Ashes Ashes is a show about systemic issues, cracks in civilization, collapse of the environment, and if we’re unlucky the end of the world. The name is borrowed from the nursery rhyme “Ring a Ring o’ Roses,” a song that children sing while spinning in a circle before collapsing on the floor in heaps of laughter. Some claim that the lyrics were written in response to England’s Great Plague and Black Death, and the line Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down is interpreted as death and the cremation of bodies. Although apocryphal, this interpretation is fitting for our times. While human civilization owes its existence to the unimaginable wealth that nature freely provides, our current growth trajectory is increasingly being fueled by the direct erosion of biodiversity, ecosystem services, cultural heritage, and more, effectively cannibalizing our future for the sake of short-term “progress.” Our show is dedicated to understanding this process, and illustrating its many forms, which includes everything from environmental destruction and unsustainable economic extraction to social atomization and isolation. Although these themes may appear dark, awareness is what can help open the door to collective action through which the strength of our communities can prevent the great falling down of life as we know it.

Through deep research, knowledgable guests, and historical anecdotes, Ashes Ashes brings light to failures that are often ignored or hidden just out of sight. With each story we hope to inspire action towards fixing these problems - while we still have time to. Every episode is lovingly researched and crafted because we care, because we're optimists, and because we want a better world.


In this age of digital surveillance, we take your privacy seriously. For example, we do not use Google analytics, but rather a locally hosted, open source installation of Matomo with rigorous anonymization applied to the logs (and we respect Do Not Track). We have gone out of our way to use locally hosted assets instead of using third party hosts and CDNs (except for the actual podcast embed). This website is hosted in France and we have never been contacted by US or international law enforcement.

Cast & Crew

Daniel Forkner studied finance and piano performance. He has sold commercial property and backpacked abroad. Now, he spends his time reading and thinking.

David Torcivia went to film school and now works as a colorist in New York City for all sorts of pointless ads, music videos, and tv/film content. He spends his free time (when he's not taking photographs or caving) reading, researching, and writing about the collapse of society's structural systems.

You can find a lot more information (plus photos and other content) on our press page.