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In Taos, N.M., recycled tires are the building blocks for a community of radical, off-the-grid homes called “Earthships.”

Meet their architect, Michael Reynolds. He’s the rugged, eccentric star of a seven-minute short film from The Atlantic, directed by Flora Lichtman and Katherine Wells for The Adaptors podcastwhich gives us a snapshot of life in these captivating solar homes built from natural and recycled materials.

Even though his architectural vision appears to be centered around the idea of sustainability, Reynolds isn’t your typical environmentalist. In the film, he says, “I’m so sick of recycling and sustainable and green and organic. They’re rhetoric things.”

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However, he doesn’t shy away from climate change — quite the contrary, in fact. “I’m not going to argue with the people dancing on the top level of the Titanic before the iceberg crash,” Reynolds says in the video. “If people don’t see disaster’s in their horizon, you can’t convince them of that — they’re going to have to see it on their own. And I’m just making life rafts right and left.”

Those life rafts may be constructed out of Coke bottles and takeout containers, but hey — at least someone’s planning for the future.

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