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.

Episodes, complete transcripts, sources, links, credits, and more for Ashes Ashes are available here.

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Don't know where to start? Start here: Apocalypse Now

We also love Ep 44, Ep 34, Ep 31, Ep 28, and Ep 23 (but they're all good). Fan favorite: Ep 63

Are these topics giving you existential dread? Go here: Coping With Collapse

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Episode 87 - Collapse Chat: On the Border

David and Daniel are in person in Tucson, AZ reflecting on their time at the US Border Patrol Museum, running into border patrol agents on New Mexico state road 9, walking into Juarez, Mexico, and much more.

This is a continuation of our chat series covering lighter topics and what's new in our w...


Episode 84 - Carbon Bootprint

They're the single biggest polluter on earth in both chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions, their effects can be felt around the world in both rising temps and destroyed lives, in fact they're in the very business of destruction: it's the US Military. This week we are joined be researcher Dr. Patri...


Episode 79 - Death Dealers

Merchants of Death. War Profiteers. Death Dealers. These are the people who fan the flames of war to transmute human suffering into profit. They play one nation against another to sell to both sides. Although the international community condemned these actors as conspirers in the tensions leading up...


Episode 77 - Coping With Collapse

Awareness of the systemic threats to our world comes at a cost. Often, that cost includes feelings of isolation, existential dread, depression, shock, and other uncomfortable realities. But these emotions do not define the final stage of our journeys. This week we read from listener emails, each des...


Episode 73 - Tear Up, Tear Down

Protests around the world in 2011 gave riot-gear dealers a three-fold increase in sales of tear gas. In 2013, Turkey used up an entire year's supply of tear gas in just two days, before promptly ordering more. 2015 was the year Kenyan police fired tear gas into a group of schoolchildren as young as...


Episode 43 - FUBAR

The military exists to engage in seemingly endless war, but the damage doesn't stop during peace time. For decades, the US military (and many others around the world) has been systematically destroying the Earth and the very nations they're sworn to protect. Disregard for the natural world and those...


Episode 29 - War Machine

International calls to ban autonomous weapon systems have done little to slow the escalating arms race between nations to acquire weapons of the so called third revolution in warfare - or simply "killer robots." The intersection of AI, deep learning, and lethal weaponry presents a future of war unli...