Homocombustans is a blog born out of a mixture of concern, rage and vision.
Concern because climate change that is happening around us confronts humankind with a bundle of threats unprecedented in human history. Hunger and thirst, flooding and storms, numbing poverty and disease, environmental refugees on a colossal scale – all of these are not scenarios from a parallel reality or science fiction. They are ingredients in the syndrome already described by Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Desmond Tutu and others as the primary threat to world peace in the 21st century.
Rage for the idiocy and greed that created this crisis and are now arresting the global action needed to control it. Future historians will sometimes look at the monumental waste of water, food, energy and minerals that took place in our times, and at the outrageous inequality within and between nations that enabled it and deepened as its consequence, and wonder. They will probably depict it as a chronicle of short-sightedness, the twilight of a civilization that could not grasp in time the destiny it has engendered for the natural system that supports it and, by implication, for itself.
Vision because it is never too late. There is, still, some room for agency and action in the space between denial of the climate crisis – the state in which the majority of us humans were until recently – and despair at its ubiquity and comprehensiveness. We must expand this space, and do our utmost to make prudent use of it.
Homo Sapiens combustans (‘The Burning Man’) is the new name I propose for the sub-species into which we morphed in the modern era.
I am male, born in Haifa (1954), married and have three children (22, 17, 12). A Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at tel-Aviv University and at Central European University in Budapest (CEU), I am Vice-Chair of Grenpeace UK since 2006. I served as President of the Israeli Anthropological Association, as Chairman of Life and Environment (the umbrella organization of Israeli environmental NGO’s) ad in other civil society organizations.
An updated list of my scientific publication (and full texts of some of them) can be found in and downloaded from here.