The End Of The World Has Already Happened

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01We're Doomed!20200102Many feel that climate change will destroy the world’s economy, flood cities, cause mass migrations and even cause regional wars, but why is it so difficult for so many of us to engage with it?

In this three-part series Timothy Morton, dubbed ‘philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene’, rethinks our psychological relationship with the climate crisis, and our place in the biosphere.

Morton cuts an unusual figure, an English literature scholar teaching in a Texas university who spends almost as much time in art galleries and performances as he does writing. He draws on Heidegger and pet cats, William Blake and garden centres, psychoanalysis and collaborations with artists and musicians such as Olafur Eliasson and Bjørk.

Most environmental programmes start with a dramatic landscape or a plunge into the depths of the ocean. But we start in Tim’s driveway. If this climate crisis is a trauma, is there a way to reframe it? And what happens to our feelings when we do? ‘This is foetal-position time,’ he says, ‘but it’s on us: dolphins don’t have fingers to turn off the oil pipes.’ Feeling guilty and powerless is not the answer: ‘How come we conned ourselves into thinking that being ecological means we can’t have any fun anymore?’

With contributions from psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, journalist Amy Westervelt, and environmentalists George Monbiot and Hilton Kelley.

Produced by Chris Elcombe
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4.

Featured music:
Anna Peaker - Realm of Perfume and Lights (Longform)
Alexandra Spence - Immaterial (Longform)
Dawn of Midi - Nix (Thirsty Ear)
John Tavener - Funeral Canticle (Harmonia Mundi)
Julia Reidy - Lament (Slip)
Siavash Amini - A Recollection of the Disappeared (Room40)
Tomoko Sauvage - Making of a Rainbow

Philosopher Timothy Morton explores our psychological relationship with the climate crisis

Morton cuts an unusual figure, an English literature scholar teaching in a Texas university who spends almost as much time in art galleries and performances as he does writing. He draws on Heidegger and pet cats, William Blake and garden centres, psychoanalysis and collaborations with artists and musicians such as Olafur Eliasson and Bjørk.

Featured music:
Anna Peaker - Realm of Perfume and Lights (Longform Editions)
Alexandra Spence - Immaterial (Longform Editions
Dawn of Midi - Nix (Thirsty Ear)
John Tavener - Funeral Canticle (Harmonia Mundi)
Julia Reidy - Lament (Slip)
Siavash Amini - A Recollection of the Disappeared (Room40)
Tomoko Sauvage - Making of a Rainbow

01We're Doomed!20200102Many feel that climate change will destroy the world’s economy, flood cities, cause mass migrations and even cause regional wars, but why is it so difficult for so many of us to engage with it?

In this three-part series Timothy Morton, dubbed ‘philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene’, rethinks our psychological relationship with the climate crisis, and our place in the biosphere.

Morton cuts an unusual figure, an English literature scholar teaching in a Texas university who spends almost as much time in art galleries and performances as he does writing. He draws on Heidegger and pet cats, William Blake and garden centres, psychoanalysis and collaborations with artists and musicians such as Olafur Eliasson and Bjørk.

Most environmental programmes start with a dramatic landscape or a plunge into the depths of the ocean. But we start in Tim’s driveway. If this climate crisis is a trauma, is there a way to reframe it? And what happens to our feelings when we do? ‘This is foetal-position time,’ he says, ‘but it’s on us: dolphins don’t have fingers to turn off the oil pipes.’ Feeling guilty and powerless is not the answer: ‘How come we conned ourselves into thinking that being ecological means we can’t have any fun anymore?’

With contributions from psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, journalist Amy Westervelt, and environmentalists George Monbiot and Hilton Kelley.

Produced by Chris Elcombe
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4.

Featured music:
Anna Peaker - Realm of Perfume and Lights (Longform Editions)
Alexandra Spence - Immaterial (Longform Editions
Dawn of Midi - Nix (Thirsty Ear)
John Tavener - Funeral Canticle (Harmonia Mundi)
Julia Reidy - Lament (Slip)
Siavash Amini - A Recollection of the Disappeared (Room40)
Tomoko Sauvage - Making of a Rainbow

Philosopher Timothy Morton explores our psychological relationship with the climate crisis

02The Hurricane In Your Cereal Bowl20200109Writer and philosopher Timothy Morton continues to share his ideas about our psychological relationship with global warming. Why can it be so difficult for many of us to engage with it? How could we cope better with our feelings about what’s happening so we can get on with something better for our planet?

In this second episode, Morton introduces his concept of hyperobjects - entities like mass extinction, global warming and hurricanes which are 'things', but so massively distributed in time and space that it’s hard to point to them - they can feel like abstractions but are ferociously, catastrophically real.

Morton channels William Blake in a railway tunnel and visits a garden centre to begin to uncover our innate ‘X-Men superpowers’ that we might scale up to planet-level action.

With contributions from Puerto Rican activists Colibrí Sanfiorenzo Barnhard and Anahí Lazarte Morales, Hilton Kelley of the Higher Ground network of flooding survivors in the US, artist Olafur Eliasson, Houston weatherman Travis Herzog, psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, and poetry read by Laurie Anderson.

Produced by Chris Elcombe
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4.

Featured music:
Alexandra Spence - Immaterial (Longform)
Anna Peaker - Realm of Perfume and Lights (Longform)
AquaSonic - Tide Concordance
Dawn of Midi - Nix & Io (Thirsty Ear)
Ondness - Malta Inquieta (Discrepant)
Siavash Amini - A Recollection of the Disappeared (Room40)
Tomoko Sauvage - Making of a Rainbow

How might we get to grips with the terrifying scale of the climate crisis?

Philosopher Timothy Morton explores our psychological relationship with the climate crisis

Morton channels William Blake in a railway tunnel and visits a garden centre to begin to uncover our innate ‘X-Men superpowers’ that we might scale up to planet-level action.

With contributions from Puerto Rican activists Colibrí Sanfiorenzo Barnhard and Anahí Lazarte Morales, Hilton Kelley of the Higher Ground network of flooding survivors in the US, artist Olafur Eliasson, ABC13 Houston weatherman Travis Herzog, psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, and poetry read by Laurie Anderson.

Featured music:
Alexandra Spence - Immaterial (Longform Editions)
Anna Peaker - Realm of Perfume and Lights (Longform Editions)
AquaSonic - Tide Concordance
Dawn of Midi - Nix & Io (Thirsty Ear)
Ondness - Malta Inquieta (Discrepant)
Siavash Amini - A Recollection of the Disappeared (Room40)
Tomoko Sauvage - Making of a Rainbow

03Cue The Sinister Music20200116Writer and philosopher Timothy Morton continues to share his ideas about our psychological relationship with global warming. How could we cope better with our feelings about what’s happening, so we can get on with something better for our planet?

In this final episode, he finds sources of hope for the future.

There are no solutions to the climate crisis in this programme. But by opening up different ways of relating to other humans, and non-humans, might we then find it easier to act?

Tim spends time in a cat cafe and a nightclub, and listens to a children’s story, the worldview of the Lakota people and a hacked nature documentary, as well as the voices of young people engaged in climate protests.

The aim? To liberate humans from the ‘patriarchal, hierarchical, heteronormative possibility space’, and to relearn our connectedness to everything on the planet.

With contributions from environmental scientist and writer Liam Heneghan, artist Amy Cutler, activists Sarah Eagleheart, Colibrí Sanfiorenzo Barnhard, George Monbiot and Hilton Kelley, and psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, as well as a reading by Laurie Anderson.

Produced by Chris Elcombe
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4.

Featured music:
Alexandra Spence - Immaterial (Longform)
Anna Peaker - Realm of Perfume and Lights (Longform)
Dawn of Midi - Nix & Io (Thirsty Ear)
Felicity Mangan - Stereo’frog’ic (Longform)
Ondness - Malta Inquieta (Discrepant)
Siavash Amini - A Recollection of the Disappeared (Room40)
Tomoko Sauvage - Making of a Rainbow

Where can we find hope as we come to terms with the climate crisis?

Philosopher Timothy Morton explores our psychological relationship with the climate crisis

With contributions from environmental scientist and writer Liam Heneghan, artist Amy Cutler, activists Sarah Eagleheart, Colibrí Sanfiorenzo Barnhard, George Monbiot and Hilton Kelley, and psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, as well as a reading by Laurie Anderson.

Featured music:
Alexandra Spence - Immaterial (Longform Editions)
Anna Peaker - Realm of Perfume and Lights (Longform Editions)
Dawn of Midi - Nix & Io (Thirsty Ear)
Felicity Mangan - Stereo’frog’ic (Longform Editions)
Ondness - Malta Inquieta (Discrepant)
Siavash Amini - A Recollection of the Disappeared (Room40)
Tomoko Sauvage - Making of a Rainbow