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

Small is Beautiful After All

A new episode of the GrowthBusters podcast is out.

On tap:

If you haven’t yet committed to avoid purchasing or drinking factory-bottled water, a recent study offers one more reason. Learn more on the podcast. Although I do encourage you to, as I’ve done, commit to avoid bottled water at all costs, let me be the first to tell you:

It will NOT save the planet.

Having grown world population WAY beyond a sustainable level of 2 billion and having continued to grow the global economy after we first exceeded the planet’s carrying capacity in the mid-1970s, we are so far into overshoot that “being green” – while important – is not nearly enough. Unless by “being green” you mean conceiving no more than one child, living as simply as you can, and telling politicians that promising economic growth will NOT earn your vote. Still…skip the bottled water. More about “why” on the podcast. . . .

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Would You Eat a Bug to Save the Planet?

Would You Eat a Bug to Save the Planet?

To what extremes are we willing to go, to fit more and more people and bigger and bigger economies on a finite planet? It seems we’re willing to give up many freedoms, conveniences, safety and security, but we’re not willing to acknowledge we’re overpopulated or overconsuming. Addressing those root causes is not an option.

So, get ready to give up that dream home, meat, golf, rock concerts and air travel; and start whipping up a batch of cricket smoothies. In this episode of the GrowthBusters podcast, the  team discusses the newest footprint-shrinking strategies and whether we’ll adopt them before things are “semi-apocalyptic.” How far will we go, before we’re willing to strongly suggest limiting our offspring and settling for a smaller, stable and sustainable economy? . . .

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GrowthBusters Podcast

Trashing the Planet is Macho

A new study reveals some men feel environmental stewardship is not manly. Is this just one more reason we should leave the women in charge? Or should we market green behavior the same way we sell pickup trucks? In Episode 10 of the GrowthBusters Podcast, the team explores the ins and outs of masculinity and femininity in relation to being green. Also: Ben does something shocking with carrots. Your co-hosts: Dave Gardner, Kaitlyn Hickmann, Ben Bacher

Discussed in this episode:

Scientific American: Men Resist Green Behavior as Unmanly

Bust: Men Aren’t Recycling Because It’s Too Girly

Washington Post: Your manliness could be hurting the planet . . .

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