First published in Newsweek, August 19, 2021

Renewal “Baby Bonds” Affordable To Ordinary People Would Enable Us To Accelerate Deployment of Renewable Energy Microgrids, Energy Efficiency Upgrades And Other Essential Steps To Protect Our Communities Even If Congress Fails To Act

The Green Rush is on. Plummeting prices of renewable energy technologies have triggered a tsunami of fresh investment at a speed and scale that surprises even industry insiders. The recent passage of two infrastructure bills with huge incentives for investments for solar and wind power will only accelerate this trend…

We Here Now series

We humans are neither the strongest nor the swiftest of creatures. Up to now we’ve succeeded by being the most adaptable. But resistance to essential changes is now fatally threatening our very survival. How do we move beyond DeNihilism?

Denying reality has its uses. It enables us to live in defiance of the inevitability of our own demise. Denial defies emotional gravity, the certainty that whatever goes up must eventually come down. Researchers have found that those who deny a certain amount of reality tend to be more optimistic…

We Here Now series

Our obsession with our too-small selves is driving us to self-destruction. Time to break open the shells that entrap us in fearful loneliness and come home to one another.

If Boomers were the the “me” generation, Millennials and Gen Z’s have become the “i” generations. With his iPod, iPad, and iPhone ad nauseum, Steve Jobs may simply have intended to brand his Apple products as (i)nternet-based, but their “persuasive” design quickly transformed them into addictive drugs of “I”-obsession. What…

We Here Now series

The myth of human superiority and the underrated intelligence of other animal and plant life

Human societies have long been cursed with the pernicious myth of white supremacy. But less frequently challenged is an equally unfounded collective delusion that humans are innately smarter than everyone else in the animal and plant kingdoms. How can we presume to know what goes on inside the multiple intelligences…

We Here Now Series

It’s closer than we think, in each blue sky moment between our thoughts, feelings and actions

These days I wake in the night stricken with grief and dread at the prospect of an unendurable future. Will climate catastrophe, tyranny and war engulf us all in terminal trauma? …

We Here Now series

An Intimate Encounter with a Mountain Lion

One day recently I went kayaking on a remote lagoon by the Pacific Ocean north of our home. In the burnished late afternoon light I paddled about ten feet from the north shore admiring the tawny rocks and dried grasses from the previous summer. Only gradually did it dawn on…

We Here Now (A Continuing Series)

Learning To See The World Whole

Sit still and do nothing. Easy, eh? Maybe, or maybe not. Meditation turns out to be one of the most challenging of human activities. Our internal weather — our thoughts and feelings — perpetually obscures our ability to see clearly who and where we are. And we seldom linger long…

Gazing Deeply Instead Of Glancing Or Grasping

Have you ever paused long enough while looking at something — say a street, a tree, a building or a face — to notice all that surrounds it? What do you see?

In our grab-and-go, warp speed world we post-moderns manage to achieve the seemingly impossible — to be obsessed…

Forgetting my script, I face my audience and become one of them

I seldom remember my dreams. They usually vanish the moment I awake. But late last night, about an hour before dawn, I awoke from the most vivid and astonishing dream I’ve had in years. In it I was…

An Elder’s Lifelong Double Vision Finally Finds Its Focus in Learning to Gaze Instead of Grasping for Clarity

From my earliest memories I recall seeing two moons at once. When I was just six years old the optometrist prescribed glasses for me to correct my newly discovered near-sightedness.

“How long will I have to wear these?” I asked my mother, feeling like I’d just been thrown in jail.

Mark Sommer

Mark Sommer is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist based in Northern California.

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