World-renowned physics professor Al Bartlett was quick to tell us “smart growth” and “dumb growth” both lead us to the same undesirable end; “smart growth” just takes you there in style. Bartlett penned Laws Relating to Sustainability, the most important of which was: First Law: “Population growth and/or growth in the rates of consumption of resources cannot be sustained.” Bartlett worked on the Manhattan Project with Robert Oppenheimer early in his career, then went on to spend six decades teaching at…

You could be wealthier than you think. Have you heard of “time affluence?” According to economist/sociologist Juliet Schor, many of us are giving up “the good life” in our quest for material possessions. Symbols of success, instead of enriching our lives, create stress. Americans are working longer hours and taking on debt to keep up with the Joneses and reproduce a lifestyle we’ve been told “makes life worth living.” Schor thinks there’s a better way. She calls it “plenitude,” and it’s…

This morning we’ve made the first episode of the new Conversation Earth weekly radio series available to stations around the world, free, on the Public Radio Exchange. We’ll share each week’s episode as a podcast, right here, a few days after radio stations get the show. I know you hate to wait another week, so Lynsey (co-producer extraordinaire) put together a very brief sampler, just to give you a taste of bright ideas to come. You can listen to it…

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