkin, Pornography, p. 70.

70. Camus, The Rebel, p. 47.

71. Jeffreys, The Lesbian Heresy.

72. Science Daily, “Empathy.”

73. Rich, Dream, p. 30.

74. Ibid., p. 5.

75. Ibid., p. 14.

76. Murphy, Plan C, p. 102.

77. Congressional Public Health Summit, “Joint Statement.”

78. American Academy of Pediatrics, “Media Violence,” pp. 1222–1226.

79. Jackson, Distracted, p. 12.

80. American Psychological Association, “Report of the APA Task Force.”

81. Murphy, Plan C, p. 248.

82. Bookchin, “Introductory Essay,” p. xix.

83. The war on drugs had direct and deleterious effects on my life. I’ve had a degenerative disease for twenty-six years, and for the first seventeen I was refused any pain relief. There are 16,000 people who die every year from lack of pain medications, because we’re forced to take unsafe doses of over-the-counter analgesics. On more than one occasion I have taken thirty-two ibuprofen: that’s 6400 mg in a four-hour period. You have to be desperate to do that. I know the exact thought that ran through my head: I’m either going to die or feel better, and either is fine. It’s also degrading to be treated like a medication-seeking addict by doctors when you’re dealing with life-altering pain and need help.

84. Melville, Communes, p. 183.

85. Ross, The Mood Cure.

86. Ibid., pp. 105–6.

87. Kerouac, On the Road, pp. 179–180.

88. James, Varieties of Religious Experience, p. 419.

89. Ibid., p. 425.

90. I said a few bland sentences about looking forward to my garden.

91. Dworkin, Right-Wing Women, p. 218.

92. Rich, Dream.

93. Sharp, Social Power, p. 6.

94. Ibid.

95. Hobsbawm, Revolutionaries, p. 76.

96. MacKenzie, Shoulder to Shoulder, p. 54.

97. Ibid., p. 332.

98. Ibid., p. 318.

99. Ibid., p. 228.

100. Ibid., p. 230.

101. Ibid., p. 231.

102. Ibid., p. 248.

103. Ibid.

104. Ibid., p. 64.

105. Berger, Outlaws, p. 158.

106. Tye, Rising From the Rails, p. 222.

107. Bookchin, “Introductory Essay,” p. xvii.

108. Wittig, Les Guérillères, p. 89.

109. de Longbhuel, “The Gaelic Revival’s.”

110. Dworkin, The Making of a Radical Feminist.

111. Graham, Loving to Survive.

112. Kent, From Slogans, p. 23.

113. Zablocki, “Forward,” p. xii.

114. Kent, From Slogans, p. 42.

Chapter 5: Other Plans

1. Hopwood and Cohen, “Greenhouses Gases.”

2. It is interesting to note that small engines were invented in ancient Greece and China, but without a cheap source of dense energy they amounted to nothing but toys to amuse the wealthy.

3. Trainer, Towards a Sustainable Economy, pp. 82–83.

4. Capra, The Turning Point, pp. 201–202.

5. Trainer, Towards a Sustainable Economy, p. 6.

6. Trainer, Renewable Energy, pp. 7–8.

7. Brown, Plan B 4.0.

8. Ibid., p. 24.

9. Ibid., p. 25.

10. Ibid., p. 15.

11. Ibid., p. 17.

12. Williams and Zabel, “An Open Letter.”

13. Ibid.

14. Brown, Plan B 4.0, p. 113.

15. Trainer, Renewable Energy, p. 11.

16. Ibid., p. 40.

17. Ibid., p. 21.

18. Ibid., p. 33.

19. Brown, Plan B 4.0, p. 122.

20. Trainer, Rewewable Energy, p. 45.

21. Ibid., p. 61.

22. Ibid., p. 57.

23. Ibid., p. 66.

24. Ibid., p. 62.

25. Ibid., p.68.

26. Brown, Plan B 4.0, p. 131.

27. Ibid., p. 131.

28. Trainer, Renewable Energy, p. 73.

29. Brown, Plan B 4.0, p. 131.

30. Newman, quoted in Trainer, Renewable Energy, p. 117.

31. Allport, The Primal Feast.

32. Brown, Plan B 4.0, p. 24.

33. Ibid., p. 210.

34. Ibid., p. 237.

35. Ibid., p. 40.

36. Greer, The Long Descent, p. 26.

37. Ibid., p. 27.

38. Ibid., p. 116.

39. Trainer, Renewable Energy, p. 154.

40. Ibid., p. 133.

41. Quinn, Beyond Civilization, p. 102.

42. Heinberg, Powerdown, p. 45.

43. Murphy, Plan C, p. 114.

44. Ibid., p. 118.

45. Ibid., p. 129.

46. Ibid.

47. Fitz, “Energy, Environment,” p. 21.

48. Ibid., p. 23.

49. Ibid., p. 141.

50. Heinberg, Powerdown, p. 15.

51. Transition Network.

52. Chamberlin, The Transition Timeline, p. 33.

53. Office of Global Analysis, “Cuba’s Food & Agriculture.”

54. Díaz-Briquets and Pérez-López, “The Special Period,” p. 9.

55. Murphy, Plan C, p. 220.

56. Cuban Health Statistics Bureau, “Annual Health Statistics.”

57. Johnson, “Crisis Cubana,” pp. 1A–5A.

58. Ibid.

59. Omestad, “Cuba Plans.”

60. Orlov, Reinventing Collapse, p. 8.

61. Ibid., p. 9.

62. Ibid., p. 10.

63. Ibid., p. 11.

64. Eberstadt, “Russia.”

65. Rosenberg. “Negative Population.”

66. Eberstadt, “Russia.”

67. Ibid.

68. Ibid.

69. Ibid.

70. Ibid.

71. Grady, “Chernobyl’s Voles.”

72. Connor, “Chernobyl: Lost World.”

73. Population Institute, “Iran’s Family Program.”

74. Brown, p. 182.

75. Ibid.

76. Stearns, The Hole, pp. 156–157.

77. Växjö kommun, “Sustainable Development.”

78. Ibid.

79. C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, “Renewables.”

80. Leahy, “Biodiversity.”

81. Caldicott, “Nuclear Power.”

82. All statistics from

83. Ericsson et al., “A Forest.”

84. Ekberg, “The Swedish Law.”

85. Wielgolaski et al., Plant Ecology, p. 332.

86. Farnsworth. “Sweden’s Biggest.”

87. Swedish Institute, “The Sami People.”

88. Ibid.

89. Ibid.

90. Baldwin, “Be There,” p. 25.

91. Ibid., p. 2.

92. Bryan, “Vermont’s Genetic Code,” p. 4.

93. Naylor, “Rebel Against.”

94. Commonwealth of Vermont Working Group, “A 21st Century Statement.”

95. Sale, “Dispersions,” p. 27.

96. Bryan, “Vermont’s Genetic Code,” p. 4.

97. Ibid.

98. Ibid., p. 5.

99. Flomenhoft, “Vermont’s Common,” p. 23.

100. Bryan, “Vermont’s Genetic Code,” p. 4.

Chapter 6: A Taxonomy of Action

1. And there’s no need to say “if.” Full-Spectrum Dominance is appallingly, yet unsurprisingly, a stated goal of the US government, through military and other means.

2. Hart, Strategy, 2nd ed., p. 335.

3. See the Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., “strike” as a verb. For Egypt, see Daumas, Ägyptische Kultur im Zeitalter der Pharaonen.

4. Foster, Modern Ireland.

5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Expenditures 2008.”

6. Blackfriars Communications, Inc., “U.S. Marketing Spending to Exceed $1 Trillion in 2005.”

7. After his 1904 book of the same name.

8. Margolies, “North Kansas City Company Settles Charge Related to Boycott of Israel.”

9. Bureau of Industry and Security, “Antiboycott Compliance.”

10. BBC, “The Story of Africa: Tax Wars.” Also see Pakenham, The Scramble, pp. 497–498.

11. Marx, “No Tax Payments!”

12. Hodge, “Number of Americans Paying Zero Federal Income Tax Grows to 43.4 Million.”

13. Civil Rights Movement Veterans, “Birmingham Segregation Laws.”

14. Time, “Dogs, Kids and Clubs.”

15. Fairclough, To Redeem the Soul, p. 113.

16. Nunnelley, Bull Connor, p. 132.

17. Garrow, Bearing the Cross, pp. 176–177.

18. Bass, Blessed Are the Peacemakers, p. 105.

19. Carpenter et al., “A Call for Unity.”

20. Inflation calculated using “The Inflation Calculator” at which uses the Consumer Price Index.

21. Newsweek, “Birmingham USA: Look at Them Run.”

22. Eskew, But for Birmingham, p. 264.

23. Cotman, Birmingham, JFK, and the Civil Rights Act, p. 45.

24. These bombings took place at various times during the larger campaign. See, for example, Shuttlesworth, “Interview.”

25. Gado, “Bombingham.”

26. General references for this entire section: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Sobibór.” Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team, “The Sobibór Death Camp.” Sobibór: The Forgotten Revolt (website and books) by Sobibór survivor Thomas Blatt at

The events of the escape were dramatized in the 1987 movie Escape from Sobibór. The film is remarkably true to actual events, having been written in part by survivors of the camp. I would recommend the film, which is currently available for download at the Internet Archive at

27. Blatt, “The Hero.”

28. Prisoner numbers from Blatt, “Dragnet.”

29. If that sounds hyperbolic, remember Gandhi’s letter to Hitler explaining why killing Jews was wrong, and would Hitler please stop doing it.

30. Bakunin, “Letter to a Frenchman on the Present Crisis.”

31. Obomsawin, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance.

32. Ibid.

33. York and Pindera, People of the Pines, p. 321.

34. Ibid., p. 390.

35. Carter, “The MST and Democracy in Brazil.”

36. See, in particular, Stalin and Kamo: Radzinsky, Stalin, pp. 256–259.

37. Widely known, but see for example: Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men. An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror.

38. OSS, Simple Sabotage Field Manual, p. 6.

39. Ibid., p. 7.

40. Davis, The Civil War, Strange and Fascinating Facts.

41. Neely, “Was the Civil War a Total War?”

42. Catton, The Civil War, p.3.

43. Ibid., The Civil War, p. 239.

44. Sherman, “Field Order 120.”

45. Catton, The Civil War, p. 224.

46. Eicher, The Longest Night, p. 768.

47. Malcolm X spoke and wrote many times on this very idea: “There is nothing in our book, the Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That’s a good religion.” Malcolm X, “Message to the Grass Roots.”

48. Council on Foreign Relations, “Hamas: Background Q&A”.

49. United States Army, Guerrilla War and Special Forces Operations.

50. And there is also the issue of “kill ratios.” If a small revolutionary group were to depend primarily on killing those in positions of power, it would have to kill large numbers of those people for every revolutionary lost in action. The combined deaths caused by RAF action were negligible as a percentage of those in power, but each casualty in action diminished the fighting power of the RAF by several percent.

51. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

52. Students of orbital mechanics also have access to a set of data that is exhaustive, unambiguous, and mostly numerical.

53. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 151.

54. The Pew Research Center, “A Deeper Partisan Divide over Global Warming.”

Chapter 7: The Psychology of Resistance

1. Asch, “Effects of Group Pressure upon the Modification and Distortion of Judgments.”

2. They also found that that conformity dropped only slightly even when the experiment was modified so that participants were highly certain and anonymous. Deutsch and Gerard, “A Study of Normative and Informational Social Influences upon Individual Judgment.”

3. Milgram, “Behavioral Study of Obedience.”

4. See Sheridan and King, “Obedience to Authority with an Authentic Victim.”

5. Seligman and Maier, “Failure to Escape Traumatic Shock.”

6. Peterson, “Learned Helplessness and Explanatory Style.”

7. Rasenberger, “Nightmare on Austin Street.”

8. Darley, “Bystander Intervention in Emergencies: Diffusion of Responsibility.”

9. Latané, “Group Inhibition of Bystander Intervention in Emergencies.”

10. Darley, “This Week’s Classic Citation.”

11. Wolfenstein, Disaster, p. 11.

12. Ibid., p. 13.

13. Ibid., p. 5.

14. Ibid., p. 7.

15. Quoted in Jackson, France, p. 403. Jackson sources Claude Bourdet, L’Aventure incertaine: De la Résistance à la Restauration, Paris: Stock, 1975, p. 26–27.

16. Jackson, France, p. 403. Jackson sources H. R. Kedward, Resistance in Vichy France: A Study of Ideas and Motivations in the Southern Zone, London: Oxford University Press, 1978: 76–77.

17. Ibid., p. 405.

18. Laffont, Dictionnaire historique, p. 399. This number is according to François Marcot, professor of history at the Sorbonne.

19. Collins Weitz, Sisters in the Resistance, p. 10.

20. Paxton, Vichy France, p. 294.

21. Again, according to François Marcot.

22. Paxton, Vichy France, p. 294.

23. Large, Contending with Hitler, p. 72.

24. Hamerow, p. 95. From the essay “Resistance and Opposition: The Example of the German Jews” by Konrad Kwiet. In the country at large, the number was apparently closer to 2 percent.

25. Obviously none of this is unique to the Third Reich. People commonly accept those in power even when they are directly attacked or punished by those in power. Orlando Figes examined this at work under Stalin in his book The Whisperers. One kulak sent to Siberia, Dmitrii Streletskii, still adored Stalin, explaining: “I believed in everything. I believed the trials. My family believed, too. We weren’t the only ones. Everyone believed in them. If that’s what they tell you in school, if that’s what you hear on the radio, if that’s what you read in the newspapers, you couldn’t help believing in them. We believed in Stalin.… Perhaps it was a form of self-deception, believing in the justice of Stalin. It made it easier for us to accept our punishments, and took away a bit of our fear.”

26. It is important to identify the reasons why some people refuse to give in to conformity, obedience, learned helplessness, and inaction. But understanding those reasons still doesn’t allow us to convert a majority of people into active resisters. These psychological phenomenon (and others) are so interlocking, so complex, so constantly reinforced, and so deeply entrenched, that most people will never shake them off.

27. Of course, some of the shift in public opinion in the decades following the war was demographic—those who were retroactively opposed to resistance died off, and young people were brought up and educated about the atrocities of the Nazi regime.

Chapter 8: Organizational Structure

1. Jackson, France, pp. 387–388. Emphasis added.

2. Definitions from and the American Heritage Dictionary 4th ed., respectively.

3. Think, for example, of the outside union organizer Reuben Warshowsky in the film Norma Rae.

4. Jackson, France, p. 406.

5. Ibid., pp. 408–409.

6. Ibid., pp. 408–409. Emphasis added.

7. Ibid., p. 409.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid., p. 476.

10. Ibid., pp. 411–412.

11. Cocteau, Journal, 113–114. Quoted in Jackson, France, p. 387.

12. Jackson, France, pp. 478–479.

13. Quoted in Jackson, France, p. 479.

14. Ibid., p. 477.

Chapter 9: Decision Making

1. Of course, strict consensus systems can break down if a group is too politically divergent, because there needs to be a basic political common ground.

Chapter10: Recruitment

1. See, for example Soon, Brass, Heinze, and Haynes, “Unconscious Determinants of Free Decisions in the Human Brain.”

2. McCurley, 101 Tips, p. 29.

3. Oath of the Greek Democratic Army: “I, a child of the Greek people and a DSE fighter, swear to battle with gun in hand, to shed my blood, and give even my life to banish from the soil of my motherland every last foreign occupier. To banish every trace of fascism. To secure and defend the national independence and territorial integrity of my motherland. To secure and defend democracy, honour, work, fortune, and progress of my people.

I swear to be a good, brave and disciplined soldier, to carry out all the orders of my superiors, to observe all regulations, and not betray any secrets of the DSE.

I swear to be a good example to the people, to encourage popular unity and reconciliation, and to avoid any action that reduces and dishonours me, as a person and as a fighter.

My ideal is a free and strong democratic Greece and the progress and prosperity of the people. And in the service of my ideal I offer my gun and my life.

If I ever prove to be a liar, and with bad intent violate my oath, let the vengeful hand of the nation, and the hate and scorn of the people, fall upon me implacably.”

4. A surviving example of a Luddite Oath reads: “I, of my own voluntary will, do declare and swear that I will never reveal to any person or persons under the canopy of Heaven the names of any of the persons composing the secret committee, either by word, deed, or sign, or by address, marks, or complexion, or by any other thing that may lead to the discovery of the same, under penalty of being put out of the world by the first brother whom I would meet, and of having my name and character blotted out of existence. And I do further swear that I will use my utmost endeavours to punish with death any traitor or traitors who may rise up against us, though he should fly to the verge of existence. So help me God to keep this oath inviolable.” From Hill, Bygone Stalybridge: Traditional, Historical, Biographical, pp. 52–53.

5. Graff, Beyond Police Checks, p. 9.

6. Davis, Apartheid’s Rebels, pp. 80–81.

Chapter 11: Security

1. Security Culture, A Handbook, p. 6.

2. Ibid., p. 6.

3. Ibid., p. 7.

4. Specifically, he answered in general terms a question about how he had started a fire in an Animal Liberation Front–related arson.

5. Foot, SOE, p. 128.

Chapter 12: Introduction to Strategy

1. Albert, p. 397.

2. US Army, Special Forces Operations (FM 31-21), pp. 108–109.

3. These limitations are described in the US Army’s field manual on guerrilla warfare, Special Forces Operations (FM 31-21), p. 13, among other places.

4. Liberals often have a knee-jerk opposition to the idea of destroying anything. It makes them uncomfortable. Of the four choices, they’d prefer to create, change, or monitor just about anything before demolishing it. If you ask them “Aren’t you glad segregation ended?” they’ll say yes. But if you ask “Aren’t you glad segregation was destroyed?” they’ll shuffle their feet and look at you sidelong. (It’s mostly a semantic difference, but we’d probably be better off if segregation and inequality had been deliberately and systematically destroyed—socially, economically, politically—rather than simply stricken from the lawbooks.)

Liberals are fond of throwing Buckminster Fuller quotations around: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Which is fine if that’s a working option, but it’s naïve to think it’s applicable in every situation. Were the indigenous of America wiped out because the invading Europeans made their reality “obsolete”? Even the soldiers, muskets loaded and marching for civilization, didn’t believe that. Were the Nazis defeated because the Allies made the Nazi paradigm “obsolete”?

5. Ackerman, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict, p. 21.

6. Ibid., p. 24.

7. Ibid., p. 25.

8. Ibid., p. 26.

9. Ibid., p. 30.

10. Ibid., p. 31.

11. Ibid., p. 34.

12. Ibid., p. 38.

13. Ibid., p. 42.

14. Ibid., p. 48.

15. Chaliand, Guerilla Strategies, pp. 9–19. Emphasis in original.

16. Foot, Resistance, p. 57.

17. Austin, Up Against the Wall, p. 157.

18. Jacobs, The Way the Wind Blew, p. 70.

19. Gillies, “The Last Radical.”

20. Barber, “Leading the Vanguard.”

21. Smith, “Sudden Impact.”

22. Varon, Bringing the War Home, p. 80.

23. Foot, Resistance, p. 42.

24. Varon, Bringing the War Home, p. 308.

25. Ibid., p. 309.

26. Collins, Good to Great, p. 86.

27. Dulles, Germany’s Underground, p. 32.

28. Kershaw, Hitler, p. 665.

29. Jacobs, The Way the Wind Blew, p. 123.

30. This has been related many times, but you can read Michael Albert’s take on the story in Remembering Tomorrow, pp. 166–167.

31. Ibid., p. 165.

32. For further documentation and discussion of this mythology, see Gara, The Liberty Line, p. 3.

33. Franklin, Runaway Slaves, p. 229.

34. National Parks Service, “Aboard the Underground Railroad: Operating the Underground Railroad.”

35. See James Brewer Stewart’s essay “From Moral Suasion to Political Confrontation: American Abolitionists and the Problem of Resistance, 1831–1861,” in Blight, Passages to Freedom.

36. Blight, pp. 70–71.

37. Ibid., p. 75.

38. See “Kidnapping and Resistance: Antislavery Direct Action in the 1850s,” in Blight, Passages to Freedom.

39. William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, December 8, 1837.

40. Blight, Passages to Freedom, p. 89.

41. Stewart, Abolitionist Politics and the Coming of the Civil War, p. 28.

42. DeCaro, “Some White People …”

43. Vallandigham, quoted in Henry David Thoreau’s “A Plea for Captain John Brown.”

44. DeCaro, “Harpers Ferry Raid vs Defense of the Alamo.”

45. Ibid.

46. Thoreau, “A Plea for John Brown.”

47. DeCaro, “Some White People …”

48. Du Bois, John Brown, p. 186.

49. From Blight, Passages to Freedom, pp. 224–225.

50. Bruce Levine, “Flight and Fight: The Wartime Destruction of Slavery, 1861–1865.” In Blight, Passages to Freedom, p. 225.

51. Hochschild, Bury the Chains, p. 2.

Chapter 13: Tactics and Targets

1. There’s a whole related concept in political science called the Overton Window, which is worth reading about.

2. Strain, Pure Fire, pp. 91–92.

3. Ibid.

4. Biswas, “India’s ‘Pink’ Vigilante Women.” Also, Prasad, “Banda Sisters.”

5. The July 20 plot is actually a good example of how lack of coordination by resistance elements can be counterproductive. Failed assassination plots like July 20 caused Hitler to tighten security and greatly reduce the number of his public appearances, meaning that it became much harder for other groups to attempt to assassinate him.

6. Deborah Gray White, “Simple Truths: Antebellum Slavery in Black and White.” In Blight, Passages to Freedom, p. 65.

7. Blight, Passages to Freedom, p. 100.

8. This is discussed in the book Dangerous Patriots: Canada’s Unknown Prisoners of War by Kathleen M. Repka and William Repka.

9. See the photo online at

10. US Army, Guerrilla Warfare, pp. 111–114.

11. Berger, Outlaws of America, p. 163.

12. The BLA Coordinating Committee, Message to the Black Movement: A Political Statement from the Black Underground, online at

13 US Army, FM34-36, Appendix D.

Chapter 14: Decisive Biological Warfare

1. Even the US military now recognizes this. See Macalister, “US Military Warns Oil Output May Dip Causing Massive Shortages by 2015.”

2. Aric and Derrick explored the relationships between collapse, carrying capacity, racism, and the Nazis in the closing chapters of What We Leave Behind.

3. Shortly after this was written, the government of Spain cancelled $24 billion worth of solar energy investments to avoid spiraling into a national debt crisis that they worried would collapse their economy.

4. See Kevin Bales’s important book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.

5. See International Union of Forest Research Organizations, “Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change.” Also, the conversation of forests into carbon emitters because of warming, disease, logging, and fires is already happening (Kurz et al., “Mountain Pine Beetle”).

6. Science Daily, “Regional Nuclear War Could Devastate Global Climate.”

7. Science Daily, “Regional Nuclear Conflict Would Create Near-Global Ozone Hole, Says Study.”

8. Cobalt bombs are nuclear bombs with a cobalt jacket. They were the “doomsday device” in the film Dr. Strangelove. Regular fallout has a half-life of days, but cobalt bomb fallout would have a half-life in excess of five years. Some experts believe that cobalt bombs could literally destroy all life on Earth.

9. Novacek et al., “The Current Biodiversity Extinction Event.”

10. See Lovelock, The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth.

11. Core samples from the floor of the Arctic Ocean show that about fifty-five million years ago the region was tropical because of a spike in atmospheric CO2. The biota ringing the ocean was swampy with dense sequoia and cypress trees, and “mosquitoes the size of your head.” The year-round average temperature was about 23°C (74°F). Since the Arctic Circle has twenty-four-hour sunlight for most of the summer and twenty-four-hour dark for most of the winter, this average must have been associated with remarkable temperature extremes. Most of the planet was virtually uninhabitable by our standards. The growth of heat-tolerant ferns eventually sequestered carbon and returned the planet to a cooler state, but that took almost a million years to occur. See Associated Press, “Arctic Circle—Ancient Vacation Hotspot?”

12. Congressional Research Service, “Energy Use in Agriculture: Background and Issues.”

13. Energy Information Administration, “EIA Annual Energy Review 2008,” p. 3.

14. Remember that even now, with plenty of surplus food and housing available, there are tens of millions of unsettled refugees in various parts of the world (not counting those who have been uprooted from traditional landbases and resettled in urban slums).

15. That is net population growth, the number of daily births minus the number of daily deaths.

16. For example, Joseph Tainter writes that “[a] society has collapsed when it displays a rapid, significant loss of an established level of sociopolitical complexity.”

17. Again, criteria here based on Tainter.

18. Quotation from a speech by Dimitry Orlov, “Social Collapse Best Practices,” given in San Francisco on February 13, 2009, online at

19. Markusen, The Holocaust and Strategic Bombing, p. 152.

20. Transcripts of the trial are a matter of public record. See “The Proceedings of the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg,” vol. 15, p. 350, at

21. Collins, Grand Strategy, p. 214.

22. Ibid., p. 230.

23. Pape, Bombing to Win, pp. 77–78.

24. Ibid., p. 317.

25. Pape discusses how his preferred strategy of transportation disruption might play out in different settings. “Against an exceptionally import-dependent economy,” he writes, “such as Japan in World War II, disruption of transportation can best be accomplished by blockading sea routes, using air power less for bombing than for shipping attack and mining. If imports can be totally cut off, the target economy will collapse when domestic stockpiles are exhausted; the Japanese merchant marine was essentially destroyed by the end of 1944, leading to the collapse of war production by the middle of 1945.” Even increasing the cost of imports would have a beneficial effect. The pirates of Somalia are currently doing an excellent job of increasing the cost of international shipping, through delays, ransoms, increased insurance costs, and military expenses for defending the ships. So far, piracy off the coast of Somalia doesn’t even require fund raising—it’s a self-sufficient business enterprise.

Conversely, Pape writes: “Against a relatively resource-rich economy, such as Nazi-controlled Europe, strategic interdiction requires stopping the flow of commerce along domestic railroad, highway, and canal systems by destroying key nodes (bridges, canal locks, and railroad marshalling yards), moving traffic, and rolling stock and cargo vessels. This mission is hard because commercial transportation systems are large and redundant and are rarely used to full capacity. Thus, the United States could not bring the German economy to quick collapse even though U.S. air forces were vastly superior.”

26. Laffont, Dictionnaire historique, p. 399. This number is according to François Marcot, professor of history at the Sorbonne.

27. Collins Weitz, Sisters in the Resistance, p. 10.

28. Paxton, Vichy France, p. 294.

29. Again, according to François Marcot.

30. Paxton, Vichy France, p 294.

31. Jefferies, “The UK Population.”

32. BBC News, “Guide: Armed Groups in Iraq.”

33. Barrell, “Conscripts to Their Age,” p. 495. Interview with Mac Maharaj, IV/Maharaj.

34. Britannica,

35. Demma, “The U.S. Army,” chapter 28.

36. These being very approximate numbers based on Mackenzie, Shoulder to Shoulder.

Chapter 15: Our Best Hope

1. Obomsawin, Kanehsatake.

2. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That, p. 75.

3. Robinson, “Nigeria’s Deadly Days,” p. 1.

4. Hanson, “MEND.”

5. Ibid.

6. Eboh, “Nigeria Shuts Refineries.”

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Howden, “Shell May Pull Out.”

10. Bookchin, The Spanish Anarchists, p. 117.

11. We do not mean this as a threat to anyone, but as a reference to the “cold, dead hands” speech of Charlton Heston for the NRA and similar slogans by other gun rights groups.

12. Camp for Climate Action, “About Us.”

13. Earth First Appreciation Society, “Mainshill Coal Site.”

14. Etnier, “Trnasition Times,” p. 9.

15. Online at

16. Online at

17. See Manning, “The Amazing Benefits.”

18. Ibid.

19. Markegard and Osofsky, “Living the Local Food Life,” p. 14.

20. Bane, “Storing Carbon,” p. 57.

21. Markegard and Osofsky, “Living the Local Food Life,” p. 14.

22. Hopkins, p. 75.

23. Chamberlin, The Transition Timeline, p. 55.

24. Kraussman, “Global Human Appropriation.”

25. Dworkin, Right-Wing Women, p. 219.

26. Mann, Iroquoian Women.

27. Rain and Thunder, “Number of U.S. Extremist Groups,” p. 3.

28. Elshtain, “Women Under Siege.”

29. Walt, “In France, Pension Protests.”

30. Lakey.

31. Varon, Bringing the War Home, p. 308.

32. Oxfam International, “Suffering the Science.”

33. Taylor, The Age of Terror.

34. Ibid.

35. Raines, “Terrorism.”

36. Kunstler, “Making Other Arrangements.”

37. Shah, “Poverty Facts.”

38. The backbones of the Internet all run on fiber optics now, which (unlike phone lines) require power all along the transmission route.

39. Lance, “Football Field.”

40. Greenbelt Movement, “Climate Change.”

41. Shah and Arshad, “Land Degradation.”

42. Kunstler, “Making Other Arrangements.”