Tag Archives overconsumption

How we inhabit our homes, our lives, and the planet. Architect Sarah Susanka observed that houses in the U.S. were getting larger – but some rooms were seldom occupied, and often not even furnished. She found clients frequently did not get the immense satisfaction they expected from living in their “dream house.” How this relates to the way we inhabit our lives, and even the planet, is the subject of this conversation. Sarah Susanka’s observations of Americans’ dissatisfaction with their…

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…

Rex Weyler has lived the life dreamed of by those who want to make a difference. As a young man he joined early Greenpeace expeditions to document and stop commercial whaling. He went on to co-found Greenpeace International, and as a journalist has covered the subject of ecology extensively. The human machine is just steamrolling…toward disaster.” Weyler has lived a rich life and has a keen understanding of the source of joy, but there is sadness in his voice when…

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…

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…

How and why did our society come to value economic growth so highly that we pursue it at the risk of our long-term survival? For some time scientists have warned that human civilization is living beyond the ecological means of our planet. Yet our commitment to economic growth is unwavering. Australian writer Kerryn Higgs chronicled this triumph of denial over science in her book, Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet. This book is impressively researched. She shares her…

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