What’s the soundtrack of human civilization’s time on Earth? If we were to put ten songs into a time capsule to help historians in the future piece together what the hell humankind was doing as the planet crumbled beneath our feet, the ten songs in this episode would tell half the story.
Did the heroes solve a problem or make it worse? Did super-villain Thanos in the blockbuster movie, Avengers: Infinity War, solve the overshoot problem when he killed off half the beings in the universe to end overpopulation? Should the Avengers undo his deed if they can? Dave and Erika dissect Avengers: Endgame and how it treats these sustainability issues.
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Do Only Villains Care About Overpopulation?
We dissected last year’s Avengers: Infinity War in GrowthBusters episode 15.
Bill Maher and Steven Colbert become the first honorees on the GrowthBusters podcast’s “Wall of Excellence.” Plus: Why are millennials having fewer children? Maher celebrates the declining birth rate in the over-developed world because it is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. On the other hand, Senator Mike Lee thinks having more babies will solve climate change. Thanks to Steven Colbert for a send-up.
Will you be able to feed your family in ten or fifteen years? Mass starvation in industrialized countries due to climate change – in the near future – is a real probability, according to Michael Brownlee, author of Taking Back Our Food Supply.
Things Go Better with Degrowth
What if we told you the coming climate catastrophe MAY not turn out to be as bad as we all thought? I’m not sure I’m ready to buy that, but one of our guests on this episode tells us just that. IPCC worst-case scenarios seem to forget peak oil. Limited fossil fuel supplies on the planet could be a factor. But don’t break out the champagne; we still have enough fossil fuels to screw things up pretty badly. See what you think!
Our two guests for this episode:
Dr. James Ward, a sustainability science and ecological engineering researcher and educator from the University of South Australia.
Professor Paul Sutton from the Department of Geography & the Environment at the University of Denver.