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  • ”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
  • ”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 can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it.”
    – Paul Hawken
  • ”Who’s gonna stand up and save the Earth? Who’s gonna say that she’s had enough?”
    – Neil Young
  • ”Our economic activity is at war with the planet.”
    – Naomi Klein
  • ”Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
    – Edward Abbey
  • ”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
  • ”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
  • ”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’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
  • ”We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children.”
    – Joe Romm
    physicist
  • ”Continual increases in population and consumption cannot continue forever on a finite planet.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”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
  • ”Because of this civilization’s obsession with growth, its demise is 100 percent predictable. We simply cannot go on living this way.”
    – Adam Sacks
  • ”At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.”
    – Paul Hawken
  • ”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
  • ”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
  • ”You don’t have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy.”
    – Paul Ehrlich
    author: The Population Bomb
  • ”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
  • ”A growing nation is the greatest ponzi game ever contrived.”
    – Paul Samuelson
    economist
  • ”Population is the multiplier of everything we do wrong.”
    – Dr. Martha M. Campbell
  • ”Our economic activity is at war with the planet.”
    – Naomi Klein
  • ”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
  • ”You don’t have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy.”
    – Paul Ehrlich
    author: The Population Bomb
  • ”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
  • ”Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
    – Kenneth Boulding
    economist
  • ”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
  • ”A growing nation is the greatest ponzi game ever contrived.”
    – Paul Samuelson
    economist
  • ”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
  • ”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
  • ”This is not about whales anymore. It’s about us.”
    – Thomas Friedman
  • ”There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.”
    – Mahatma Ghandhi
  • ”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
  • ”Continual increases in population and consumption cannot continue forever on a finite planet.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”In today’s full world, resources are not only scarce but have become the limiting factor”
    – Herman Daly
    former World Bank senior 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
  • ”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

Do Only Villains Care About Overpopulation? (Podcast Episode 15)

In Avengers: Infinity War the villain Thanos wants to solve overpopulation by exterminating half the population of the universe. Whenever overpopulation pops up in the movies, it’s always a villain with an inhumane solution. Dave and Dana discuss whether this helps or harms the cause of achieving a sustainable human population (yes, the world IS overpopulated today, and the forecasts are to add several billion more). Aren’t there humane, noble solutions to overpopulation?

Plus: Are we hardwired to reproduce? Population control, Paul Ehrlich, Thomas Malthus, Dan Brown’s Inferno novel and movie, Soylent GreenZPG, and Dave’s Top 10 Overpopulation Films also come up. (See links below) . . .

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GrowthBusters Podcast

One Thing That Will Guarantee Climate Disaster (Podcast Episode 14)

While the U.S. announced intention to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement is bad news, it seems to have inspired a lot of carbon-reducing promises at other levels across the country. And that is good news. In this episode of the GrowthBusters podcast, Dana and Dave lament the biggest hurdle in the path to a survivable climate – the fact that economic growth is the number one public policy goal around the world. In many cases it is the one thing policymakers won’t sacrifice in efforts to curb the growth of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

We seem to be putting all our eggs in the technology basket, hoping we can run an ever-growing economy on more and more solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power and use technology to shrink that mushrooming global economy’s carbon footprint. Some economists think we can do that. Many scientists do not. Ozzie Zehner, in his 2012 book Green Illusions, noted several studies that indicate we might need to change our ways beyond just switching power sources. . . .

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Downsize Me (Podcast Episode 13)

Imagine you can live large – trophy house, fancy toys, caveman diet – but the costs are miniscule. Would you find that appealing? Or would you rather simplify your lifestyle and make your footprint the thing that’s miniscule? Is downsizing simply a way to supersize your consumption without maximizing your footprint? The latest episode of the GrowthBusters podcast examines these questions, as explored in the film, Downsizing.

“Downsizing may be about a small world, but it is an audacious, out-sized peach of a picture.”  – Ian Freer, Empire Magazine

The film, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, is now available for rent and purchase – on Amazon, GooglePlay and YouTube. The DVD is available on Netflix. GrowthBusters director Dave Gardner is joined by new co-host Dana Hicky to discuss the film, and that means overpopulation, overshoot, overconsumption, and climate change are on the agenda. . . .

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Young man trying to manipulate Earth with joystick

Are We Too Stupid to Manage the Planet? (Podcast)

Are human beings too stupid to manage the planet? Just asking the question invokes some misplaced conceit; we’ve wreaked havoc on the Earth largely because of our assumption that Earth is all about us. The truth is, we have no business trying to “manage” the planet. But, the scale of the human enterprise has become so gargantuan, that – in many respects – we ARE managing the planet (managing it into oblivion).

In the newest episode of the GrowthBusters podcast, we discuss a Raw Story interview with the great, great grandson of Charles Darwin. One of Chris Darwin’s thoughts is that we are poorly equipped to manage the planet. Of course he is right. Chris has launched an app called Darwin Challenge (link below). He’s also focusing a lot of attention on the destructive, unsustainable nature of our appetite for meat. . . .

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K-cup, Hummer and compost

Green Cars, Coffee and Kitchen Scraps

Can Americans get over our love affair with big, gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs? Are you considering environmental impact when you choose your car or coffee maker? One of our goals at GrowthBusters is to make it second nature to consider your footprint in all you do. The newest episode of the GrowthBusters podcast examines EPA plans to rollback auto fuel efficiency standards. What policy prescriptions would be fair AND effective in encouraging us to make lower carbon-footprint decisions?

The Ultimate Guide to Recycling K-Cups, from Consumer Reports, sparks a lively discussion and quest to determine the lowest-impact way to brew your coffee. Did Ben and I hurt Kaitlyn and her parents’ feelings when we characterized the Keurig single-serve coffee craze as “silly”? Not our intention, but what do you think? Do we really need single-serving coffee pods? You might be surprised that these account for a huge percentage of the coffee maker market. The conversation does reveal fascinating facts about the recyclability of various types of pods. . . .

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