The Gaia PhD is about Storytelling Solutions to Climate and Water Before 6th Extinction is Inevitable

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Let’s create a new kind of university and a new society.  One that is about the living systems of living planet, ‘Gaia’.  Kenneth, Jens, and I are beginning the Gaia PhD.  Think of it as a different bet on the future than academic capitalism that has turned university education into just another corporatized commodity, and part of the climate denial machine. Think of Gaia PhD as a way to actually be interdisciplinary instead of insular silos. Or a way to work on solutions to global warming and changes to the water cycle. As the temperature of the planet warms from CO2 emissions, the water cycle shifts more vapor is held in the atmosphere, sea levels rise, ocean acidification takes place, there are both more droughts and more flash flooding.

I am a storytelling researcher. To do something about global warming and avert the Sixth Extinction, we will have to change the storytelling.  “There’s anywhere from 97% to 99% consensus among the world’s scientists studying this problem, that climate change is real and human caused” (Michael Mann). The climate denial storytelling machine is managing the narrative, so the politicians and the public deliver the myths about climate instead of the climate science research findings.

I am not convinced that we can wait for the US government to change its ways. Exxon has known since 1977 that the fossil fuel industries were causing global warming (source). It has spent 30 million in adverts promoting climate denial (source). Add to this what the Koch Brothers have spent: “Koch Family Foundations have spent $127,006,756 directly financing 92 groups that have attacked climate change science and policy solutions, from 1997-2017” (source).
Despite Exxon and Koch brothers denial machine, the climate scientists are in 97% agreement about global warming, about climate change resulting from industrial activity, much of it from fossil fuel emissions since the industrial revolution (source):
A Skeptical Science peer-reviewed survey of all (over 12,000) peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject ‘global climate change‘ and ‘global warming’ published between 1991 and 2011 (Cook et al. 2013) found that over 97% of the papers taking a position on the subject agreed with the consensus position that humans are causing global warming” (IBID.). The Top 10 Climate Myths that Fossil Fuel Industries and Koch brothers use to manage the climate change narrative.


Climate Myth What the Science Says
1 Climate‘s changed before” Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
2 “It’s the sun” In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions
3 “It’s not bad” Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
4 “There is no consensus” 97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.
5 “It’s cooling” The last decade 2000-2009 was the hottest on record.
6 “Models are unreliable” Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.
7 “Temp record is unreliable” The warming trend is the same in rural and urban areas, measured by thermometers and satellites.
8 “Animals and plants can adapt” Global warming will cause mass extinctions of species that cannot adapt on short time scales.
9 “It hasn’t warmed since 1998” Every part of the Earth’s climate system has continued warming since 1998, with 2015 shattering temperature records.
10 “Antarctica is gaining ice” Satellites measure Antarctica losing land ice at an accelerating rate.

See all 197 myths and what climate scientists are telling us.

Why is the climate denial myth-making happening? To manage the narrative about climate change, to keep it a debate, rather than accepting the consensus among climate scientists. Why? Follow the money. The longer Exon and Koch brothers delate politicians from making policy changes to the status quo, the more money they make.

You can watch this YouTube to get a sense of where I live in New Mexico. We get 10 inches of rain. There is drought and flash flooding.

To Change the Course of History, Change the Storytelling. We can make new bets on the future. We can learn important lessons from Mother Nature.  
Few people in my community are harvesting the rain water. We live in a county that is too poor to take care of its roadways. Yes, we pay our taxes, but we have to take care of our own county roads. Our horse ranch has an arroyo running through it.
In lower left is more vegetation because it’s the lowest area on the property. An arroyo flows diagonally from upper right to lower left, then crosses Dunn Drive and heads on towards the city of Las Cruces. Another arroyo (Arroyo Seco), also a county road that is not maintained by anyone but volunteers runs from higher ground (the Organ Mountains) and to the city catchments.  The city cares for Dunn Drive north of Aldrich, but does not care for Dunn Drive because when it hits our address, it become county road (and is not maintained at all). There once was a 90 plus man down Dunn that had a tractor and would smooth out the bumps, but no one has seen him. Aldrich road from our home going a long city block to the west is also not maintained. Some dude owns a property on the land, and is refusing the city access on Aldrich, so that road is not maintained (you have to live here to understand how complex the rights to which agency of the government can do what or not). Across Dunn to the east is the Bureau of Land Management land, and city and county have not quite figured out who has jurisdiction.
In the foreground are photo voltaic that I installed, and in the background are ones we had professionally installed. I welded up the frames and dug the post holes for ones I installed. The systems produce enough electric that El Paso Electric pays us 100 to 200 dollars each month for our excess capacity.
I set up an observation post using some aluminum for shade I recycled from an old solar water heater system that got struck by lightning, frying the pumps along with the PV inverter (which we replaced).
To get some understanding of the growing gap between Gaia and humanity, especially in the US, I have begun to do some detailed observations, to gather antenarrative material. Antenarrative is the ‘stuff’ before, beneath, between, becoming, beyond both narrative and story forms, and it’s all the bets on our future. The status quo bet of the US government is that  western capitalism and academic capitalism are going to save us by carbon credits, privatizing city (municipal) water services and commodifying freshwater around the world. Some put their faith in the narrative called triple bottom line, while others favor a circular economy narrative, will answer the challenge of global warming.
The problem with the triple bottom line (profit, people, & planet) narrative is it is really just a profit strategy exploding people and planet. The problem I see with circular economy narrative, is it ignores its own growth trajectory. Circular economy is defined as an economic system aimed at minimizing waste and making the most of natural resources. That sounds ideal, until you stop to realize, economic systems keep growing requiring more and more natural resources (oil, gas, water) to sustain them.  Sorry to inform you. More recycling and reducing waste in the circular economy, is a circular narrative, a circular logic that is ignoring the realities of growth and greed.
To change the future we need to change the storytelling about water and climate, and what must be done about it now.
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The Extinction Rebellion is happening (join). Water warrior vigils are happening (Join ). People are rebelling, using peaceful protest and civil disobedience to change the storytelling about climate change.


The Dark Sides of Climate/Water Storytelling is Our Own Complacency

Antenarrative Blog Post by David M. Boje, July 19 2019

Our orgnizaitonal storytelling has many dark sides. These dark sides make us complacent. Climate and water are entangled in the global warming shift. I will therefore use the term climate/water here. Shifts in global average temperature affects freshwater, sea levels, and water wars between upstream and downstream. This is because seemingly minor shifts in global average temperature impact the water cycle as water moves from surface and significantly more is retained in atmosphere, and as ocean acidification, chemical pollution intensifies, and so on. Science is in almost unanimous agreement that global average temperature warming threatens the well-being of future generations of people, and the rest of life on the planet. Science is also in agreement that our current actions are too little too late to avert Sixth Extinction. This inaction is related to the dark sides of climate/water storytelling.

The are many dark sides in climate/water storytelling

It is too easy to ignore threats to climate and water that are not immediate: This dark side of climate/water storytelling is about how the human brain works. After millions of years of evolution, the cortex is alert to immediate threats, quick to signal the limbic hormones, and instruct the brain stream to put the body into one of the four F’s: fight, flight, freeze, or faint (see This dark side of our storytelling affects the remaining dark sides.

The Storytelling Organizations of Denial have Malfeasance and Malpractice: Peddling climate denial is easy because of how our evolutionary brain works. “Conservative politicians, corporate interests and their think tank sycophants have knowingly peddled climate denial for decades. This is straight-out malfeasance and malpractice in terms of political and research ethics” (

Our Western Life Styles in Late Modern Capitalism make us blind to the changes needed to avert Sixth Extinction: We produce and consume in capitalism in ways that are distance from nature. We live in an artificial world of consumerism and work in production systems that are unsustainable. Given our evolutionary brain circuitry and the climate denial lobby, our western life styles are stuck in addiction to the status quo, rather than active intervention.

The Business Storytelling is Humancentric instead of Posthumanist: “The dominant rhetoric might decry what global warming will do to human societies, but it rarely speaks of what it does and will do to the creatures and ecosystems with whom we share the earth. Pope Francis’ Ladauto Si is a sterling exception in this regard” (IBID). Being human centric, the dark side of water storytelling is the impact of our industrial civilization lifestyles on other species. Our organizational storytelling is spiciest, more humancentric than about how climate/water cycle changes affect all living species on the planet.

Our Climate/Water Crisis is Exponential Change, but our Storytelling is Linear: Linear storytelling has a beginning, middle, and end emplotment, but the complexity dynamics of climate/water changes are a multiplicity of forces with threshold (tipping point) and multifractal patterns (Boje, 2016: Boje & Henderson, 2014; Henderson & Boje, 2016).

At a Nation level, the Dark Side of Climate/Water Storytelling is Blaming the Victim: “Historically, the global north of industrialized nations (the United States and western Europe) has contributed most to global warming … The rich, Western, industrialized countries should share the largest burden not only for historical reasons, but because they are wealthy enough to absorb the costs for the long-term well-being of themselves and the global south” ( Global north blames global south, while not changing global north consumer and production habits. Developing nations negotiating position seems more focused on better positioning the economy for the global stage, than it is in meeting its common if differentiated responsibilities (IBID).

The 1%-ers wealth-accumulation is at the expense of climate/water justice” “Climate justice refers to the disproportional impact of climate change on poor and marginalized populations, while climate equity refers to who should bear the burden of responsibility for addressing climate change” ( Eight multi-billionaires have accumulated over half the wealth of the world (Boje, 2019a).

What are the Antenarrative ‘Bets on the Future?’

Bet 1 on 100 Years: “According to the American Meteorological Society, there is a 90 percent probability that global temperatures will rise by 3.5 to 7.4 degrees Celsius (6.3 to 13.3 degrees Fahrenheit) in less than one hundred years, with even greater increases over land and the poles” (

Bet 2 on Ten Years: Extinction Rebellion is betting on making a change in 10 years, or tipping points will make extinction for future generations highly probable.

Bet 3 on Five Years: When two degree Celsius temperature tipping point in exceeded in next five years, and degrades the water cycle tipping points, the most probable impact will be Sixth Extinction by 2100 (Boje, 2019a, Global Storytelling: There is no Planet B).

In sum, our organizational and humancentric storytelling habits are underestimating the magnitude of threats posed by climate change on freshwater scarcity. and not aligned on the temporal horizon of acting in advance of nonlinear complexity dynamics.

Who has Moral Answerability to Curb Emissions?

There is a difference between being a bystander as the climate/water crisis that is preventable becomes Sixth Extinction, fait accompli. Bakhtin (1993) distinguishes between bystander (special) answerability and moral answerability (actually intervening in once-occurrent event of Being).


Bakhtin, M. M. (1993). Toward a Philosophy of the Act. Written as unpublished notebooks written between 1919–1921, first published in the USSR in 1986 with the title K filosofii postupka; 1993 English V. Liapunov, Trans.; V. Liapunov & M. Holquist, Eds.). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Boje, D. M. (2016). Organizational Change and Global Standardization: Solutions to the Standards and Norms Overwhelming Organizations. London/NY: Routledge.

Boje, D. M. (2019a). Global Storytelling: There is No Planet B. Singapore/London/NY: World Scientific.

Boje, D. M. (2019b). Organizational Research: Storytelling In Action. London/NY: Routledge.

Boje, D. M. (2019c). Storytelling Interventions in Global Water Crisis. Singapore/London/NY: World Scientific.

Boje, D. M., & Henderson, T. L. (Eds.). (2014). Being quantum: Ontological storytelling in the age of antenarrative. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Henderson, Tonya L.; Boje, David M. (2016). Managing Fractal Organizing Processes. NY/London: Routledge.

Meditating on 6th Extinction with Desert Critters, Creosol and Mesquite

Blog post by David M. Boje, July 14, 2019 updated July 15 2019



I am part of Extinction Rebellion (ExR). We want politicians to engage to declare a climate emergency, then make the kinds of policy changes that will avert extinction. Global warming changes the water cycle. Raising average global temperature changes the water cycle. It also changes the vegetation existent in the water cycle at higher temperatures. Two specifies we in the southwest in the heat of the desert,  can learn from are the creosol bush and the mesquite tree. Two critters we can learn from are rattle snakes and tarantula. They live simply on less water. Here I am meditating on water, and the arrival of Sixth Extinction.

Storytelling Research of Climate Change, Water Cycle and Vegetation Colonies

The basic problem I want to address is how globally warming the water cycle, and Sixth Extinction are quite long term phenomenon, but our democracies are adapted to making short-term investments that benefit the surplus-value extraction by corporations, supplying election monies to political candidates.  We clearly are on a short-term path, a water binge, with no apparent way to avert Sixth Extinction. The 1% are oriented to short-term gains in their wealth, even at the expense of long-term preparing in advance to mitigate the climate change, including impact on water cycle and global water scarcity, water shortages, and day zeroes when tap water runs dry. We are in the throes of the Sixth Extinction, and there is no planet B to get more water that with hotter global average temperature is in the water vapor atmosphere rather than falling to nourish life on land (Boje, 2019a, 2019c).

We will have to learn to care for water, reuse it, not pollute it, but the preparations to prevent the die-off of five billion humans, most of marine and land species, is inevitable without dramatic change in consumerism and production activities. To learn, I am using storytelling methods (Boje, 2019b) especially self-correcting ‘storytelling science’ methods, to study my own complicity in global warming, the degrading water cycle, and the kinds of vegetation that  colonize the Southwest desert where I live in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  I hope to learn how to regreen the desert, how to live more simply with less water, and leave water for others, such as desert critters, and bring back grassland from the cresol and mesquite, which we can also learn from. Before we get to creosol and mesquite, let’s be clear how global warming and the water cycle crisis of the southwest and globally, are related.

How does climate change impact the water cycle?

Climate change intensifies the water cycle. As air temperatures increase, more water evaporates into the air. Warmer air can hold more water vapor, which can lead to more intense rainstorms, causing major problems like extreme flooding in coastal communities around the world. As the southwest turns more arid, the creosol and mesquite tree invade, displacing the grass and other semi-arid species.

The water cycle is very dependent upon global temperatures. Put simply the water cycle is how water evaporates from land and sea, then returns to Earth as rain and snow. Climate change increases both droughts and heavy rains.  Global warming of air temperature is affecting things like water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere, precipitation rates, and stream flows. Warmer air holds more water vapor in the atmosphere, resulting in more intense rain storms and flooding in some areas and where I live in New Mexico, more dry air is held in the atmosphere as water vapor, and less falls to Earth. This results in more drought, as evaporation increases our soil dry out, and the desert transforms from semi-arid to arid. In New Mexico, we now get 10 inches of rain a year. So when rare rains do come, the soil is so hard, and cannot penetrate the ground, and evaporates even more rapidly. Rain water runs off quicker and quicker, taking with it the top soil. As water gathers speed, it cuts deep arroyos into the land, and water does not spread to surrounding ground.

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Figure 1: Observing the Arroyo Near our Ranch on East Mesa just beyond Las Cruces New Mexico

This arroyo is a frequent walk I make with dog, Sparkles (and with Sparky & Honey till they passed). The arroyo has dug about 75 feed into the earth. Along the ridges creosote and mesquite grows. But in the basin, you get a sense of the grassland and types of vegetation that existed before Spanish contact, before the overgrazing, and if regreening the desert is possible, these grass and shallow-root plants could come back to the landscape above.

Here is another view of the same arroyo against background of the Organ Mountains.

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Figure 2: Another view of the Arroyo with Organ Mountains

The  prolific creosote bushes in the foreground and not much some else anywhere is from the way the arroyo cuts deep into the land, so water does not spread out, and the topsoil has all run off. It is a downward spiral of climate change brought on by human activities, as a tipping point happened and invasive species out competed the grassland. 

How do we observe and interact with the water catastrophes of the water cycle?

To spend time observing water’s relation to vegetation in a changing climate is a form of mediation. It is mediation that sinks us into our own living story practices (See Boje’s What is Living Story Web at

A living story has a place, time, and a mind. This is a mediation in silence and contemplation of the circle of life. Water has an aura that is shown in every living thing, even the creosote and mesquite of an arid desert.  Water energy can be quite violent, such as when the monsoon rain burst onto the land, and the water runs fast cutting arroyos deeper into the landscape. The wind manifest dust devils that will peel the paint off your car. Water descends in hail storms, that dent the cars, and create business opportunities for dent-removal. Water mediation is about entanglement with all kinds of nature.

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Figure 3: Pond near Ranch, Full after Monsoon Rainfall

There is a pond nearby. I often walk there, and during the dry season, no water, only trash from the people using it as a shooting gallery or a place to try out their four wheel drive. There are amazing critters coming to drink, such as dragon flies. There are dormant creatures, like the spade foot toad and tadpole shrimpe that come to life when the monsoon fills the pond.

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Figure 4: I see these all the time in the Pond when its Full

“The tadpole shrimp colonizes freshwater temporary ponds, such as dry lakes and vernal pools, throughout the Southwest. Females lay eggs that can survive in the sand or dried mud, dormant for several years. When placed in water the eggs hatch over a period of time and the cycle begins again” (

After a week or so, of no rain, the pond water evaporates.

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Figure 5: Pond empty in dry spell used a play area for SUVs and Shooters

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Figure 6 A & B: Pond Trashed (top photo taken last year after rain; lower photo taken July 15 2019 8AM, not enough rain to fill pond)

It’s always sad when Sparkles and I walk to the pond and find it trashed. The county raised its landfill rate, so poor people are dumping more trash in the desert. You can see above the pond is about empty.  I think people with no reverence for water or life, just toss their trash here because the sense the energy. They seem to toss the trash in the most high energy places. It could be they sense the positive energy, and out of ignorance have to pollute it. My dad always told me, ‘leave a place better than you found it’ and ‘pack out whatever you pack in.’ Sparkles and I usually carry a canvas bag and collect the trash. This will take a few trips. Sometimes the boy scouts will come out and help. One of my students wrote the No Throw App. Download it and do the right thing.

The desert can be quite beautiful. Let’s keep it that way. Here we see a double rainbow, and the promise of rain to bring life to pond and all the desert life.

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Figure 7: A Double Rainbow above the Desert Vegetation at our Small Horse Ranch in New Mexico

It begins with observation, meditation, and interaction with water cycle and vegetation, where we work and live. There is much beauty to observe, such as this double rainbow above the creosote and mesquite, and the drank rain cloud that bring life is water to the desert.

Take an inventory of our water and vegetation habits as individuals, community, organizations, and societies where we work and live. Climate and water scientists say that its our human activities of production and consumption that are changing since the Industrial Revolution, since World War II, since the introduction of plastic, since our life and work changed our water footprints again and again.


Figure 8: Shade I made on July 14 to keep the sun off when I meditate and observe

Shade from reused aluminum from recycled solar water heater. I added a chair frame I put a seat on from the county’s landfill. In the yellow bucket I am drying mesquite beans. Pick them when they turn golden in the sun.


Figure 9: Demi Lune (half moon) birm to harvest rainwater

Climate, Water and Vegetation Meditation

We can learn from desert species, such as the creosote bush and mesquite trees taking over the southwest desert. As the heavy cattle grazing escalated after Spanish contact, the desert Southwest turns the climate atmosphere hotter and landscape drier, the semi-arid grasslands,, those flowing carpets of grass (Muhly [Muhlenbergia porteri]) were slowly replaced by the two vegetative colonizers, the creosol bushes.mesquite trees. Projections of future climate changes, these plants and trees colonize the desert, how much water and carbon are we losing to these quite aggressive and tough species dominating the landscape (  Once initiated by overgrazing, then propelled by global warming the creosote and mesquite trees benefit from higher temperatures and greater variability in rainfall, displacing the grassland, that had voluntarily, also adapted to hot and dry conditions. Creosote and mesquite roots reach much deeper than the grass roots, to access deeper water sources.  There are benefits of these colonizers, from shade, attracting wild life, and carbon capture, but it is encroachment at the cost of water regional ecohydrology, and water uses. 


Figure 9: A clump of grass growing beneath a Mesquite Tree in Southern New Mexico on our Small Horse Ranch

How does a clump of grass survive. Above this clump of grass grows in the shade of a mesquite tree. I am observing the creosote and mesquite tree activity before and after the rain, including the monsoon rains, and the dry periods between. Remaining rain water, deep underground cannot nurture the shallow-rooted plants.

Water has massing positive energy. All life needs water to survive. Living a simpler water life lets all critters and vegetation have water for life. Water stress affects all life. Interesting critters live in the desert heat, the sandy soil, among the mesquite and creosote.

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Figure 10: Western Diamond back Rattlesnake on way near where we live 

I observed this diamond back headed to the pond near where I live Rattlesnakes colonize and survive in arid habitats. This is an amazing critter. Leave it alone and it leaves you alone. Rattlesnakes do not waste water by urinating. They have great water sensemaking andcan detect water from great distances with their incredible senses of smell and tasteI see one or two a year, so I observe carefully and remain vigilant. It tries to let you know when you get too close.

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Figure 11: Tarantula in our driveway about to climb on my new book: Global Storytelling: There is no Planet Be

The Tarantula come out at night, in search of food or a mate. Some days, even during the day, they stroll by the hundreds. Amazing critters, they know how to live in the hot and dry desert. They dig holes in the desert and rest silently.  Tarantulas drink with their mouths, which is located under the fangs, and a pumping stomach, and store in the abdomen. if you notice a Tarantula’s abdomen is shriveled, make sure you give it food and water. This is a sign of under feeding and dehydration.

Mesquite trees have also mastered the art of living in the desert. They have photosynthetic metabolism at half the rate of shallow plants, regardless of hot and dry conditions ( Monsoon downpour will nature the soil, but most runs off, and evaporates quickly.  Water that does saturate the soil, the creosote and mesquite deep-roots access it. 


Figure 12: The ‘King Clone’ Creosote Rhizome in the Mojave Desert is 11,700 years old 

Enter the Creosote 

After a rain, I can snell the creosote. The creosote expands in a circular grown pattern, and can reach fifty feet in diameter.   Larrea divaricata is thought to be the oldest living thing on earth. King Clone, a creosote bush found in the Mojave desert is estimated to have grown from a seed nearly 12,000 years ago ( “Each giant ring of shrubs comes from its own ancestral shrub that once grew in the center of the ring. Over time the original stem crown splits into sections that continue to grow outwardly away from the center, producing new branches along their outer edge. The center wood dies and rots away over thousands of years, leaving a barren center surrounded by a ring of shrubs”.  

The creosote bush is a very tough and aggressive plant, able to sustain in droughts and intense heat of the desert where I life.  The plant excretes volatile chemical comports, some have medical properties. When soils are not dampened, and slopes of the desert are well-drained into arroyos, this invasive species, the creosote bush (larrea tridentata, larrea divaricata  and hediondilia in Sonora; part of the Zygophyllaceae species family) takes roots. It has taken over the Chihuahuan Desert, of southern New Mexico, where I live. It is also called greasewood. Layers of caliche form in the hot deserts. C

Creosote is an aggressive competitor for water, and is winning, where I live. It grows from four to twelve feet high. The yellow green leaves are adapted to conserve water and dissipate heat ( Creosote secures more water, preening growth of native plants.  Creosote secrets lots of waxy resinous compounds, poisonous to livestock. On the plus side the compounds are used in defense against wood rats (who lose more water through their urine & feces, & get less energy from their food, increasing risks of dehydration & starvation). Creosote in the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of North America ecosystems  vary in chromosome counts (Chihuahuan has 26, Sonoran has 52, and Sonoran has 78 chromosomes). It thrives in deserts under 5,000 feet.

Creosote orients its branches mostly to the southeast to minimize water loss in as sun moves west across the sky, and maximizing photosynthesis. The clustering branches reduces overheating, providing shade during hottest parts of the New Mexico day. As the sun rises in the east, creosote opens its stomata commence photosynthesis during early hours when evapotranspiration is at its lowest. Yes, the southeast orientation means it misses the afternoon and evening sun (see 

The roots of creosote run deep, accessing water table that the shallow rooted indigenous plants of semi-arid desert (e.g. grasses and the Prickly Pear cactus [Opuntia]) cannot. In limited rainfall, the shallowed rooted species cannot reach water taken up by the creosote. The granting architecture of creosote accumulates silt and debris as winds blow dust around the desert landscape. This results in elevated nutrients, shaded by the canopy of the bush. Rodents burrow into the ground beneath a large creosote shrub, and make their den, nibbling on any shallowly rooted plants that try to root under that canopy shade. At the same time the roots of the creosote (the tender bits) run so deep the rodents cannot get to theme. Rodents are therefore aiding the spread of the creosote by making it difficult for neighboring species to survive. 

Creosote reproduces from seeds and from rhizomes. The roots radiate out in a circle from the original plant, sprouting clones. On the plus side creosote provides seeds for food and flowers support myriad pollinators. Creosote gives the desert it’s distinctive delicious smell after a rain! On the downside, creosote secretes allopathic compounds that inhibit other plants from growing nearby? The roots and the dropped leaves emit chemicals that prevents self-growth and growth of other flora. Creosote blooms flowers that turn into small white fuzzy fruit with five seeds. 

On the plus side, creosote has been use as antiseptics and emetics by native indigenous peoples ( The lives contain a powerful antioxidant – NDGA ((nordihydroguaiaretic acid). It has been used to sure fever, colds, stomach pains, and is a general pain killer, diuretic, helps with arthritis, skin problems, urinary track problems, tuberculosis, cancer, anemia and is an anti-diarrheal, and is antimicrobial in helping cuts, bacterial or fungal infections, but no scientific evidence to date validates any of this and is not sold in Canada as a health product (; and A tea tastes terrible, and may actually in rare cases, promote kidney and liver dysfunction, even hepatitis.  The tea is made form creosote waxy leaves, stored in the sun, then pulverized and steeped in boiling water.  You can smoke the plant to combat infestations of desert midge.


Figure 13: Creosote Gall Midge (see 

The Seri of Mexico smoked insect galls among the foliage twigs of the larrea divaricata species for pleasure. Each midge species  indices a different gall midge fungal growth. “She inserts her egg along with a fungal spore from a mycangia (a small pocket to store fungal spores). A gall forms and the fungal mycelium grows to line the inside of the gall, when the egg hatches the developing larva feeds upon the fungus” (IBID.). Gagné and Warren (1990: 649) describe “Fifteen species of gall midges of the genus Asphondylia that form complex galls on leaves, stems or buds of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata)”.  

North American Papago used smoldering larrea tridentata creosote species  branches to treat sore feet (Pennacchio, Jefferson, & Havens, 2010: 114).  On the plus side chaparral is good for topical uses. Mexican herbalists use it to treat eczema and other skin conditions. You can make you own chaparral salves and lotions by steeping the leaves in hot water until you can smell it, then soak on a cloth and apply to affected area. 

Joy and Crespi (2007) study the speciation of Larrea gall midge insect adaptation to host-plants parts (leaf, stem, flower) of creosote. Midge species are highly host-plant specific, often feeding on just one part of the single host-plant species. Rains are seasonal in New Mexico. Gall badges have short adult lives of 1-2 days. “The different species in this group are sympatric over a broad area and widely distributed across the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts of North America, and up to 10 species having been collected from a single creosote bush” (IBID.).

Enter the Mesquite Tree 

Some parts of mesquite tree are toxic and can cause death. Other parts of mesquite are medicinal and a food source. There are several species (Velvet Mesquite [Prosopis velutina], Honey Mesquite [Prosopis glanulosa] & Screwbean Mesquite [Prosopis pubescens]). Mesquite tress are deciduous, with the potential to lose their leaves during dry times. Branches have thorns. Mesquite roots are within three feet of soil, but can go as deep as 160 feet ( Around southern New Mexico, the Honey Mesquite is common.


Figure 14: Honey Mesquite Tree

The seed pods are not toxic, high in fiber, but can cause gastrointestinal upstate if consumed in mass quantities. Mesquite beans can be harvest after they turn hard and golden. The pods of mesquite beans are sweet, a fructose that does not require insulin to be metabolized. You can chew on a a pod to test its sweetness ( 

Native indigenous people sprinkled ground mesquite meal with water to form small, round cakes, that were fried like mush, used to thicken stews or eaten raw. Mesquite meal is gluten free and makes a flat bread. Mesquite seeds are 35% protein, and pods have 25% fiber. Mesquite flour can be used to make a refreshing drink, and allowed to foment (mixed with meters) produces a fizzy alcoholic drink.

Mesquite flowers can be collected and boiled to make tea or roasted and pressed into ball as a food course.

Spa from mesquite trees can be boiled and diluted with water for eye wash antiseptic for open woulds, lip sores, chapped skin, sunburn lotion,  and to treat venarial disease (  Boiling the inner bark is used as a laxative and emetic. Mesquite tea from the leaves is good for headaches and stomach trouble, and to cure conjunctivitis and heal painful gums.

Mesquite wood was used as firewood, or for early blacksmithing. Prima Indians used mesquite black tar as a hair dye by covering the hair with the mud overnight. The resin from mesquite tree makes a glue to mend pottery, or when boiled and diluted, a paint for pottery. Inner bark of mesquite tree is used for basketry. Mesquite wood makes beautiful furniture. 


Boje, D. M. (2019a). Global Storytelling: There is No Planet B. Singapore/London/NY: World Scientific.

Boje, D. M. (2019b). Organizational Research: Storytelling In Action. London/NY: Routledge.

Boje, D. M. (2019c, in press). Storytelling Interventions in Global Water Crisis. Singapore/London/NY: World Scientific. Link to download Word file.

Boje, D. M.; Rosile, G. A. (2019, in review). Doing storytelling sciience with self-correction. Singapore/London/NY: World Scientific. Link to download Word file.

Gagné, R. J., & Waring, G. L. (1990). The Asphondylia (Cecidomyiidae: Diptera) of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) in north America. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 92(4), 649-671.

Joy, J. B., & Crespi, B. J. (2007). Adaptive radiation of gall‐inducing insects within a single host‐plant species. Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution, 61(4), 784-795.

Pennacchio, M., Jefferson, L., & Havens, K. (2010). Uses and abuses of plant-derived smoke: Its ethnobotany as hallucinogen, perfume, incense, and medicine. Oxford University Press.

Spirit and Quantum Science possibilities for Management and Organization Inquiry

PREFACE (continued)

Can Management and Organization Inquiry become Quantum Science?

Management and Orgnaizational Inquiry (MOI) can become a system expressed in SPirit that is developed, into Science.  Science for Hegel is the actuality of Spirit, but it is not something that happens without getting beyond the limits of the dialectics of sense making. Hegel calls this first stop on the journey sense-certainty of what one experiences in the five senses, which today we call (after Weick) retrospective sense making. There are seven dialectics Hegel points out that can move us beyond the current theory and method of retrospective sensemaking. First, the Here and Now, of sensemaking is in a seamless liquidity with other Heres and Nows that have passed on or are about to arrive. For a Science, it is necessary to be explicit about which Here and Now is being pointed to. For storytelling it’s more fluid, and we are lax in making such distinctions. Second, we in storytelling do not pay much attention to what is our own sensemaking, and what accounts of others’ sensemaking we fold into the storytelling. Finally, there is the forgetting, of the sensemaking experiences of many Here’s and Nows as we in storytelling are quite selective and forgetful, in our storytelling.

Beyond the first domain, the first stop on the Triassic, beyond the stop at sensemaking, is the Spirit, the World-Spirit where we have learned perhaps to suspend the limits of sense-certainty and sensemaking itself. At this second stop, Spirit immediacy transfigured, reflects into itself, in order to be the soil or ground, and be antithesis to itself.  Some Spirits are more advanced than others along the Triassic path.

“In a Spirit that is more advanced than another, the lower concrete existence has been reduced to an inconspicuous moment” and the trace of a spatial pattern is shrouded, a mere shodowy outline, that the predatory studies in MOI have not help us to understand.  If we stay in the predatory lessons of sensemaking, it’s doubtful we enter Spirit’s domain. Rather, MOI has been reduced to som facts, a few experiential exercises, and some games for students to tune out of their cell phones and memorize the MOI schematic, the monotony formulas, for the next examination.


The Downward Spiral of New Mexico Public Universities into the Abyss

Dear Carlos Mendoza:
reply to  You have your strategy half right, let me explain.
Let’s explore your inference that “expensive old dog instructors” are better replaced by “hungry young bright instructors” and this in turn will “create an 18% reduction in the need for state funds.” Sounds like ageism to me. The problem with your strategic plan is as you purge the University of the professors doing the lion’s share of the top-tier publishing, the University will lose its research status, and NMSU will plunge in a downward spiral, right into being a teaching university (a definite second down-grading of Carnegie status).
NMSU has a strategy, Instead of a research university you will have something like an Eastern or Western NM University, and they have fine teaching there, but there is a something important to consider: NMSU’s Carnegie Classification is R2: Doctoral Universities – Higher Research Activity, and its sponsored award expenditures amounted to $126.5 million in fiscal year 2015. In addition, according to the most recently available statistics from the National Science Foundation, NMSU ranks fourth in research expenditures by Hispanic Serving Institutions.
Did you know we used to have the R1 rating, but lost most of PSL. NMSU has Arrowhead, but it once had one of the top labs in the state, called PSL (Physical Science Lab), and now its a shadow of its former revenue generating glory days, when it had lots of big grants, and visionary leadership. They actually renamed the building, took down the PSL sign, and now its Anderson Hall, with no reputation at all, another building.
At New Mexico State University, 120 positions were already cut (101 faculty lines, 19 staff lines) at New Mexico State University has been done, and another cut expected next month, and another cut expected next year, and another the year after. But we are not close to a solution. We are in a dust devil.
Will there be a Deloitte consultant’s report answering this question: Why are there so many administrators> We could save several million dollars, by putting all department heads on 9 month instead of 12 month contracts, several million more be doing away with assistant deans in six colleges, and several million more by eliminating assistants to the assistants of vice presidents. In this strategy, the University would become flatter, the old dog faculty (still expensive) would take up leadership of the curriculum to benefit the students. Still to bring in the kind of revenue needed, we actually have to have revenue building strategies. We would have to grow the kinds of programs that attract students to an R1, rather than an R2 university, on its way to being R-233.
Now, consider the current downsizing, rightsizing strategy. Transforming NMSU into a 21st Century University. I am not sure why, it is not aiming at a 22nd Century University.
Are we not in the 22nd Century? Perhaps its because the Deloitte Consulting (& EAB) consultants lacked the benefits of an actual Higher Education.
You’d think for a price tag of exactly $618,905, we’d get a “22nd Century University” planning model for staff reduction or the price tag announced, Wonder what the price tag is for Deloitte Consulting reduction of expensive old dog faculty, such as myself. Besides Deloitte, what did EAB cost, and what is its role in the cuts and reorganization? These are some young and hungry looking consultants.
As I read your comment, it would appear that expensive old dog instructors are about to be purged. That would be me. Though I did earn every cent of it. Who do you think puts the research numbers on the board? New faculty take years to build a research network, a reputation, and learn to make the big scoring points. Retire all the high paid old dogs on your sports teams. What ill happen.
What about cutting out the expensive studies, and putting those overpaid faculty to work. “The $618,905 study conducted by Deloitte consultants said that rather than being overstaffed, New Mexico State University is poorly organized. NMSU Chancellor, Garrey Carruthers says that the university is a high fixed-cost university so there are many things that need to be addressed.
“We have lots of buildings, lots of personnel, many of them tenured that you just can’t release; and as a consequence we have to restructure this university to recognize what’s going to happen in New Mexico in the 21st Century,” says Chancellor Carruthers.
Former Governor Carruthers knows how to get things done, how to get along with our current governor and legislature, but the game rules are changing. He is between a rock and a hard place, as are we all.
Here’s some insight. The buildings get built, like the Dominici Center, Skeen Hall, and so on, because the legislature gives money for that, and is cutting back on instructional funds to higher education (and operating money).
“Standard and Poor’s recently announced that NMSU ‘s long term rating was downgraded from an AA to an AA minus. The university has seen declining enrollment numbers over the last few years.”
AA minus is still a high rating. Why not invest in the future of Higher Education.
Maybe the Deloitte expensive consulting services (& EAB) should be cut, and we should pursue Carlos Mendoza’s other option, to cut the overpaid administrative bureaucrats. How many administrators does it take to administer each faculty member? I hear its between 1.5 and 3.5 depending on how you count them.
We at NMSU (& UNM) are in the eye of a Dirt Devil, and there is at center the budget cutting and purging of positions, but in my opinion, they are the wrong positions. A ‘real’ 22nd Century University would not be replacing each old dog Tenure-track faculty person with two or three adjunct faculty. Rather, the 22nd Century University would install Regents with graduate degrees, cut the administrative glut at the top, install grass roots faculty and student control of the curriculum, and any administrator left, would be building revenue streams, not cutting the people doing the work of teaching and research.
The two New Mexico Universities are spirally toward the abyss, squeezing out old dog tenure faculty, hiring lots of adjuncts, creates a void of research, a deadening of intellectual capacity, and in such a downward spiral degradation of Higher Education, the old 21st Century solution was more golf courses, more expensive football coaches, high paid athletics directors with their no-cut budget contracts. Is it sensible to cut faculty and staff, and make a bet that football programs will increase enrollment.
A university is built on the intellectual and research and teaching accomplishments of its faculty. In a Dust Devil of Descent into the destructive Abyss, it takes more than a Deloitte Consulting – reengineering study, and some task forces without a shred of faculty or staff participation – to turn the Dust Devil to another course away from the abyss.
These are my own public intellectual views and do not reflect the department, college, or University.
David M. Boje, Ph.D.

Extinction or Rebellion in the Dark Side of Water Storytelling

Keynote talk for the ‘Dark Side of Communication Conference’ in Aalborg Denmark. My focus is on ‘dark side of water storytelling of extinction and my rebellion’.

The Extinction or Rebellion movement has been gathering momentum. Its symbol represents the Sixth Extinction, the topic of a book I wrote, released this year: Storytelling in the Global Age: There is No Planet B (Boje, 2019a).

I have a sequel (Boje, 2019c), how water and temperature are entangled in the Sixth Extinction now unfolding. The question I bring to this conference: Can humankind change its water habits fast enough to avert Sixth Extinction?























Figure 1: Extinction Symbol created by London artist ESP in 2011

This is the symbol of a growing worldwide grassroots movement called ‘Extinction Rebellion’ that is mobilizing popular support for enough rebellion that politicians change climate policy and implement changes in political economy, in order to avert Sixth Extinction (Extinction Rebellion website). The circle represents the planet, while the hourglass inside signifies a warning that time is rapidly running out for 30,000 to 140,000 species, including most of humankind. The planet is undergoing its sixth mass extinction event, sicentists call the Holocene or Antrhropocene. This extinction event is not caused by an asteroid that wiped out the dinosaur and brought the Ice Age. The Sixth Extinction, its widespread ecosystem collapse, is caused by human activity changes since the Industrial Revolution, and in particular since World War II.

“The Truth. We are facing an unprecedented global emergency. Life on Earth is in crisis: scientists agree we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown, and we are in the midst of a mass extinction of our own making” (Extinction Rebellion website).

We are organizational communication scholars, and I will assert that it is our organizational storytelling communication that is answerable for this catastrophic loss of biodiversity, the widespsread collapse of ecosystems, and are consequent to planet Earth becoming uninhabitable for humans.

Extinction Rebellion (ExR) is another kind of civil disobedience, people willing to get arrested peacefully, accpting consequences for stopping traffic for seven minutes at a time (Episode 4 Looking Forwards, Extinction Rebellion Podcast).

Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is creadited with securing the 2015 Paris Agreement. Christiana says her boss is the ‘Atmosphere’ and ’she’ wants to see emissions controlled implemented. 42 or 43 countries have already flattened out or actually begun the decrease of thier emissions according to their Paris Agreement commitments. The global emmissions numbers we 2017-2017 halted increase of global green house gasses and it flattened, until last year went up 1.7 %. In the case of the United States, withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, our emissions are headed in the wrong direction altogether, increasing 3.4% in 2018.

When the Kyoto protocol went into force, Canada was not in compliance with emission reductions, and 24 hours before a fine of $14 billion in penaltie would be assessed, on Dec 2011 it withdrew (See CBC).

The storytelling claim of the Turmp administration: “The science is clear, under President Trump greenhouse gas emissions are down” (Claimed by Environmental Protection Agency). Deconstructing this claim, it is true US emissions decreased slightly between 2016 and 2017 more from momentum of President Obama’s initiatives than those of President Trump. But when Trump took office the rate of declined slowed, and month-to-month changes were modest, before rising sharply in 2018 (see Emissions did fall slightly between 2016 and 2017. But the rate of decline slowed under Trump and the month-to-month changes have been modest.

Are we moving in the right direction, reducing emissions fast enough, to avert Sixth Extinction?

Christiana Figueres believes outrage and optimism are key communication strategies to achieve progress (Episode 4 Looking Forwards, Extinction Rebellion Podcast). The ExR strategy of civil disobedience is an important way of moving public opinion in order to accelerate public policy. She has no tolerance for the status quo strategy, for the mindset that says it’s too expensive, too difficult, too late, it won’t work, and we are not going to try anyway. This is precisely Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1993: 3) bystander (aka special) answerability. Contrast this with Bakhtin’s ‘moral answerability’ where we have an ethical responsiblity to intervene in the systems causing harm to others because we exist in the once-occurent eventness of Being. We don’t have the option to be a bystander, to just be negative, complaining about the dark side of communication, and doing nothing about it. The consquences of Sixth Extinction are too grave.






















March 15 2019, 1.25 million students took part in ‘youth strick to act on climate change’ demonstrations around the world. ExR groups around the world stop traffic for seven minutes, and some get arrested for their civil disobedience. Christiana’s challenge is to mobilize 10 million to get the establishment system to change its climate change policies and actions?

Can we mobilize 10 million for the next rebellion?

George Monbiot is a British writer and a columnist at The Guardian. You can read his latest columns here and hear (Episode 4 Looking Forwards, Extinction Rebellion Podcast). George is not confident that even mobilizing 10 million students to rebellion will be enough to change the systemic order. Climate science is demanding a massive shift in the political economy. There is a contest between scientific realism and political realism. Political realism is negotiable, but scientific realism means you can not argue with the physics of temperature or the hydrology of the water cycle. In Extinction Rebellion and the Youth Strike for Climate movements, the strong theme of their storytelling, listen to what th esicentists have to say, ’tell the truth about it’, follow where it leads, and build our politics around it. This is a major shift for the political and economic systems, from their ‘dark side of storytelling’, to a ‘reorientation of their whole ethical compass.’ This shift is what Kenneth, Marita, and I call ’terrestrial ethics’. Growth is the primary aim of most politics and most economics, but according the scientific realism, it is destoying our life support systems. In other words, ExR is a straightforward challenge to capitalism.

In storytelling terms, it is a dialectical opposition between the thesis of political realism and the antithesis of scientific realism, with ExR engaging in enough civil disobedience to privilege climate science in ways that challenges capitalism’s basic premise of economic growth. What is capitalism? The harvesting of surplus value. What this storytelling dialectic between the petrified narrative of political economy realism and the counternarrative of ExR alignment with climate science realism is calling for is not some kind of synthesis. Rather, its a different kind of dialectical movement, one called the ’negation of the negation.’

Can Capitalism by Adapted to Avert the Sixth Extinction? George Manboit’s answer is ’No!’ “Its hard to see how you can have an environmentally benign capitalism” — George Monbiot (Episode 4 Looking Forwards, Extinction Rebellion Podcast). It would mean decoupling growth by surplas value consumption of more resources from material resource planetary limits. Everything that mainstream economics is saying about sustainable growth is challenged. It is growth that is beyond planetary limits. We know that ‘green growth’ is a basic contradiction because if you grow, you consume more resources. Monboit’s position: “We’re already beyond the point at which the world’s systems can sustain the current rate of consumption.” Monboit is calling for an end to capitalism. There is no such thing as green growth. The economy is a subset of ecology. Ecology is not a subset of economy, as is preached in so called ’sustainable development.’

Here is my take on all this: We cannot survive with out freshwater. Life is water. We have to put sanitary, freshwater, and the water cycle first, and political economy second. We have to adjust political economy to the water imperative. We need to design a new political economy, and give up trying to do sustainability development of capitalism. US capitalism does not work. It will be interesting to see if New Zealand and the Nordic socialism approaches can present a way forward, in its state capitalisms.

Dare to declare capitalism dead – before it takes us all down with it

George Monbiot

“The economic system is incompatible with the survival of life on Earth. It is time to design a new one.” There is new thinking on how to design an environmental economy, that is a viable alternative to late modern capitalism.

“Part of it is provided by the ecological civilisation proposed by Jeremy Lent, one of the greatest thinkers of our age. Other elements come from Kate Raworth’s doughnut economics and the environmental thinking of Naomi Klein, Amitav Ghosh, Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, Raj Patel and Bill McKibben. Part of the answer lies in the notion of “private sufficiency, public luxury”. Another part arises from the creation of a new conception of justice based on this simple principle: every generation, everywhere, shall have an equal right to the enjoyment of natural wealth” – George Monbiot.

Jeremy Len’ts (2019) proposal for a new political economy of ecological civilisation (in book the Patterning Instinct). “ Lent argues that the peculiar character of Western religious and scientific thought, that has come to dominate the rest of the world, has pushed both human civilisation and the rest of the living world to the brink of collapse” ( Kate Raworth’s doughnut economicss means the needs of people are met without overshooting Earth’s ecological ceiling.

The status quo water storytelling contends that a curcular economy is humanly possible. However, we seem to be doing ‘circular economy rhetoric’ while engaging in growth of nonrewnable resource consumption, and destroying the natural water cycle’s ability to replenish the freshwater supply. We have to completely reset our expections of what a good life is, in ways we have not yet seen. We cannot go back in our retrospective sensemaking, to reclaim some capitalism form that was ecologically stable, because since the industrial revolution the model has been economic growth by ecosystem exploitation. At the heart of modern economics is the notion of sustaining a constant rate of economic growth. A 3% economic growth, means doubling the economy every 24 years.

In sum, Moinbot’s proposal is not to resdeisgn or to tame capitalism, but to actually replace it with a new political economy based on the premise every generation everywhere has an equal right to enjoy natural wealth. This means we can no longer deplete natural resources that are going to be needed by other people, or destroy ecosystems that are needed to sustian other people’s lives, and cannot any renewable resource beyond its replenishment rate. For water, we are using it up, contaminating it, and wasting it beyond the water cycle replenishment rate. We are now past renewable peak water, nonrenewable peak water, and are moving past the ecological peak water limit, yet be run capitalism as if there is a planet B (Boje, 2019c, in press).

Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria (UK). You can read his paper, “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy” here and (Episode 4 Looking Forwards, Extinction Rebellion Podcast). Looked at sustainability and signs climate change is speeding up, and is now runaway climate change. A human catastrophe is happening now. Reforming the current captialist sustianability system is a form of denial. A societal collapse is on the horizon. Business colleges are arch-exemplars of climate denial becuase our whole existence is premised on growth can continue with sustainability. Jim thinks its too late to prevent societal collapse. Jem beleives that despair of going through the dark side of storytelling can lead us to realizations, and new way of being in the world by puttling love and truth first.

Bendell (2018) put the dark side of our water future this way: “Is it happen􏰀i􏰀ng? Worr􏰂􏰂ied, I looked at the latest 􏰄metha􏰀ne r􏰂eadi􏰀ngs f􏰂rom􏰄 satellite a􏰀nd la􏰀nd m􏰄easu􏰂resents. Mid-al􏰆titude 􏰄measur􏰂emen􏰀ts sho􏰇wed 􏰄metha􏰀ne le􏰏vels increasing a􏰃bout 1.8 percent over the previous year􏰂, w􏰇ith sur􏰂fa􏰁ce 􏰄measur􏰂em􏰄en􏰀ts ab􏰃out half of that. Both figu􏰂res w􏰇er􏰂e 􏰁co􏰀siste􏰀nt 􏰇qith a 􏰀no􏰀n-li􏰀nea􏰂r i􏰀􏰁􏰂ncrease – pote􏰀􏰆ntiall􏰅y e􏰉xpo􏰀ne􏰀􏰆ntial….The􏰀n I dis􏰁co􏰏ve􏰂red that s􏰁cienti􏰀􏰆sts at the Vi􏰂rginia I􏰀ns􏰆titute of Mar􏰂i􏰀ne Scien􏰀􏰁ec 􏰇were reporting data on􏰀 ac􏰁tual sea le􏰏vels that w􏰇as 􏰁co􏰀sisten􏰀t w􏰇ith sea-r􏰂ise 􏰃bei􏰀ng n􏰀o􏰀n-li􏰀near􏰂. That is a p􏰂o􏰉􏰅xy for􏰂 n􏰀on􏰀-li􏰀near􏰂 􏰁cha􏰀ges i􏰀 nour􏰂 􏰁cli􏰄mate. It m􏰄ea􏰀ns that esc􏰁ala􏰆􏰀ting feed􏰃a􏰁ck loops a􏰂re 􏰀no􏰇 w􏰇arm􏰂􏰄i􏰀ng the pla􏰀net fu􏰂ther􏰂. It 􏰇as har􏰂􏰂row􏰇i􏰀ng 􏰂research.􏰂􏰁”

Bendell (2019) “The climate emergency calls on us to explore what we can do, individually and collectively, to adapt to climate-induced disruption.” It means we are not going to avert Sixth Extinction by feel good storytelling, and trotting out more greenwash. We will need to look at moving beyond the status quo initiatives of sustainable development, beyond carbon tax beyond water privatization schmes, beyond reuse, reduce, recycle sustainable growth practices of late modern capitalism. Here I want to focus on the dark side of water storytelling, and what we might do if we take climate change relationship and entanglement with the hyrdrological water cycle, seriously.

Let me summarize my position on water capitalism. Global water capitalism is unsustainable. We in the US, have already exceeded planetary limits. If everyone in the world lived as United States do in the status quo, we would need 5 Earths to support humanity’s ecosystem consumption rate (Downstream project). The only way US and Washington Censenus strategy is water commodification by corporations such as Nestle, CocaCola, and PepsiCo, while Becktel, Vivendi and Suez privatize municipal water systems. This way US retains 5 Earth’s water consumption, while many nations with water shortage, pay or die. There is depletion of aquifers by agricultural water, by water commodifaction schemers, and by those engaged in water speculation, buting up water rights, globally.

Extinction or Rebellion? In action we have hope.

I am in rebellion against the Trumpland government of the US that sleepwalking into Sixth Extinction. ER has affinity groups organizing worldwide, but none in New Mexico. So I joined ExR and am organizing a local nonviolent rebellion. My rebellion is to use ’storytelling science’ (Boje, 2019b; Boje & Rosile, 2019 in press). The US federal government is not doing its duty to avoid ecological collpase. The state government is not doing the job to avoid the further desertification here. The city and county governments are not changing policies away from the dominant order to change policies. There is growing awareness, but it is not translating into climate action. My rebellion begins with my own watershed, the part of it where I live. As I reflect on the relaiton of organizational storytelling and capitalism in the Sixth Extinction, I want to face the ‘dark side of storytelling’ all the manipulaiton of the storytelling in late modern capitalism. At the same time, I want to do something to set a new direction. The storytelling mindset has to be that ‘we’ are complicit, and ‘we’ are going to make change to a new political economy possible. Not capitalism, not circular economy modification to capitalism, but something entirely new and different.

This is a Google satallite picture of 4700 Dunn Drive in New Mexico where Grace Ann and I live on about 5 acres, we got rezoned for horses.

Figure 2: Our Horse Ranchete at 4700 Dunn Drive Las Cruces, New Mexico
This is a picture of our small horse ranch. I am beginningmy personal rebellion against Sixth Extinction with changes to my own water actions, with permaculture and water harvesting principle. I have run out of excuses and time because the extinction is coming, whether I like it or not. I am engaging in a constructive approach. I don’t know exactly how I am going to regreen the New Mexico desert, but I am going do self-correcting storytelling science, and make it happen. There is no alternative because the federal, state, county, city governments are not on course to avert catastrophe. There is much that has been done, and pople who have devoted years, to making renewable energy possible, to make freshwater possilbe, etc. The direction set by the UN running by traditional structures and the political economic order, is not changing fast enough. We all know this.


Figure 3: Water Harvester Principles

1. Begin with Long and Thoughtful Observation
Water storytelling beings with long and thoughtful observation of the accessible watershed.
I live in the desert of New Mexico at 4700 Dunn Drive, Las Cruces New Mexico. This 4.7 acre watershed receives on average, 10 inches of rain each year. Most of the rain falls are sands and run down the arroyos. Arroyo water runs too fast, cutting deep into the desert landscape. On the few moments when there is substantial rain the water flows so fast it carries the top soil with it.



Figure 4: Water Observation Post
My long and thoughtful water observations have just begun. I want to understand my virtual water footprint. I realize humanity is on the way to Sixth Extinction and virutal water in our lifestyle is an important consideration. It is also important to llk at the entire supply chain of the places we work. How can I make a difference and develop a better virtual water existence?

My freshwater lifestyle needs to foreground water harvesting. I cleared away some of the greasewood bushes, and then trimmed back one of hte large mesquite trees where I constructed the temporary water observation post. I put up a tarp, and repaired a salvaged chair to sit on. I noticed a clump of grass, growing in the shade and shelter of the Mesquite tree.



Figure 5: Clump of Grass Growing under the Mesquite Tree

The mesquite tree and greesewood brush make high mounds of silt from the runoff during the few times it rains. I was disappointed July 12 when dark clouds formed, but just to the north of our land, so we did not get any downpour. Amazing how the rainfall can just pass us by. I noticed that where mesquite had about a foot or so gap between ground and canopy, more green grass was growing.



Figure 6: Grassy Area in lowest part of the Property


Figure 7: Ditch to move gray water from house to a Demi-Lune

The land slopes and the arroyos deposit the water into it. This is where there is no greasewood, and in spaces between mesquite, there is taller grass, now dried out by the sun and lack of recent rainfall. My plan is to bring more water to this area. One way is to make a cut out in the road to the south, to bring the road water into the basin. Another way, is to puddle the water in swells along the arroyos, so that it slows the water, and there is less runoff from the wetter basin into Dunn Drive to the east. A third way is to transfer gray water from the house to some demi lunes (half moons).

I moved the graywater about 100 feet with some extra hose and a pump, and the rest of the way in the above ditchwork. It flows to a demi-lune, with about three days of greaywater. The old pump we installed when we built the house about 12 years ago, no longer works. I bought one I can plug in.


Figure of area where Arroyo spread out

Demi-lunes are half circles, where you dig it out and birm, to harvest water runoff. I traced the arroyo across the property, and made gradations to move some to an outlying area near my observation outpost.

More later


Bendell, J. (2018). Leadership beyond denial of our climate tragedy. In: The Poetics of Leadership Conference: Creativity, Art and Story in Enabliing Meaningful Change, 7-8 September 2018, University of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK. (Unpublished). Accessed July 12 2019 at

Bendell, Jem (2019) Because it’s not a drill: technologies for deep adaptation to
climate chaos. In: Connect University Conference on Climate Change, 13 May
2019, DG Connect, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium. (Unpublished). Accessed July 12, 2019 at

Boje, D. M. (2019a). Global Storytelling: There is No Planet B. Singapore/London/NY: World Scientific.

Boje, D. M. (2019b). Organizational Research: Storytelling In Action. London/NY: Routledge.

Boje, D. M. (2019c, in press). Storytelling Interventions in Global Water Crisis. Singapore/London/NY: World Scientific. Link to download Word file.

Boje, D. M.; Rosile, G. A. (2019, in review). Doing storytelling sciience with self-correction. Singapore/London/NY: World Scientific. Link to download Word file.

Monbiot, G. (2018a). You Want It Darker?. the Guardian. Nov, accessed July 12 2019 at

Monbiot, G. (2018b). Enough of Carillion culture. Make bosses pay for the carnage they cause. The Guardian.

Raworth, Kate. (2017). Doughnut economics: seven ways to think like a 21st-century economist. Chelsea Green Publishing.


The Dark Side of Water and Climate Storytelling by Multinational Corporations

Blog Post by David M. Boje, July 8, 2019

I have a keynote to do in August for the ‘Dark Side of Communication Conference’ in Aalborg Denmark. My focus is on storytelling. The dark side of storytelling is how it is manipulated to keep the public, and the politicians to make policy changes that affect the pocketbooks of billionaires and their corporations, because they fear changes in in structural conditions of late modern capitalism would affect short-term profits. Business storytelling is manipulated. This despite predictions of every scientist of any credibility of a Sixth Extinction, now underway in the Anthropocene. If we are all now participants in the Sixth Extinction, why aren’t we doing anything to keep under a 1.5°C increase in global average temperature? I will argue it’s because of the ‘dark side of storytelling.’

Corporate and political leaders are part of the problem, and stopping the solutions.

There is something else that is fundamental to understand about storytelling. People have evolved storytelling as a means of survival, over hundreds of millions of years. The frontal cortex identifies potential immediate threats in the environs, then synopses trigger hormone bursts in the limbic, and transmit fight, flight, freeze, or faint commands to the body’s brainstem. Climate change and water shortages are long-term, not in the brain’s programs for immediate survival. The storytelling human brain, focuses on immediate survival, so not getting a cell phone signal is more critical to attend to than the future average global temperature.

Organizational Storytelling is Also Being Manipulated We shouldn’t underestimate the consequences of ways billionaires and their multinational corporate and using the power of ‘storytelling’ to shape public views and opinions, and what to do about water crises and climate change. There are several possible answers to why we are doing too little too late to avert 6th Extinction.

Why aren’t we changing the system if the system is threatening our survival?

First Answer, maybe most people just don’t understand what scientists mean by an increase in ‘global average temperature’ by the end of the century. With each degree of global average temperature, thresholds are crossed, that magnify consequences.
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC — that’s 2.7ºF for Americans — on October 8, 2018, laying out the swift action that needs to be taken to avoid catastrophic warming and how the half-degree difference between 1.5ºC and 2ºC will actually have devastating consequences” (Paul Marx, Oct 2018).
“The glaciers are melting faster than even the direst expectations of the most pessimistic scientists… We’re in the midst of history’s first human-caused mass extinction — we’ve killed off something like maybe half the life we know of anywhere in the universe”

Second Answer, powerful corporate interests manage the narratives of climate change and freshwater crisis, spinning the narratives into a ‘climate debate’ to eek out short term profit by keeping the public in a state of confusion, and preventing structural system changes by blaming the victims. Paul Marx’s (2018) message ” individual action cannot properly address climate change… By focusing on individuals, at least in the dominant English-speaking countries, governments and corporations were let off the hook.”
Third answer: Billionaires in charge of multinational corporations spend millions lobbying politicians to downplay climate change, and stop them from implementing freshwater policies.

I think it’s all three! A small power elite group of multi-billionaires that own or control multinational oil, plastic, chemical, and water corporations find it profitable to hijack the storytelling conversations around water and climate change, reframing ‘climate science’ into a ‘climate debate’ and using social media to steer public opinion into ‘confusion’ and ‘climate denial’.

The power of corporate ’storytelling organizations’ to frame global warming as a ‘ debate’ to confuse the public, downplay its importance in freshwater shortages around the world.
Eight multi-billionaires now control half the wealth of the planet (Boje, 2019a, Global Storytelling: There is No Planet B). Multinational water corporations (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle) are privatizing freshwater sources, while other multinational water corporations (Bechtel, Suez, Veolia) are commodifying water by taking over municipal water systems (Boje, 2019b, Water Storytelling).
Can the wealthiest 1% escape the consequences of 2ºC, or 3ºC, or 4ºC global warming? In a 6th Extinction, the predictions are half of humanity will die-off, and the migration from collapsing ecosystems to water and land controlled by the walls of the 1% will not keep out starving people. The 1% will not be able to escape the consequences of global warming because starving people will band together.


Do Nothing Scenario:Without any effort on our parts, if we were to allow the temperature to rise at the current rate, then we would see an increase of 4.1-4.8° Celsius at the end of this century”

Status quo business-as-usual scenario: “According to current trends, with all our mitigation efforts, the temperature of our Earth is expected to rise by 3.5° Celsius at the end of this century”
“As reported by The Guardian: At 1.5C the proportion of the global population exposed to water stress could be 50% lower than at 2C, it notes. Food scarcity would be less of a problem and hundreds of millions fewer people, particularly in poor countries, would be at risk of climate-related poverty” (cited in Paul Marx, 2018).

The radical change scenario: If powerful multinational corporations are controlling the global warming and freshwater narratives, confusing science as a ‘debate’ in order to increase corporate profits while engaging in practices that are warming the planet, leading to the extinction of most humans by end of century, especially in less developed nations, increasing their migration to developed nations, then a more radical change scenario is called for.

Paul Marx Oct 8 2018
Paul Marx’s (2018) message ” individual action cannot properly address climate change… By focusing on individuals, at least in the dominant English-speaking countries, governments and corporations were let off the hook.”

“”Just think for a minute of all that’s done to stop politicians from implementing policies that would accelerate the transition to renewables and make our societies more sustainable; and stop citizens from demanding it.”

“The billionaires in charge of these companies spend millions lobbying politicians to get them to abandon their plans, or at least water them down to make them ineffective. They own media companies and influence those they don’t through ad buys to ensure the news media doesn’t pay much attention to climate change, and when they do the network brings on ‘both sides’ of the ‘debate’: a representative of the scientific consensus and someone paid by fossil fuel interests to produce material aimed at confusing the public.””If that’s the case, why aren’t we changing? Because powerful interests are standing in the way.””It isn’t a coincidence that this keeps happening across the world. There are powerful people who benefit from the status quo and do not want to see a transition to renewable energy, an end to automobility, and other changes that will free us from our dependence on fossil fuels.””Consider this: a mere 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global emissions since 1970, and when we consider lifestyle consumption emissions — essentially what would be reduced through individual decisions — 49 percent are generated by the top 10 percent.Remember when Leonardo DiCaprio took a private jet from New York to Cannes to accept an environmental award? That’s how rich people live, and it’s not going to change without a radical reimagining of what our societies should look like.”

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC — that’s 2.7ºF for Americans — on October 8, 2018, laying out the swift action that needs to be taken to avoid catastrophic warming and how the half-degree difference between 1.5ºC and 2ºC will actually have devastating consequences.”

“Climate change has left cities beginning to drown”
“This is capitalism, in the real world — outside the fairytales and fantasies of American economists and libertarian pundits. In the real world, capitalism devolves to a system of exploitation for profit — and what’s exploited is everything, from the planet to minds to bodies and democracy.”
This world is made of three things : a dying planet, destabilized societies, imploding economies.

Capitalism cannot work in a world whose resources are depleted, corroded, burned through, violated (unless by “work” we mean plunge us back into the Stone Age).

Step Away From the Trash Can: Ways to Declutter Your Home Without Adding to the Landfill

Antenarrative Blog has invited Alice Robertson to write a blog article on ‘Decluttering’

If you have kids, pets, or a life outside of your home, you may have realized that your house serves as a collection ground for things you really don’t need. Outdated clothing, unused furniture, and excess kitchen gadgets all top the list of items that collect dust. And while it’s tempting to toss these things in the waste bin, that does nothing but further the burden on the earth – a burden our children and grandchildren will pay for.

There is a better way to eliminate excess. It starts by looking at how you manage your home’s large, unused items. Many belongings are great for yard sales (more on that later), but others may best serve Mother Earth by being recycled in creative ways. Your bedding is a great example. Don’t let your old mattresses be added to the millions that end up in landfills each year. Instead, it’s important to look for ways to recycle or refurbish them any time we upgrade to a new one. Other items, such as houseplants and old flashlights, can be taken to your local assisted living community and put to good use.

Smaller items, such as large and small appliances, outdated electronics, clothes, toys,
and kitchenware, are prime candidates for a weekend garage sale. As an added
bonus, selling your leftovers will pad your pockets and leave you some extra
cash for much-needed upgrades to your home or to simply take your family out to
dinner to celebrate your newly-clean space. The mind behind the popular Making
Lemonade blog offers these tips on how to have a successful yard sale and stresses that signage is the most important thing you can do to get people to your location.

Keeping it clean

The only real problem with cleaning out your house is the potential that it will get wrecked again. If you want to avoid this, you’ll have to keep yourself motivated to keep it clean. Start by changing your home maintenance routine. Invest in aquality vacuum cleaner, which won’t cause stress and strain on your muscles and joints, and change up your cleaning-products arsenal to include items that are safe for the kids to handle. Green cleaning products come with the added benefit of being non-toxic, meaning even your tiniest housemate can pitch in. If you don’t want to spend the money on fancyname-brand cleaners, consider using plain old distilled white vinegar (you can purchase a gallon for under $4), which cleans windows, coffee makers, dishes, and more. If you don’t like the smell, pour your vinegar into a
jar with lemon or orange peels for a week before using. If your house needs a
really deep clean, look for a maid service, which will cost between $109 and $273 to hire in Las Cruces. Just make sure they use eco-friendly cleaners.

Since “clean” and “cluttered” are two different things, you will also want to take steps to stop things from piling up again. When it comes to organization, it’s usually the small things that add up to big trouble. Start with your receipts and user manuals. Photographs of these documents can be stored on your computer. If you are an avid list maker, quit wasting paper. A Boogie Board is an invaluable addition to your desk. You can also digitize photographs and even share your favorite images with friends and family via an internet-connected photo frame.

There you have it: simple, logical, and low-cost ways to clean and clear your closets and hallways without adding to landfills or introducing toxins to your local water supply by washing harsh chemicals down the drain.

A cluttered space makes it difficult to get things done — or even just relax — at home. Once you’ve decluttered and cleaned your living space, surfaces, pathways, and seating should all be clear of papers and debris. Adding storage furniture, like a filing cabinet and desktop paper organizers, and using them will help keep the clutter from accumulating again. Image via Pixabay

Alice Robertson

Regreening the Earth beginning with New Mexico Desert

Antenarrative Blog Post by David M. Boje, July 7 3029

What is the future for our children, our children’s children, and generations of children in the future? The droughts, desertification, soil degradation, climate change and intergeneration poverty of New Mexico is not inevitable. This was not always an arid desert. Various human populations inhabited here in the Chihuahuan desert since about 9200BCE. New Mexico once had a natural abundance, a functional ecosystem that supported its emerging indigenous population. This was followed by Spanish colonialism that denuded the vegetation, and agricultural practices over hundreds of years that destroyed the regions hydrology and fertility of New Mexico. Why is it that Mexico, Africa, and China have programs for regreening the desert, but very little is happeing in New Mexico? I think it has everything to do with storyelling.

The trash tells a story of a material culture gone insane. What is the story all thhe blowing plastic bags in the desert, the plastic water bottles and beer cans along the trials and highways? When I walk through the New Mexico desert I can hear this story. I can see the story in the trash litered about, people tossing trash out of cars along the highways, people wasting fresh water to wash their cars, and to water their lawns, I realize people in New Mexico just are not thinking clearly about the relation between the hydrological cycle, and climate change. Climate change and the planet’s natural water system are thoroughly entangled. The ecological function of hydrology, atmosphere, vegetation, and biological life is entangled with climate change. How we treat the relation between hydrology and vegetation, has an impact on the atmosphere, biomass, and climate change. There is a science of hydrology and believing instead that the most important thing is to produce something on the land for agriculture.

We need to change the storytelling of New Mexico, from nostalgia for cattle, and how to make a million from growing pecans along the Rio Grande. We need to get out of the Abstractions and get some Grounding in how to reclaim New Mexico as a functioning ecosystem.




I am a storytelling researcher. I have an idea that we need to move from vary ‘Abstract Storytelling’ that makes polemics about political parties to a ‘Grounding Stroytilling.’ To prevent further New Mexico land and water degradation, we need to change from Abstracting Storytelling of how the west was won by cattle barons and oil tycoons, to a Grounding Storytelling in restoring natural functional ecology. By moving from the ‘Abstracting Storytelling’ of oppositional rhetoric of republicans and democrats, to the ‘Grounding Storytelling’ of how we can all begin to regreen New Mexico deserts and act in our mutual interest to revitalize nature, the functionality of the water system, the atmosphere, the vegetation, in order to break out of downward spiral of intergenerational poverty and ecological degradation. I will not go itno the whole storytelling model. I will just point out that there are multiple pasts (P1 to P4, and more) and multiple futures (F1 to F4, and more). We can make choices about the future we want for New Mexico. In case you have not noticed the future, the status quo direction, we are on now, is one of the downward spiral of cycles of intergenerational poverty and environmental degradtion.

The Dark Side of New Mexico Storytelling I am a water warrior, someone writing about the hydrological cycle and its relation to climate change. The Interorganizational Panel on Climate Chnage (IPCC) succeeded in having 170 countries sign a climate treat in 2015. The agreemnt was to keep the temperature lower than 2 degrees Centigrade, that bet is lost.

I say we make a new ‘bet on the future.’ Let’s start greeing all the degraded and denuded land, worldwide, and change the future.
Recent public polls (Yale/GMU) show the majority of Americans increasintly worry about climae change, but have diminishing hope that the political elite will do anything aobut it, especially not in the next decade. We need a bold new storytelling of climate change. The status quo bet on the futures, is that political elites and ligilsators will amke the necessary decisions to keep 2.0 C temperature increase from happing. But what are the storytelling researchers studying, the Abstracting notions of how the psychology of deniers, thier bunker mentality will not allow policy approches that would regreen the earth to happen, not in ten years, and no action till its too late. The status quo framing of climate change is to persuade the general public that carbon taxes are a good idea, a way to hold the fossil fuel industry, the airline industry, the automobile-compustion industry, and so on, financially answerable.

This is a failed storytelling strategy. The reason is that public option about anything is quite weakly correlated with Federal policy action or legistaive aciton. Remember tobacco, in 2009, when the legistaitve change happend more than half the country was agianst it, and in the Obama year, with national health care less that 50% wer in favor, and recently on 40% favored Turumps tax plan, and less than that favor the wall. The take-away here is tha tpublic opinion does not make the political elites do things much different. Follow the money, and you find out, that corporate money is what matters. And there is a polemic storytelling, a message that powerful corporate interests in fossil industries, are all about fueling climate denial, but again, how does point this out regreen the Earth?

We debate about climate deniers, and more forests and grassland becomes desert. 6.000 children a day die of water-borned disease that is preventable. In the storytelling world of petriied narratives of climate denial, and counter narrativesabout corporate funded think tanks and PAC money to keep denial in the media, in the public discourse, this is not getting us closer to staying with 2.0 C temperature increase, and if it continues 4% and 6% are becoming bets on the future.

Let’s try ‘Grounding’ the Storytelling of Climate Change in ways we can Regreen the Earth!

We can regreen New Mexico Desert by paying attention to ways of pre-colonial agriculture. Tops of arroyos can be replanted with trees, terrace have to be built to bring the arroyos back to life. Arroyos are ecological zones that need to be protected, revitalized, so the erosion of top soils stops. Converting slopes of arroyos into terraces, returns natural vegetation to the surrounding ecological land. Water oolong runs straight off the slopes into arroyos, because there are also terraces, waffle gardens and demi lunes that regrows vegetation cover, are places to plant trees, and this changes the lives of New Mexicans. Changing our behaviors as New Mexicans, changes the hydrological cycle, the vegetation, and life as we now it, by increasing not only quality of life, but economic standards in a functional ecosystem. This regreening the ecosystem will take carbon out of the atmosphere, and make for a microclimate that is resistant to the effect of climate change.

The resilience gardening of New Mexico’s Zuni Pueblo, pre-Spanish contact, harvested rainwater since there was no permanent water. The history of Zuni agriculture tells a story of pre-contact. The Waffle Gardens of Zuni Pueblo includes the Three Sisters method of planing in together in indentations, the combination of corn, squash, and beans. Corn came from Mexico, and has been in New Mexico fo thousands of years. These are planted in the same waffle indentation. Traditional herbs are left to grow where they naturally grown (wild spinach, yucca, wild celery, native plums, tall grass tea, and so on). When pueblos established 900 to 1300AD along the Rio Grande (and Zuni away from it along seasonal rivers). With the hard round and rock, the rain water going along plateaus flooded into the waffle garden. Terracing prevents a large amount of water coming into the waffle, destroying the birm. Gardens were moved every year, giving the ground time to reset soil fertility. Pueblo communities do various water and soil ceremonies, depending on the pueblo. Taos Pueblo on May 3rd has growing season preparation songs and dance. Throughout the summer season there are corn dances to bless the growing in the fields and pray for good harvest. There are, in some pueblos, butterfly dances, for pollination. Soil in unban areas of New Mexico, we don’t have the land to rotate the waffle beds, and must amend to soil with composting.

Walls Will Not Stop Migrants from Degraded Ecologies Coming to New Mexico Thousands of people are migrating to the United States from countries where the downward spiral of intergenerational poverties entangled with ecosystem degradation has manifested. There is no wall long and tall enough to keep these starving people in the least developed world out of the developed world. There are too many people migrating to the USA to stop them with a wall, a border portal the size of an occupational army, or camps for migrant children that increasingly resemble concentration camps of WWII. With one billion more people on the planet every 12 years, the ‘wall’ is not a viable strategy. It is not going to be possible to suppress the movement of humanity from degraded Central and Mexico ecology to one not quite as degraded in New Mexico.

“We think we want a lot of manufactured goods, and more and more and more. This is a wasteful and not a sustainable way of life. Especially with 12 billion peopled adding a billion every 12 years, it’s not possible to do that. So we need another model.And here’s a model that restores the function. It has been proven to restore hydrological function, to restore fertility. We have vast areas of degraded land, there’s plenty of room for opportunity, and this could employ millions and millions of people. Their work wouldn’t just be about themselves. Their work would be about insuring that future generations could survive” (Regreening the desert with John D. Liu – YouTube documentary – 2012, accessed July 7, 2019.

(Regreening the desert with John D. Liu

John D. Liu says it’s possible to rehabilitate large scale damage ecosystems. In 1995 was assigned to film in China reclamation of plateau, the size of Netherland, from desert to green (see also, Hope in a Changing Climate YouTube & BBC documentary accessed July 7 2019.

If China Can Reclaim Desert and turn it into Productive Landscape, What agout New Mexico? How did China solve its large scale damaged ecosystems? New Mexico can look to Ethiopia, Rwanda, Jordan, Israel, and other areas where without vegetation, so the water does not soak into the ground, and is not available to agriculture for the rest of the year, is not an intelligent survival strategy. John D. Liu’s regressing strategy is to study the planet’s natural biological systems, and understand what happens when our human behavior disturbs those natural processes.

I have read about action in Silver City, but not much in Las Cruces. I read “Restore New Mexico is an aggressive partnership between land owners and land management agencies to restore the state’s grasslands, woodlands and riparian areas to a healthy, more productive condition” (Sun News, 2016).

There is some action, but is it enough to circumvent the United Nations predictions?

“The Conservancy is working on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to establish 6.2 million acres of protected areas and improve management practices on 7 million additional acres. Conserving this mosaic of public and private lands will benefit people who depend upon an open landscape for their livelihoods, as well as jaguars, sandhill cranes, thick-billed parrots, black-tailed prairie dogs, bison, Chiricahua leopard frogs and other northern and southern species whose ranges cross geographic and political boundaries” (see more on Conservancy in New Mexico).

Why is there only grassland conservancy in the northern part of New Mexico?





The good news is the situation of southern New Mexico can be reversed by changing grazing habits, and planting indigenous vegetation cover, to get the water to flow. Water penetrates to ground, and in as short as five to six years, you can get clean water again, despite the poor rains.

Desertification is what happens when people don’t understand human impact of the landscape. Relentless grazing of domestic animals means no change of plants to grow, and soil is washed away, destroying regions fertility. Silt clogs the Rio Grande river, contributing to its floods, and now senseless ag practices stop the water from flowing in the lower reach of the river, where I live in Las Cruces.

If we can reclaim and regreen the desert from dedesertification, then why don’t we do restoration, to the benefit of the entire country? With growing climate change, we can restore landscapes degraded by centuries of human action. The lands of New Mexico are exhausted. Cows are allowed to walk along the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and treat every green thing in the desert as food. Without stopping those grazing practices, we don’t reclaim the New Mexico desert. All the desert to rest from grazing in order to begin process of rehabilitation, and get back grasses (perennial root systems and microbial root communities) and git into a cumulative vegetative biodiversity situation, instead of the decreasing biodiversity situation.

It is our answerability to intervene in our little niche of the world, and not engage in strategies of decreasing biomass of the landscape. If we go down a different path to the future, and make a new bet one the future, we can begin to see the relationship between hydrology and vegetation and biological life. You realize this relation of hydrology, vegetation and biological life is basis for the air we breath. It is the basis of the natural water system, and it’s how the atmosphere and the hydrological cycle were created. Hydrology, atmosphere, vegetation, and biological life, water cycle were being constantly renewed.

We can apply the same principles, setting desert land aside for regretting, revitalization, and rehabilitation. This means, in New Mexico, confronting Big Corporate Agricultural, changing BLM land use policy, and teaching the public about the relationship between hydrological cycle, atmosphere, vegetation, and biological life on planet Earth. This is why I am working with colleagues (Kenneth and Jens) to establish ‘The Gaia PhD’ through European School of Governing in Berlin Germany.

By applying the principles of ‘regreening the desert’ it is possible for the government to set desert land aside for natural vegetation to return, to reclaim degraded landscape, build small band, break up the hard packed surface, allow rainfall to seep into substructure to replenish the supply of water, and change the desert sand into a Garden of Eden.

In New Mexico, the Navajo and Zuni waffle gardens, and the African ‘demi lune’ approach are a good ways to restore the huge vast degraded desert landscape and restore the grassland. New Mexico’s current agricultural practices (over pumping aquifers and river water for monocrops of pecans, cotton, etc., grazing cattle on BLM land) is causing the ongoing degradation of landscape, depletion of the natural water system, enhanced petrochemical usage, and poor fertility. These practices have severely damaged the ecosystem of the Rio Grande River, its riparian banks, the basin ecology and is depleting aquifers faster than they are naturally replenished, degrading the soil quality, and changing the microclimate of New Mexico. The water that flows through the Rio Grande is a vital source of life from Colorado to Mexico.

If people of New Mexico are the problem, then they can also be the solution to regreening the desert, revitalizing the aquifers, and allowing the Rio Grande River to flow all year round, and to restory the land in the Rio Grande basin. Restoring and preserving natural ecosystems, like the Rio Grande basin, benefits everyone. Draw a line between value of human economic activity and the value of preserving natural hydrological systems, its role in vegetation that takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Excessive evaporation rates in New Mexico have over the centuries gradually degraded the natural hydrological system, and its functional role in vegetation cover, atmosphere, and biological life. The uptime outcome of this status quo approach is ‘collapse’. We can use hydrological science knowledge and indigenous water practices, to regreen New Mexico, and turn it back into the oasis it once was, with quality of life and the kind of economic prosperity, commerce that is sustainable in a functioning landscape.

In the historical past, the geology of New Mexico is nothing like what we are seeing today. It was a landscape full of life. There are still mountain lions in the mountains of southern New Mexico that re remnants of top predator’s habitat that had a whole ecological range of diversity and abundance. There is amazing potential for New Mexico, for an abundance of water flow, abundance of life, and regional climate and microclimate hydrology that leads to permanence in human culture. Instead of passing poverty from one generation to the next, in a degraded ecological state, change this cycle of New Mexico poverty and ecological destruction that continues in a downward spiral into an upward spiral of regreening the New Mexico desert, developing a functional hydrology, vegetation, and atmosphere that changes the base of employment, health, and quality of life for generations to come.

How do we tell New Mexico ‘Big Agriculture’ and ‘Big Oil’ and to local people with dreams of cattle and horse ranching that here-and-now we must give space to the land to revitalize to become a functional landscape? How can we get the population of New Mexico to understand that for now it would be best, to stop growing pecan orchards, stop grazing cattle on the BLM landscape, to stop to spread of suburbia, and instead to revitalize the natural hydrological cycle, so that regional climate and micro climate breaks New Mexico out of the intergenerational downward spiral of poverty and ecological degradation. Give Nature some space?

Right now political elites of New Mexico are afraid of Big Ag corporations and Big Oil corporations, and just let them do as they will with the degraded landscape. One way forward is engage the local people of New Mexico in the benefits of ‘regreening New Mexico’s desert’ that they will directly benefit from efforts invested in the dedesertification project. This means New Mexico government giving farmers and ranchers economic incentives to not do Pecan farming, to keep domestic livestock penned up instead of grazing the BLM landscape. We can bring back New Mexico landscape in three years, by massive rainwater harvesting, massive earth work terracing for rehydration, and doing the kinds of composting needed to regrow vegetative ground cover, so that the hydrological cycle is rejuvenated by these regreening projects achieve climate change that bring about a green economy instead of a fossil fuel dependency economy. With regreening, biodiversity starts to reclaim the ecosystem. The New Mexico degraded dysfunctional ecosystem can be revitalized stop-by-step into a self-sufficient and abundant functional ecosystem where massive ground water pumping and river water diversion is no longer needed. Demonstration projects can be implemented.

This initiative can also achieve dramatic results in a decade on a local scale. We can create an educational waffle garden, to show people how to grow fruit and vegetables in their own home gardens. This can be part of a permaculture local initiative to grow food under the canopy in the understory, producing its now mulch sequestering carbon (3 x what above ground foliage does), recycling its soil nutrients of soil interactions that feed the plants, as massive diversity grows and interacts together in develop a productive self-sufficient assembly of humans in cooperation with nature, without any use of artificial fertilizer (see YouTubes by Australian Jeff Lawton).

Despite the droughts, New Mexico farmers and ranchers, by changing their habitual practices, can once again prosper. This is a cost-effective way of transforming degraded landscape into revitalized natural environment, and is a solution to the water system and climate problems we face today. The source of New Mexico wealth is a functional ecosystems. New Mexico products and services are derivative of that functional ecosystem. As John D. Liu point out ‘it is impossible for that derivative to be more valuable than the source’ (Regreening the desert with John D. Liu – YouTube documentary – 2012, accessed July 7, 2019.

In New Mexico today, the derivative products and services have all the declared monetary value, but the source, the functional ecosystem is given ‘zero value.’ This is a ‘false storytelling.’ The ’true storytelling ( We’re created a economic theory based on a flaw of logic, and carted form generation to generation, we in New Mexico, are compounding the mistake of ‘false storytelling.’ We can be growing high-value produce for the local market, instead of trucking crops from far away states and nations. New Mexico needs to redefine the belief system of money based on production of goods and services that turns New Mexico into a big desert to make room for more pecan agriculture for its short-term economic gain, ignoring the economic long term damage to hydrological function, loss soil fertility and economic value of biomass in functional New Mexico ecosystem. We live in a hyper arid landscape. We can regreen the desert with the composting already happening in Las Cruces local municipalities, and create industry, employ thousands of people in New Mexico, and put us on a path to food and water security. People are tidying up, dumping the biomatter into the landfill, instead of composting at home and in the municipality. We have revitalize our existence, and avoid collapse by going from backyard scale to municipality scale to state and national scale.


We (Marita, Kenneth, and I) have been developing a new business storytelling paradigm. It has five entangling worlds that constitute ’storytelling dynamic’ relationships:
1. ANTENARRATIVE WORLD that is pre-constitutive of the next four worlds. You need language, symbols, gestures and so on, in order for the other worlds of storytelling to constitute meaning.
2. ABSTRACTING WORLD of Petrified Narrative-Counternarrative dialectics of the thesis-antithesis-synthesis persuasion. Abstracting tries to appropriate, erase, and petrify all other storytelling worlds. Abstracting is about building generalities, finding universal principles, and schemata. Synthesis is rarely achieved since this kind of dialectics degenerates into polemics and gridlocked positions.
3. GROUNDING WORLD of Living Stories-Counterstories in various dialogical relationships. If there is one thing that pops out about styrtelling dynamics these days, it is the struggle to find ‘grounding’ to get out of the ‘abstracting world’ into the ‘grounding world. ‘Living stories’ are locally grounded, in time, and grounded in sociomaterial relationships. Humankind does not own storytelling, but are powerful ‘actors. ’Things tell a story’ and things are’ actants’, that mediate and intermediate the social in ‘Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK), in actor-network-theory (ANT), and in various sociomateriality theories, such as Baradian ‘agential realism’.
4. REHISTORICIZING WORLD of diffracting multiple pasts (P1 to P4, and so on) by retrospective sensemaking. Rehistoricizing is backward-looking, but the particular looks are deeply affected by what is unfolding in the present, and the futures various actors and actants are manifesting, preparing for in advance.
5. FUTURING WORLD of multifractal, multiple futures vying, the multiple Bets on the Future (F1 to F4, and so on) by prospective sensemaking. The are many futures, including the status-quo future, which many rich investors, businesses and politicians have invested in (sunk costs), and do not allow any alternative futures to manifest.









Figure 1: The Five Worlds of Business Storytelling

The five worlds of storytelling are dynamic. One affects the other and is affected by the others.