The age of growth and the age in which growth is going to be considered a good thing is coming to an end.” The late sociologist William R. Catton was certain of this, but spent a significant portion of his professional life attempting to understand why mainstream society was reluctant to prove his point. Catton authored the landmark book, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, published in 1980. He brought important sociological perspective to a subject dominated by biologists…

Stephanie Mills made headlines in the Spring of 1969 when she vowed, in her commencement address, to conceive no children. “Our days as a race on this planet are, at this moment, numbered,” she proclaimed, “and the reason for our finite, unrosy future is that we are breeding ourselves out of existence.” This is one of our best episodes from season one. We're sharing these while we take a break between seasons 2 and 3. Help ensure there IS a…

How big is your ecological footprint? Probably bigger than you think. After all, out of sight, out of mind. As an originator of ecological footprint analysis, population ecologist William Rees knows a thing or two about our impact on the planet. In this interview he provides some fascinating, and surprising insights. This is one of our best episodes from season one. We're sharing these while we take a break between seasons 2 and 3. Help ensure there IS a season…

“I don’t think there’s a lot of excuses, frankly, for not doing the right thing.” Anishinaabe orator, author, economist and activist Winona LaDuke doesn’t mince words in her quest to light a path for us to “hang around another thousand years.” Winona observes that we are “doing things only addicts would do,” including sedating ourselves with a lot of information and television. “Your ecosystem seems to be your mall,” LaDuke tell us. Are you enjoying tapping the brightest minds on…

“Gross Domestic Product has now become a fetish,” according to economist Raj Patel. Many undesirable things end up adding to GDP: wars, disease, and environmental destruction, for example. Meanwhile GDP fails to measure many desirable indicators of community health. It has led us to live in an ecologically and socially unsustainable fashion. Are you enjoying tapping the brightest minds on the planet? Want to continue to have this kind of access? Join the community of Conversation Earth fans pitching in…

Our 41st episode is a retrospective of Seasons 1 and 2 of Conversation Earth. In this episode we turn the table, as co-producer Kaitlyn Hickmann interviews host/creator Dave Gardner. The two share highlights from previous episodes and discuss the joys and challenges of producing the series. Please comment below to let us know your favorite moment from the series. Thanks so much for listening, sharing and supporting this series. This episode serves as a great sampler, giving you a taste…

Would you be surprised to learn that human beings today have an impairment that prevents most of us from making the wisest decisions that affect our future? Frustrated at the abysmal rate of adoption when seatbelts were introduced into cars in the 1960s, Jack Alpert quit his job as an automotive engineer to study human decision-making. In this episode he sheds interesting light on how we gather and process information to predict future outcomes and make related decisions. Jack founded…

Are we all “bystanders” when it comes to responding rationally to the serious environmental crises faced by our civilization? How is our behavior shaped by that of those around us? We’ve all heard of “the bystander effect” in which a large number of people stand by and do nothing to help someone in trouble. According to social norms theory, misperceptions of the attitudes or behaviors of our peers can cause the expression of problem behavior and the inhibition of healthy…

Human civilization can thrive while living within sensible limits imposed by a finite system. “Renegade" economist Kate Raworth manages to tell the truth about what we’re getting wrong in economics, while at the same time inspiring activism and optimism. In this conclusion of a two-part interview, Kate finishes her list of seven fundamentals to achieving a healthy 21st century economy. Her recently published book, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, was called “brilliant, thrilling and revolutionary”…

No civilization should head out into the world without “Doughnut Economics” in its survival kit. With her modernized thinking, economist Kate Raworth is, in her words, “flipping economics on its head.” UK Guardian columnist George Monbiot calls her new book, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, “brilliant, thrilling and revolutionary.” In this first of a two-part conversation, Raworth explains why it’s way past time to update the approach to economics that’s been taught for over a…

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