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  • ”The free-market fundamentalists will tell you that more growth, more stuff and 9 billion people going shopping is the best we can do. They’re wrong. We can be more. We can be much more.”
    – Paul Gilding
    author: The Great Disruption
  • ”Because of this civilization’s obsession with growth, its demise is 100 percent predictable. We simply cannot go on living this way.”
    – Adam Sacks
  • ”We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children.”
    – Joe Romm
    physicist
  • ”We can’t frack our way back to economic prosperity; nor can we unplug a coal plant, plug in a solar panel, and go on expanding population and consumption.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”We’ve globalized an utterly untenable economic model of hyperconsumerism. It’s now successfully spreading across the world, and it’s killing us.”
    – Naomi Klein
  • ”A growing nation is the greatest ponzi game ever contrived.”
    – Paul Samuelson
    economist
  • ”Continual increases in population and consumption cannot continue forever on a finite planet.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”Continual increases in population and consumption cannot continue forever on a finite planet.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”A growing nation is the greatest ponzi game ever contrived.”
    – Paul Samuelson
    economist
  • ”In the short term, we must realize that we have better ways to create jobs and build the economy than holding an everything must go sale on our precious resources.”
    – Dr. David Suzuki
  • ”I have – over the last five years – quite rapidly become a Malthusian. I have been won over by the data, and I have been won over by the logic of the math.”
    – Jeremy Grantham
    investment strategist
  • ”If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, people with a new vision. It will not be saved by people with the old vision but new programs.”
    – Daniel Quinn
    author: Ishmael and The Story of B
  • ”You don’t have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy.”
    – Paul Ehrlich
    author: The Population Bomb
  • ”I have – over the last five years – quite rapidly become a Malthusian. I have been won over by the data, and I have been won over by the logic of the math.”
    – Jeremy Grantham
    investment strategist
  • ”Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
    – Kenneth Boulding
    economist
  • ”Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
    – Edward Abbey
  • ”In today’s full world, resources are not only scarce but have become the limiting factor”
    – Herman Daly
    former World Bank senior economist
  • ”There will inevitably come a time that the society drastically needs to change the way it interacts with the environment, or it will lose its coherence.”
    – Sander van der Leeuw
  • ”You don’t have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy.”
    – Paul Ehrlich
    author: The Population Bomb
  • ”Who’s gonna stand up and save the Earth? Who’s gonna say that she’s had enough?”
    – Neil Young
  • ”At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.”
    – Paul Hawken
  • ”The inescapable failure of a society built upon growth and its destruction of the Earth’s living systems are the overwhelming facts of our existence.”
    – George Monbiot
    Guardian columnist
  • ”There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.”
    – Mahatma Ghandhi
  • ”The truth is this: the Earth cannot provide enough food and fresh water for 10 billion people, never mind homes, never mind roads, hospitals and schools.”
    – Richard Branson
  • ”This is not about whales anymore. It’s about us.”
    – Thomas Friedman
  • ”We can share the earth and take care of it together, rather than trying to possess it, destroying the beauty of life in the process.”
    – Dalai Lama
  • ”Our economic activity is at war with the planet.”
    – Naomi Klein
  • ”Population is the multiplier of everything we do wrong.”
    – Dr. Martha M. Campbell
  • ”On the one hand, it’s politically impossible to stop growth. On the other hand, it’s biophysically impossible to continue it ad infinitum. So, which impossibility is fundamentally impossible?”
    – Herman Daly
    former World Bank senior economist
  • ”Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
    – E.F. Schumacher
    author: Small is Beautiful
  • ”We can’t frack our way back to economic prosperity; nor can we unplug a coal plant, plug in a solar panel, and go on expanding population and consumption.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”Long-term sustainability requires a materially smaller economy (the pie) shared more equitably (not equally) by a smaller population.”
    – William Rees
    Co-originator of Ecological Footprint Analysis
  • ”If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, people with a new vision. It will not be saved by people with the old vision but new programs.”
    – Daniel Quinn
    author: Ishmael and The Story of B
  • ”We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it.”
    – Paul Hawken
  • ”Our economic activity is at war with the planet.”
    – Naomi Klein
  • ”As I see it, humanity needs to reduce its impact on the Earth urgently and there are three ways to achieve this: we can stop consuming so many resources, we can change our technology and we can reduce the growth of our population.”
    – Sir David Attenborough
  • ”We’re going to need some kind of radical break with our past behavior if we’re to engineer a viable future.”
    – Mark Buchanan
    Bloomberg columnist
woman rapelling from Earth

Pick One: Catastrophe or Disaster (Podcast Episode 20)

Do climate change lights and sirens change anything?

A climate emergency has finally been declared. Grace and Dave explain the bad news from the IPCC and evaluate media, public and policymaker response. Has sugar-coating the news and projections in the past been useful? Is it time to “take the gloves off?” Some say even this new, alarming report is understating the seriousness of what we face.

What should we be doing about it? Now that denial of the science is pretty much behind us, what stands in the way of an appropriate response? Is apathy an issue? Saturday Night Live may have summed up our predicament a little too accurately. The agenda includes the Trump administration’s approach to climate. . . .

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condom, the pill, climate change temperature chart and satellite view of hurricane

Hurricanes, Climate Change & Contraception (Podcast Episode #19)

Yes, they are related. Our business-as-usual response to Hurricane Florence last month starts the conversation. (This episode was recorded before Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida panhandle.) Grace and Dave do also share some good news: climate change is getting more attention (of course the recent IPCC report has turned that volume up to 11, and we’ll discuss that in the next episode).

Also in this episode: Does Dave need to shut up already about using condoms? How reliable are various forms of contraception? A challenge to the top environmental NGOs to start telling the truth about the unsustainability of economic growth. And a politician startles the world by quitting because his government isn’t doing enough about the climate. . . .

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Overshoot - 1.7 Earths

How Fast is Our Goose Being Cooked? (podcast episode 18)

Is Earth Overshoot Day meaningful? How sound is ecological footprint and biocapacity data behind it? Dave and Grace examine a critique from Robert B. Richardson, Associate Professor of Sustainable Development at Michigan State University.

Plus: This summer’s heat and fires are NOT “the new normal.” (It will get worse. Sorry.) More forest fire destruction comes with climate change. If you want to be a green hero, recycling is not nearly enough. How women who decide not to have children are treated. Men should take more responsibility for contraception.

Note: The forest fire story mentioned in this podcast as from the Washington Post was actually an AP story. . . .

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Donald Trump and growth chart turning down

Trump Can’t Keep It Up (Economic Growth) – Podcast Episode #17

We should NOT be celebrating (or pursuing) 4.1% economic growth, according to co-host Dave Gardner. Listen to this podcast to find out why pursuing GDP growth today is suicidal. Also on tap, listener comments about Earth Overshoot Day (the subject of our last podcast), and more single-use plastics we want to avoid. Dave stumps us with this question: What single-use disposable item do we want to see used more widely? Try to guess before Dave gives you the answer halfway into this episode.


In this episode we hear U.S. President Donald Trump brag about economic growth at a 4.1% annualized rate. Even his sharpest critics celebrate robust growth, as we hear from Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Morning Joe. Many economists responded to this news that they don’t think we can keep that growth rate up, but their reasons differ from Dave’s. On a finite planet, perpetual growth in economic throughput is impossible. . . .

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What is Earth Overshoot Day?

Earth Overshoot Day (Podcast Episode 16)

Did you know we are in overshoot? What does that mean, and what should we do about it? Also in this episode, which has a smaller footprint – milk, or milk alternatives like almond milk? Dana informs us that, “Eating food is one of the worst things you can do for the environment.” Are some health departments preventing bulk filling of reusable containers? Carrying reusable utensils and napkin on your travels. And choosing carefully the trash can in which to deposit your refuse.

August 1, 2018 is Earth Overshoot Day. Data collected and analyzed by the Global Footprint Network tells us this is the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature begins to exceed what Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate in the entire year. If it falls anytime before December 31, it means we’re using more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate – through activity like overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than ecosystems can absorb. . . .

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