March 13, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Bernard Pens Sustainability Novel on ‘Precarious Stage of Planetary History Known as Late-K’

Geography Professor Emeritus Ted Bernard has a novel coming out this spring—a story set in a fictitious college town in southern Ohio not unlike Athens. Student protests and their enmeshment in university, statewide, and international energy politics head toward calamity during a precarious stage of planetary history known as Late-K.

Late-K Lunacy, a novel by Ted BernardThe book, Late-K Lunacy, delves into what Bernard describes as “Panarchy and the prospect of deep collapse of our fossil-fuel drenched civilization.” Yet his book description teases the reader with a vision of a “world stripped of modernity yet  brimming with possibility and hope.”

Hope was a keyword in the titles of his first two books, also on sustainability: The Ecology of Hope, co-authored with Jora Young and Hope and Hard Times, “both about the journey of nine extraordinary communities pursuing community sustainability,” according to his Amazon profile.

Bernard is Professor Emeritus of Geography at Ohio University, where he received the University Professor award twice, in 1983-84 and 1988-89. He also received the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 1983 and the Jeanette G. Grasselli Brown Faculty Teaching Award in 1991.

Dr.Ted Bernard

Dr. Ted Bernard

He writes now, he says on his website, “Because our planet’s precarious future makes the good life I’ve lived seem more and more uncertain for the kids of my students and their kids and their kid’s kids. That’s what keeps those sentences coming.”

Abstract for Late-K Lunacy: Dr. Stefan Friemanis arrives at Gilligan University of Ohio with a powerful model called Panarchy. As a young professor, his job is to help his students navigate their way through a precarious stage of planetary history known as Late-K. He and his students are drawn into a protest movement to halt the university’s plan to burn fracked natural gas lying beneath a campus nature reserve. As the world catapults toward the Late-K cliff, the students occupy the university’s central quad. This enmeshes them in national and international energy politics and a labyrinth of blackmail, offshore shell schemes, tax evasion, political corruption, and far-reaching iniquity. Things go sideways and their world unravels as Panarchy and their beloved mentor had predicted. Thirty years later, they regroup in a downsized world stripped of modernity yet brimming with possibility and hope.


“Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring opens with a dystopian portrait of a fictitious town dying from pesticides. Mocked by corporate agribusiness, her non-fiction best-seller became the generative force for the modern environmental movement. Late-K Lunacy follows in this tradition with fiction, this time the threat to human and ecological life being a climate change-induced pandemic. It will frighten the complacent and arm climate justice advocates. Ted Bernard has an engaging and imaginative gift for ecology-based fiction.” — H. Patricia Hynes, retired Professor of Environmental Health, author of The Recurring Silent Spring (Pergamon)

“A devastatingly truthful work of ecology-based fiction and a gripping story of the coming-of-age of a group of post-carbon Millennials. Much more than an ecological dystopia, Late-K Lunacy is a splendid evocation of the world going into – and eventually coming out of – an ecological crisis, as Holling’s ecological cycles are characterized by both collapse and recovery, like a never-ending Möbius strip.” — Fikret Berkes, author of Sacred Ecology (Routledge)

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