Tag Archives climate change

What exactly are “think tanks” supposed to be thinking about? Are some of them part of a campaign to cast doubt on science when it could interfere with profits? Author Kerryn Higgs recounted the growth-seeking activities of the corporate world in her book, Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet. Her research reveals think tanks, industry associations, and even university economics departments all play a role in advancing and preserving our society’s commitment to growth above all else, even…

Efforts to date are falling far short of achieving the greenhouse gas reduction needed to avoid catastrophic climate disruption. Bioethicist Travis Rieder shakes things up by suggesting ethical use of public policy to encourage smaller families, which would result in dramatic decrease of carbon emissions. Rieder co-authored the paper, Population Engineering and the Fight Against Climate Change. In part two of this 2017 conversation, Rieder shares how he and co-authors Colin Hickey and Jake Earl parsed out what fertility reduction…

With human activity disrupting the climate, do we have a moral imperative not to have children, or to have only one child? Bioethicist Travis Rieder dares to explore this bold question with sensitivity and scientific rigor. Rieder shares his logic in the short book, Toward a Small Family Ethic: How Overpopulation and Climate Change are Affecting the Morality of Procreation. It starts with the fact that deciding not to have one child is over 20 times more effective at reducing…

Do we behave rationally? You might be surprised how often our decision-making deviates from what is in our best interest. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studies human behavior and decision-making. His experiments have led him to startling conclusions. We repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in many aspects of our lives.” We may be rats in a maze for scientific study, but Dan Ariely puts a refreshingly human face on the scientific study of why we do the things we…

Today it could be argued that human beings daily act against our own self-interest. How? Biologist Paul Ehrlich and fellow scientists tell us we are expanding our population and economy beyond the Earth's carrying capacity– at our peril. Why do we insist on continuing? Humanity in the last few hundred years has become the dominant animal on this planet. We are changing...the atmosphere to the point where we’re threatening our very sustainability, we are now mobilizing most minerals more rapidly…

Lorna Salzman has the chops to be an outspoken critic of many in the modern environmental movement. She played a key role in the early days of Friends of the Earth alongside David Brower (the first executive director of the Sierra Club), beginning a 40-year career as an environmental activist, writer, lecturer and organizer. A contender for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2004, Salzman is an iconoclast in every sense of the word. In this interview we hear Lorna…

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. Did you know most of us in the industrialized world have a footprint three or four times our fair share? Or that the “global economy is a giant Ponzi…

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