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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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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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