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Overshoot Playlist: Top Environmental Songs

Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs (Podcast episode 30)

Songs that stir our conservation ethic and inspire us to live sustainably

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. We’ll have to share another ten songs in a future episode to tell the rest of the story. So here’s our top ten (five curated by Erika and five picked by Dave).

Music licensing restrictions prevent us from sharing these songs in full on our normal podcast episode (the player above), so we’ve posted a special episode with the complete songs at a site that licenses the music for us. Click the player below to heare it, or listen to the full-music version here.

Also, doing this episode inspired us to create a special public playlist on Spotify. You can hear all these songs, plus the runners up, at the GrowthBusters Spotify Playlist.

Let us know what important songs you feel we left out in this podcast or on our Spotify playlist (we’ll add them). Comment on this page, or on the GrowthBusters Podcast Facebook page, or email us at

We’re posting videos (in most cases, the official video) to these songs below. These videos can also be found on the Overshoot Playlist: Top Environmental Songs playlist on YouTube.

10. Love Song To The Earth – Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, and many more (2015)
“See mama earth is in a crazy mess…. She under crazy stress” website:

9. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell (1970)
“Paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.”

8. Mercy, Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye (1968)
“How much more abuse from man can she stand?”

7. First World Problems – Weird Al Yankovich (2014)
“My house is so big, I can’t get WiFi in the kitchen”

6. Sleeping In – Postal Service (2003)
“People thought that they were just being rewarded… for mailing letters with the address of the sender. Now we can swim any day in November”

5. How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty (2007)
“Where you going man you know the world is headed for hell? I guess we’re gonna find out, Let’s see how far we’ve come”

4. Gone – Jack Johnson (2011)
“What about your soul? Is it cold?
 Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold?”

3. Full Steam – David Gray & Annie Lennox (2009)
“We all saw it coming but we still bought it”

2. Idioteque – Radiohead (2000)
“We’re not scaremongering.
This is really happening”

1. Road to Hell – Chris Rea (1989)
“This ain’t no upwardly mobile freeway. Oh no, this is the road…to hell”


This episode with the complete songs included (at MixCloud)

Overshoot Playlist: Top Environmental Songs playlist on YouTube

GrowthBusters playlist on Spotify

Joshua Spodek’s podcast, Leadership and the Environment
Ep 183: Reusing and Recycling Are Tactical, Reducing is Strategic
Ep 123 Dave Gardner : Busting the Growth Myth

Initiative – new book by Joshua Spodek

Our Moral Obligation to Conceive Just One Child
(Ep 7 of The Overpopulation Podcast, with Travis Rieder)

Toward a Small Family Ethic by Travis Rieder

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

Jake Fader Music (Jake wrote and recorded the GrowthBusters theme)

Carlos Jones (Carlos sang the GrowthBusters theme)

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