“I’m grateful for this Post Doom Conversations series, because it’s caused me to dig deeper and understand better our overshoot predicament and my role in it.” earth2wendy

HISTORY: From Summer 2019 until his Autumn 2023 death, Michael Dowd recorded almost 100 conversations with others on a potential similar path. A four-way conversation in Ottawa was the spark. Michael, along with wife/mission partner Connie Barlow, author Paul Chefurka, and climate scientist Paul Beckwith gathered to chat. An included topic was Chefurka’s Approaching the Limits: Ladder of Awareness 5 Stages*:

1. Dead asleep
2. Awareness of one fundamental problem
3. Awareness of many problems
4. Awareness of the interconnections between many problems
5. Awareness that the predicament encompasses all aspects of life
*6. added in a later writing: Finding the Gift

By the next morning, feeling greatly inspired, Michael and Connie had named the sixth stage for what exists beyond mere acceptance: Post-doom. Michael went into action, birthing this website and the Post-doom Conversations series. Connie and colleague Ivey Cone tackled the editing to add extra shine. Mike Rezl contributed his tech skills to host and build the website.

In early 2022 conversations, the gift of passing through the tunnel of doom into the light of Post-doom was spelled out in two practical ways: Karen Perry offered 15 Benefits she had experienced following collapse acceptance. Partner Jordan Perry suggested 14 Actions. Michael found both these approaches very supportive in adopting a Post-doom mindset and started referencing them in his educational videos.

After Michael’s death, Connie reviewed, reordered, and detailed a deeper explanation of each Post-doom Conversation, available here and on The Great Story website. This collection includes Connie’s suggested list of Michael’s own conversations that align most with a Post-doom perspective, and those from others he found personally inspiring. Additional conversations not here are on The Great Story youtube channel. Visit the AUDIO section for audible recordings.

The unique wisdom shared in all of these Conversations is a huge contribution of Michael Dowd’s legacy. May the truth spoken here continue to meaningfully inspire love-in-action.


The history of the Post-doom concept is best conveyed in this Paul Chefurka conversation. It was Paul’s blogpost Finding the Gift that convinced Michael Dowd that emotional doom need not be the endpoint when one accepts that civilizational collapse and climate chaos are unstoppable.

Karen Perry has become a leader of the Post-doom community, first with her weekly women’s group: Post-doom Bloom with GRAC/E (Getting Real About Collapse/Extinction), and then this conversation with Michael based on her 15 Benefits of Collapse Acceptance.

Jordan Perry offers wise responses to our predicament in this conversation sharing his list of 14 Post-doom Actions. He has led Post-doom discussion groups, and currently throws twitter haymakers on behalf of all the rest of the community of life.


Carolyn Baker is one of the elders in the collapse community, having grasped the downward trajectory beginning in 2007. A prolific author and story teller, she is also a Jungian therapist, admired for her ability to help others find gratitude in being alive here and now. Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse is one of her most mentioned books, along with Undaunted.

Daniel Dancer has been very open about climate grief in his Art for the Sky outdoor participatory projects that he leads at schools throughout the United States. Having understood ecological devastation (and its unstoppability) since he was a child, Daniel always apologizes to the kids for the future they will be facing. A variety of these projects are edited into this inspiring conversation.

Shaun Chamberlin is not only inspiring, but practical asking “What story do you want your life to tell?” Shaun’s decision to keep his material needs minimal and to find a mentor outside of college is a path for other disillusioned young people to consider. A pile-up of navigating sudden deaths offers depth as well. Follow this link to Part Two.


Joanna Macy (recent book Active Hope) conversed with Michael in ways that evoked the title for this video: To Collapse Well. Many of the Post-doom conversations offer a sense of equanimity about TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). However, this one extends the possibility of actually feeling gratitude for the gift of being alive at such a time.

Margaret (Meg) Wheatley was interviewed by the late Terry Patten, and is so good that Michael cross-posted it here, choosing the title: Opening to the World. For decades, Meg’s career was teaching leadership skills within corporations, NGOs, and even once for the US military. Accepting that civilizational collapse is unstoppable shifted her approach to Warriors for the Human Spirit.

Richard Heinberg recounts his journey from reading the 1972 book Limits to Growth from its original year of publication through his several decades of sustainability writings. He also spent many years in a Hindu ashram in the USA, wisdom from which he shapes into the final story of this conversation. He points to the Bhagavad-Gita and speaks the philosophy that keeps him writing, “Do good for good’s sake and don’t be attached to the result.


Ganga Devi Braun opens this new row as a young person with the experience, wisdom, and speaking ability of a true elder. As with the previous interview (Heinberg) Braun has experience living on an ashram. She speaks of a personal conversation she had with Ram Dass just before he died, but explains my guru is the Earth. From a young age she apprenticed in grief work and the art of deep listening. Now she is drawn toward hospicing humanity.

Frank Forencich shares his life experience of living and teaching the physical and outdoor capabilities of the human animal within a worldview grounded in his 1970s reading of the book Limits to Growth.

In addition to his huge accolade as survival show Alone Season 9 winner, Juan Pablo Quiñonez gets the dubius distinction of being Michael’s last (and most feral) Post-doom Conversation. Not a prepper manual, this is an honest dive into collapse acceptance by becoming more closely connected to the creature in each of us born wild and free.



Trebbe Johnson is a prolific writer, whose life experiences range from guiding wilderness quests to her current focus on sojourning in wounded landscapes, as depicted in her book Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty in Earth’s Broken Places.

Living along the industrial south shore of Lake Michigan, John Halstead necessarily communes with nature via a wounded landscape. He offers his personal story of deep involvement in climate activism (to the point of arrest) and speaking authentically with his young adult children about the future. His book (and blog) Another End of the World Is Possible is grounded in a Post-doom perspective.

Beginning with Heartbreak is the title of this conversation with Deena Metzger. She is referring both to wounded landscapes and to wounded habitats for animals whom she encountered during her many decades of projects and writings on her life path as storyteller and healer.


Michael Dowd credits the 2018 paper Deep Adaptation by Jem Bendell as one of the foremost writings that launched his own quest to read the scholarship underpinning how we can know that climate catastrophe and civilizational collapse are already in runaway mode.

In 2023, Jem Bendell invited Karen Perry into his own conversation series to discuss the inclusion of her 15 Benefits of Collapse Acceptance in chapter 13 of his book Breaking Together. Having renamed them Doomster Characteristics, the two discuss whether this is actually fitting, as well as diving in personally on each Benefit.

Rupert Read was a philosophy professor at the University of East Anglia, U.K. when he stepped into activism: first in the Green Party and then Extinction Rebellion. After this episode was recorded, he reported on his website “that after 26 years in the academy, I’ve taken voluntary severance…to dedicate myself to the Climate Majority Project.”


Bill Kauth is an early leader of the men’s movement in the USA, co-founding the Mankind Project and the New Warrior Training Adventure in 1984. He tells the story of how he realized that moving beyond doom is crucial, and toward the realization that, “no matter what befalls humanity, the world will be okay“.

Dave Pollard is a well-known Canadian blogger who has been helping readers since 2002 understand why this civilization cannot be sustained and how our species’ domestication is at the root of our predicament. This conversation is placed here because Bill Kauth mentions Dave as important in his own learnings about collapse.

Award-winning writer Vanessa Blakeslee’s essay Our Permian Paradox about a road-trip she and her partner took through the major oil production region in Texas, caught Michael’s attention, inspiring him to audio record it. The two discuss the importance of not judging others for denial and the importance of Catton’s book Overshoot. Recognizing the centrality of cycles in the universe has helped her accept the inevitability of collapse.


LaUra Schmidt & Aimee Lewis-Reau had already launched their Good Grief Network when Michael recorded this video in September 2019. They offer a 10-step approach for peer-to-peer support circles for those overwhelmed by collective injustices, eco-anxiety, climate grief, and eco-distress.

Barbara Cecil, especially in her 2019 essay-writing collaboration with Dahr Jamail, played a big role in Michael Dowd’s decision to shift his own life work into what he came to call Post-doom. Barbara co-hosted three episodes in this Conversation series.

Stephen Jenkinson, a.k.a. Griefwalker, uses his social work experience in a hospital palliative care wing to correlate how a lack of wisdom in dominant culture’s handling of individual death carries over into an unwillingness to face what’s coming for this society.


Richard Rohr, a Franciscan, founded The Center for Action and Contemplation in 1987, based in New Mexico. He describes his journey shedding the myth of progress as “slow because I held onto my Franciscan optimism and romantic sentimentality about the beauty of the Earth.”

Damaris Zehner teaches writing at a community college in Indiana and also devotes time to her home gardening and goat. She learned the joy of simple living while in the Peace Corps in the 1960s. Echoing Stephen Jenkinson, she reflects on Eastern Orthodox doctrine: The root of all sin is a fear of death. Michah 6:8 is a good practical foundation, summarized as Love justice, do mercy, and walk humbly with your God.

Gail Worcelo is a Passionist nun who is carrying forward the teachings of Father Thomas Berry. She co-founded Green Mountain Monastery in Vermont and is a leader of Sisters of Earth.


Max Wilbert is an activist, author, and profound critic of civilization, currently attempting to defend Thacker Pass from lithium mining. The book (and documetary of the same name) Bright Green Lies reveals the harsh truth of false solutions to our energy predicament.

Derrick Jensen is an eco-philosopher, prolific author, and co-founder of Deep Green Resistance. His work to maintain as much of the living world as possible while civilization continues to collapse is a prime directive.

In 2018 Roger Hallam stepped beyond his career as an organic farmer in the U.K. to co-found Extinction Rebellion. Roger also wrote the book Common Sense for the 21st Century.


William Rees is a Canadian population ecologist best known for the Ecological Footprint concept and tool. Co-hosted with science writer Connie Barlow, this hour-long conversation is a superb review of the basic ecological, sociological, and systems science principles underlying the civilizational and biospheric unraveling.

Michael was eager to converse with Tom Wessels about his book The Myth of Progress, and volunteered his voice for the audiobook. Key to Tom’s science trajectory was reading Black Elk Speaks, Sand County Almanac, and Silent Spring during his first year of college in 1969.

Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich has written popular books laying out the severe ecological consequences of human overpopulation and overconsumption since the 1960s.


Mike Garfield, podcast host of Future Fossils, spent 13 years as a professional musician and visual artist before becoming a parent. His day job now is in communications at the Santa Fe Institute, NM where he says “I live at the intersection of art and science, and philosophy and spiritual practice.”

Britt Wray pulls no punches about how the older generations have left a bleak future for the youth. She began in 2020 with a newsletter titled Gen Dread, which morphed into the title of her 2022 book, Generation Dread. The subtitle is expressly Post-doom: Finding Purpose in an Age of Eco-Anxiety.

Rory Varrato makes clear he was not a privileged American from growing up in a Pennsylvania collapsed coal-mining town. Nonetheless, he found a way to pursue graduate scholarship in existentialism, human nature, the foibles of this form of civilization, and how education might be transformed to serve students in a declining world. He was noticed as a young visionary in 2018 for his essay We Are the Threat: Reflections on Near-Term Human Extinction (audio recorded by Michael). During the early days of Extinction Rebellion, Rory served as media liaison for USA activists.


Dahr Jamail is the author of The End of Ice (2019). Acclaimed as one of the best books of climate science for a popular audience, each chapter also delves into the emotional impacts of the science upon the scientists themselves. A core topic of this conversation is the contrasting values between indigenous cultures and those of dominant culture, as explored also in his most recent collaboration book We Are the Middle of Forever.

Robert Hunziker is a well-known climate journalist in alternative media. This conversation is titled Abrupt Climate Change: The World Tour. Although recorded in 2020, the grounding science operative in 6 distinct regions is always foundational: Antarctica, Australia, Amazon rain forest, Oceans, Greenland, and Arctic.

John Englander, former CEO of the Jacques Cousteau Society, is widely recognized as one the world’s foremost experts on the rapidity and unstoppability of climate-induced rising sea levels. Here both of his books provide the focus: High Tide on Main Street and Moving to Higher Ground.

Paul Beckwith has a graduate background in climate science. Michael Dowd guides this conversation as an opportunity for viewer education in the behind the scenes nuts and bolts.

Jennifer Hynes offers a fascinating story of how she became a trusted climate communicator. Of the three in this grouping, she is the only one who was ready and eager to talk about fully accepting doom enroute to a Post-doom perspective. Jennifer is co-host of the climate episodes of the Environmental Coffeehouse on YouTube.

Nick Humphrey has a graduate background in meteorology. This conversation offers opportunities for viewer education in climate science.


Sid Smith is a mathematician who chose to learn, write, and advocate about humanity overshooting the ecological limits to growth. Notoriety came his way when, upon the 2018 invitation of the Greens at Virginia Tech, he delivered a talk titled Humanity: The Final Chapter.

Alan Weisman recalls touring the world as a top-level environmental journalist. His brief visit to post-meltdown Chernobyl surprised him with the fecundity of plants and animals who reoccupied the buildings and grounds in the absence of humans. Thus was born his best-selling book The World Without Us.

Gail Tverberg used her mathematical gift to earn a living as an actuary: helping finance, insurance, and other businesses calculate risks when considering shifts in their endeavors. Along the way, she volunteered her time as one of the early contributors in the peak oil community, via her blog Our Finite World.


Gauthier Chapelle trained as an agricultural engineer in Belgium. He is among the French-speaking leaders of the new field called Collapsology.  A young parent himself, he speaks of how his generation in France is deeply questioning the ethics of becoming parents. (See also Wikipedia Collapsology)

Dougald Hine speaks about his personal shift into localism while writing for audiences scattered around the globe. Well-known as coauthor of the Dark Mountain Manifesto (2009) and At Work in the Ruins (2023), this 2019 Conversation is titled Living in a Time of Endings.

Professor Krista Hiser identifies religiously as a Gaian. Trained for university administration, she leads the Sustainability Education and Key Competencies Framework at the Global Council for Science and the Environment. She speaks poignantly of how the grief journey following the suicide of a loved one gave experience for her coming to terms with a foreboding future for all.


Joe Brewer explores and practices regenerative design scaled to bioregions. This work entails attending to the social needs and opportunities as much as those that the regional ecology calls forth. His 2021 book is The Design Pathway for Regenerating Earth.

Having just experienced one of California’s biggest wildfires, the calm and community mindedness of Denise Rushing exemplifies the values of a Post-doom worldview: personal emotional wellbeing in a time of crisis and cultivating practical love-in-action. Her 2012 book highlights this blending as well: Tending the Soul’s Garden: Permaculture as a Way Forward in Difficult Times.

Daniel Christian Wahl works in regenerative design. The interview is co-hosted with Ganga Devi Braun, offering an in-depth, ideas-rich conversation. Access his essays as reposted on the Resilience website.


Author James Howard Kunstler inspires Michael Dowd to begin this Conversation with a listing of all Kunstler’s nonfiction and fiction books he has read (some even twice) during his journey to grasp the causes and consequences of civilizational collapse. Of note are The Long Emergency (2005) and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation (2012). Kunstler points to his World Made By Hand fiction series as his own realistically possible best-case scenario: that here in America conditions would go back to what prevailed in the early 1800s.

In the 1970s, David Holmgren cofounded the approach to food-growing known as permaculture. Applying that now to an already collapsing global civilization, his new teachings and writings begin with localism and entail “retrofitting what we already have in the built, the biological, and the behavioral.”

Peter Russell, well known for his 1983 book The Global Brain: Speculations on the Evolutionary Leap to Planetary Consciousness, doesn’t quibble with the certainty of civilizational contraction and a scaling back to previous technological constraints. Where he uniquely differs is his emphasis on meditation, while pointing to the evolution of consciousness continuing in a progressive way, despite the unraveling of the material world.


Kevin Hester hails from New Zealand where his career for hire as a master sailor and diver offered him direct experience of marine biological decline over decades. Heroes in his youth included Rachel Carson and Jacques Cousteau. Assisting Guy McPherson in the Nature Bats Last podcast series offered Kevin a foundational understanding of climate change as presented in academic papers.

Fabian Scheidler is an independent journalist and writer in Germany, best known for his book The End of the Megamachine: A Brief History of a Failing Civilization. This is an ideas episode, as the book has been endorsed by the likes of Bill McKibben, Noam Chomsky, and Vandana Shiva.

Jessica Canham is a leader in the global Deep Adaptation community. Locally, she focuses on helping her community on the Caribbean island of Dominica recover from hurricanes and become more self-sufficient in growing food. This conversation is unique in also featuring the ethical importance of privileged nations sharing wealth as climate change reparations for ecological justice.


Dean Spillane-Walker has been hosting impossible conversations for those struggling with collapse awareness. Trained in counseling, Dean’s website Living Resilience features “Transformative tools, support, and practices for people bravely facing human-caused collapse of Earth and human systems.”

David Baum of Collapse Club interviews author-organizer-mentor Peter Melton and Val Christensen, leaders of the Collapse Acceptance Alliance, a Post-doom affiliated discussion group.

Sandy Schoelles is well known in the collapse and Post-doom communities for founding a YouTube channel Environmental Coffeehouse that discusses the science and various perspectives on our global predicament. Her viewers find a home with her for support and community building.


Karen and Jordan Perry appeared in 2022 on David Baum’s Collapse Club podcast, and it is crossposted here. Getting Real About Collapse is the title and offers just that: a hard look at our global predicament.

In 2021, Barbara Cecil and Michael co-hosted this Conversation with Joanna Macy titled Children of the Passage. (The sequel To Collapse Well hosted by Dowd appears in WIDELY KNOWN ELDERS and was recorded exactly a year later, during which time collapse became even more evident.)

This 2022 Meg Wheatley Conversation titled Beyond Hope and Fear is actually the first time Michael recorded with her for a wider public audience. (The other Post-doom Conversation with Meg hosted by Terry Patten is found in WIDELY KNOWN ELDERS.)


In 2021, Karen Perry was evacuated for five days during the River Fire in California, which burned within feet of the home she shares with Jordan Perry. Every day they can see the burn scar that those flames left behind. The following 2022 Mosquito Fire got as close as 15 miles away. Collapse Club David Baum discusses with Karen how her wildfire experience has affected her feelings about collapse.

Terry Patten hosted an audio conversation with long-time friend Michael Dowd in September 2020. Following Michael’s death in 2023, Connie Barlow edited and reposted the conversation in video format, adding educational and evocative image overlays of both Terry (1951-2021) and of her beloved husband. Connie retitled their conversation Post-doom Shifts in Death and Identity. She regards it as Michael’s best.


On Winter Solstice 2022, Collapse Club David Baum asks Michael Dowd “What Can We Celebrate?” As it turned out, this is just nine months before he died, and is more than fitting that Michael explores the celebrational aspects of two linked themes foremost in his thoughts at the time: death and gratitude.