Everything Is Broken

An Optimist’s Vision for the Future

Anthony Fieldman
17 min readFeb 20


Another family farm falls © Anthony Fieldman 2022

The world is utterly broken, in two separate ways.

First, the natural systems we inherited—how we interact with the planet—are broken insofar as those that benignly supported us since the outset of homo sapiens sapiens decreasingly do, as we continue to wage war on them in the name of economics. And second, the human systems we invented—how we interact with one another—are broken insofar as they are increasingly destructive, and no longer support our thriving.

Even though our home planet will invariably find new equilibrium (it has survived five mass extinctions, oxidation and five ice ages, so far), our actions are problematic to human thriving in two key ways.

Tubbs Fire: the most devastating in California’s History © Anthony Fieldman 2017

Our Broken Planet

First, the planet on whose predictable and relatively benign systems we have relied for 300,000 years has been grossly disfigured by human activity, and becomes less hospitable every day. The planet now regularly experiences “worst-ever” natural events such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, mudslides, atmospheric rivers and extreme heat events, to say nothing of the eviscerated glaciers, plastics-laden rivers, contaminated water supplies, destroyed habitats, acidified oceans, carbon dioxide-choked skies and depleted aquifers that we have created.

By and large, the climate no longer supports either the ways or the places we live today and as such, there will be a seismic upheaval among human societies in the decades to come. Gaia Vince’s Nomad Century is an alarming report precisely because nearly all scientists now agree that our actions will precipitate the forced migration of between one and three billion people fleeing increasingly inhospitable climates for the shrinking Edens that will still support our thriving—in Northern Canada, Russia and Scandinavia, to be precise.

Drought-prone Daasanach family outside their home in the Omo Valley © Anthony Fieldman 2018



Anthony Fieldman

Architect | Photographer | Writer | Philosopher | Polyglot | Windmill Jouster | Nomade Civilisée