Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich reflects on more than 50 years of effort to educate the public about the unsustainability of endless economic and population growth.
Coronavirus has brought the economies of the world to a grinding halt. There is a small, but rising chorus of hopeful speculation that the increasingly apparent deficiencies of our growth-obsessed economic system make it ripe for this crisis to shock it onto a more sustainable path.
Did you know we bury enough metal in caskets each year to build a new Golden Gate Bridge? You’re living your life trying to be green. Have you given any thought to the impact of the way you exit the planet?
8 Years Later, Community Screenings Still Strike a Nerve
The documentary, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth is guaranteed to provoke conversations. Over eight years after it originally premiered, it’s still being screened. Is it still relevant? What kind of conversations does it spark? After he first watched, famed Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote, “This could be the most important film ever made.”
You may want to screen the film in your community around Earth Day this year.
It sparked such a spirited discussion as part of an Earth Day screening attended by filmmaker Dave Gardner in 2019, that he invited one of the audience members to join him in the studio to discuss his response. This conversation was recorded nearly a year ago; it just kept being pushed aside as more time-sensitive topics and guests arose. Finally, we’re sharing it now. Erika had not yet joined the podcast when we recorded this.
On a full planet, where human civilization is already in overshoot and in the process of crippling life-supporting ecosystems, it’s unfortunately not possible for the world’s poor, en masse, to rise out of poverty and live as richly as the even the average family in the industrialized world. There’s not enough biocapacity for 8 billion people to live high on the hog, and technology has not changed that. But “reputable” economists and technology Pollyanna’s like Andrew McAfee routinely fail to recognize this.