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GrowthBusters

Dave Gardner and Erika Arias on sustainable living

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GrowthBusters
GrowthBusters

GrowthBusters

Dave Gardner and Erika Arias on sustainable living

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About Us

Erika and Dave dig into the more fascinating aspects of sustainable living - including the joy of living sustainably. It’s all about ending our culture’s love affair with “more,” which is not making us happier and is killing our planet. No half-hearted greenwashing here; we share the brutal and joyful truth! Dave directed the documentary GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, which Stanford Biologist Paul Ehrlich declared “could be the most important film ever made.”

Latest Episodes

Don’t Make Me Stop this Spaceship!

When the world’s scientists are concerned enough about something that they issue a warning – to the world, you might think we’d all take notice. Once you get to three warnings, however, well, you start to wonder just how intelligent we humans really are. After a 1992 warning, and another in 2017, world scientists have this month issued what our guest, Stuart Scott, has termed, a “final notice.” In this episode we visit with the man who offered to help the world’s scientists step up to the microphone and be heard. Scott is the founder and Executive Director of the Union of Concerned Citizens of Earth. He’s taken on the mission of helping the world’s scientists communicate well with everyday people. The most recent warning, by the Alliance of World Scientists, is titled World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, and was published in the November issue of the professional journal, Bioscience. It begins: “Scientists have a moral obligationto clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is.’ On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” The piece goes on to summarize “six critical and interrelated steps…that governments, businesses, and the rest of humanity can take to lessen the worst effects of climate change. LINKS: Donate to Support this Podcast Scientistswarning.org This site has links to original 1992 warning, 2017 warning, and 2019 climate warning Robert Newman – History of Oil ScientistsWarningTV Alliance of World Scientists World Scientists Declare Climate Emergency Brief video featuring one of the warning co-authors, Dr. Thomas Newsome from the University of Sydney We Don’t Have Time Greta Thunberg message to world leaders at COP24 Rewriting Our Cultural Narrative – episode 105 of Conversation Earth We’re In Deep: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 – GrowthBusters episode with Mathis Wackernagel William Rees’ two recent “Am I Wrong” queries: Don’t Call Me a Pessimist on Climate Change. I Am a Realist (part one) by William Rees Memo from a Climate Crisis Realist: The Choice before Us (part two) by William Rees Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

57 MIN6 d ago
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Don’t Make Me Stop this Spaceship!

Decoupling Nonsense

Technological innovation cannot take the environmental destruction out of economic growth. Get the real facts, not the blind faith and hope, about whether “decoupling” can allow more and more “prosperity” for more and more people without also delivering more and more ecosystem collapse. Decoupling is Not a ThingIn this episode, Dave and Erika take serious exception to Andrew McAfee’s misguided thesis in his latest book, More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next. Erika really likes Sam Harris’ podcast, Making Sense, but when it comes to his episode interviewing McAfee, Dave assures her it is utter nonsense. But first… Individual Action vs. Waiting for System ChangeDo individual actions really matter in the face of the climate crisis? Or are they a distraction from critically needed system change? Should we all be flying less, reducing our meat consumption, and/or having fewer children? Or do we wait until gov...

61 MIN3 w ago
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Decoupling Nonsense

Coming Out as Childfree

More and more young women are declaring their intention not to conceive children. BirthStrike, Conceivable Future and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have all made headlines on this point. Erika and Dave unpack the issues surrounding womanhood without motherhood in this conversation with the author of the new book, Childfree by Choice, sociologist Amy Blackstone. Amy is a professor of Sociologyat theMargaret Chase Smith Policy Centerat University of Maine. Her research into the childfree choice has appeared in a variety of academic and media sources including theNew York Times, National Public Radio, and other national, regional, and international outlets. Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family & Creating a New Age of Independenceis a definitive investigation into the history and current growing movement of adults choosing to forgo parenthood: what it means for our society, economy, environment, perceived gender roles, and legacies, and how understanding and supporting all types of families can lead to positive outcomes for parents, non-parents, and children alike. Amy writes about her own experience as a childfree woman, as well as the stories of other childfree men and women, and uses academic research to shed light into the choice that remains culturally misunderstood. As more people are choosing to forgo parenthood today than ever before, it’s important to ask how this affects our society, economy, and environment. We dig deep into this topic and hear from Amy herself about whether she thinks we should keep having kids, and more about her view on the population-environment connection, an area Erika hopes to study in graduate school. Being childfree herself, Erika is a firm advocate, and hopes to add more positive attention to the childfree choice in the media as co-host for the GrowthBusters podcast and in her future research endeavors. Get Your Childfree Sticker! Wanting to make childfree and small-family decisions cool and a point of pride, Dave created small family stickers for you to put on the rear window of your car (a variation on the common stick figure families). Order yours here. Display it proudly to change the norm, making it “okay” to be childfree, even “cool.” Apply to be a Producer or Editor on the GrowthBusters PodcastWe need a little help cranking out episodes. If you have the skills, we definitely want to hear from you. If you just have the aptitude but interest in learning and helping, you could be a great candidate. Send us a note with a little bit about your skills, experience, availability and interest. LINKS: Book Signing Event Schedule and Event Requests Will Not Having Children Save the Planet?The Stream on Al Jazeera English I Chose Not To Have Kids Because I’m Afraid For The Planet by Ash Sanders Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of IndependenceAmy’s new book What Gets Left Behind for Future Generations? Reproduction and theEnvironment in Spey Bay, ScotlandJournal of the Royal AnthropologicalInstitute World Vasectomy Day Film: To Kid or Not to Kid Further Reading: Keeping Families Small a Patriotic Act: ModiIndia Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges adoption of small families I Had 2 Kids. Now I Work to Influence People Against Having Their Own It’s Given Me Freedom': Three Women on Being Childless by Choice Toward a Small Family Ethic by Travis Rieder Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

67 MINOCT 4
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Coming Out as Childfree

Is the End Near?

There may be beer in your fridge when you open it, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t in the early stages of climate catastrophe. The crisis is now, this is a present threat, not a future threat, according to our guest on this episode, Jeff Nesbit. He compiled an attention-getting catalog of things unraveling around the planet in his book, This Is the Way the World Ends. Is Nesbit predicting the end of the world? Listen to this episode to find out. In their discussion of Jeff’s book and interview, Erika and Dave agree he places too much faith in technology and wish he shared their belief that changing individual behavior and contracting our population are both critical parts of limiting climate disruption. Erika has a great notion: there is a “sweet spot” between too much technology and not enough. And don’t get them started on economic growth (oops, too late!). PLUS: Erika can’t help but laugh at a piece critical of ecological footprint accounting and Earth Overshoot Day, written by Michael Schellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute. Dave is not a fan. And listeners have been sending their recommendations for additions to our Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs. We share three links below. Listen to the podcast episode that plays our top 10 songs here. LINKS: This Is the Way the World Ends by Jeff Nesbit Climate Nexus Small Family Stickers Songs Recommended by Listeners to Our Overshoot Playlist Episode: Earth Song by Michael Jackson Earth by Lil Dicky Poi Dog Pondering, by "The Ancient Egyptians” Overshoot Playlist: Top Environmental Songs playlist on YouTube GrowthBusters playlist on Spotify Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

55 MINAUG 15
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Is the End Near?

Welcome to Overshoot: Have a Nice Day

Since 1972, study after study, and report after report, has warned we are in overshoot – the sum total of human activity is too much for the Earth’s ecosystems to bear. Welcome to Overshoot explores overshoot’s causes, effects, and possible solutions, as well as some of the barriers to solving the problem. This is an in-depth follow up to episode 31 of the GrowthBusters podcast, which included a lengthy conversation with Mathis Wackernagel, co-originator of ecological footprint analysis and founder of Global Footprint Network. The best scientific estimates tell us human civilization is in overshoot. Were you aware of this? Do you know what overshoot is? This one-hour special is particularly relevant in the days leading up to, and immediately following, Earth Overshoot Day on July 29, 2019. Computer modeling by a team of MIT scientists in 1972 estimated the scale of human activity on the planet would cause systems to fail within a hundred years. Such failure is expected when humanity’s footprint on the planet consistently exceeds its carrying capacity. Since 1972, study after study, and report after report, has warned we are in overshoot – the sum total of human activity is too much for the Earth’s ecosystems to bear. Since 2003, scientists at Global Footprint Network have been analyzing UN data and satellite imagery to estimate the planet’s capacity to meet our needs (biocapacity), and humankind’s footprint - or demand (ecological footprint) - on that capacity. Their analysis suggests we have been in overshoot since about 1970. Welcome to Overshoot explores overshoot’s causes, effects, and possible solutions, as well as some of the barriers to solving the problem. Participants: Reported by: Dave Gardner Interviews: William Catton, author of Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change Brian Czech, author of Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution, and executive director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy Herman Daly, author of Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development Paul Ehrlich, Stanford Biologist, author of The Population Bomb Kerryn Higgs, author of Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet Ian Johnson, former World Bank vice president, former secretary general of Club of Rome Bill McKibben, environmental journalist, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, co-founder of 350.org. Dennis Meadows, lead scientist, The Limits to Growth Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist William Rees, co-originator of ecological footprint analysis Bill Ryerson, President of Population Media Center and Chair of Population Institute Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston University and author of Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth John Seager, CEO of Population Connection Gus Speth, former chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality Mathis Wackernagel, founder of Global Footprint Network and co-author of Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget Rex Weyler, environmental journalist Links: Earth Overshoot Day The Limits to Growth Conversation Earth Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget by Mathis Wackernagel and Bert Beyers (pre-order the book now, publication date is September 3, 2019) Footprint Calculator Move the Date Solutions to accelerate the shift to one-planet living Overshoot Index Past Earth Overshoot Days Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

52 MINJUL 24
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Welcome to Overshoot: Have a Nice Day

We're in Deep: Earth Overshoot Day 2019

In seven months humanity has burned through the resources it takes the Earth a full year to replenish. This is overshoot, and yes, it is a very big deal. In 2019, Earth Overshoot Day falls on July 29. Find out how we know when “Earth Overshoot Day” falls, how and why we’re operating in ecological deficit, what it means for us and our children, and what – if anything – we can do about it. Ecological footprint co-originator Mathis Wackernagel joins Erika and Dave for an in-depth discussion of overshoot. He explains the rigorous analysis done by the Global Footprint Network (which he founded) to calculate the biocapacity of the planet and the demands we place on it. Calculate your own ecological footprint using this footprint calculator and compare yours with Dave’s and Erika’s. We discuss much of the information and ideas in his new book, Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget, co-written with Bert Beyers (available September 3, 2019). One of the most interesting and important is the idea that governments at every level, including cities, that continue today to invest in infrastructure designed around fossil-fuel powered transportation, will not be competitive in the new world we’re entering. Plus: A new study claims cutting beef consumption by 40% will allow us to feed a world population of 10.9 billion people. Dave has a few problems with the reporting on this story and the rationale for doing the research. He suggests, “Let’s not put heroic efforts into feeding 10.9 billion. Let’s focus our efforts on not reaching 10.9 billion.” We know having fewer children doesn’t wreck the planet. We DON’T know the unintended consequences of the next “green revolution.” LINKS: Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget by Mathis Wackernagel and Bert Beyers (pre-order the book now, publication date is September 3, 2019) Cut Beef Consumption in Half to Help Save the Earth, Says New Study Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050World Resources Institute report Footprint Calculator Move the Date Solutions to accelerate the shift to one-planet living For further exploration: Overshoot Index (2016) Past Earth Overshoot Days Mentioned or recommended by Wackernagel: The One Planet Life by David Thorpe The Challenge of Man’s Future by Harrison Brown The Next Hundred Years: A Discussion Prepared for Leaders of American Industry published in 1957 by Harrison Brown, James Bonner, and John Weir Invisible Walls: Why We Ignore the Damage We Inflict on the Planet — and Ourselves by Peter Seidel (According to Wackernagel, “This was such a fabulous book; I believe the first ever to so clearly lay out the psychological and cultural barriers we are up against in the transformation to sustainability.”) Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

90 MINJUL 24
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We're in Deep: Earth Overshoot Day 2019

Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs

What’s the soundtrack of human civilization’s time on Earth? If we were to put ten songs into a time capsule to help historians in the future piece together what the hell humankind was doing as the planet crumbled beneath our feet, the ten songs in this episode would tell half the story. We’ll have to share another ten songs in a future episode to tell the rest of the story. So here’s our top ten (five curated by Erika and five picked by Dave). Music licensing restrictions prevent us from sharing these songs in full on our normal podcast episode, so we’ve posted a special episode with the complete songs at a site that licenses the music for us. Listen to the full-music version here. Also, doing this episode inspired us to create a special public playlist on Spotify. You can hear all these songs, plus the runners up, at the GrowthBusters Spotify Playlist. Let us know what important songs you feel we left out in this podcast or on our Spotify playlist (we’ll add them). Comment on this page, or on the GrowthBusters Podcast Facebook page, or email us. We’re posting videos (in most cases, the official video) to these songs at this episode's page on the GrowthBusters website. These videos can also be found on the Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs playlist on YouTube. 10. Love Song To The Earth – Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, and many more (2015) “See mama earth is in a crazy mess…. She under crazy stress” website: www.lovesongtotheearth.org 9. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell (1970) “Paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.” 8. Mercy, Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye (1968) “How much more abuse from man can she stand?” 7. First World Problems – Weird Al Yankovich (2014) “My house is so big, I can't get WiFi in the kitchen” 6. Sleeping In – Postal Service (2003) “People thought that they were just being rewarded… for mailing letters with the address of the sender. Now we can swim any day in November” 5. How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty (2007)“Where you going man you know the world is headed for hell? I guess we're gonna find out, Let's see how far we've come” 4. Gone – Jack Johnson (2011) “What about your soul? Is it cold? Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold?” 3. Full Steam – David Gray & Annie Lennox (2009) “We all saw it coming but we still bought it” 2. Idioteque – Radiohead (2000) “We're not scaremongering.This is really happening” 1. Road to Hell – Chris Rea (1989) “This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway. Oh no, this is the road…to hell” LINKS: This episode with the complete songs included (at MixCloud) Overshoot Playlist: Top Environmental Songs playlist on YouTube GrowthBusters playlist on Spotify Joshua Spodek’s podcast, Leadership and the Environment Ep 183: Reusing and Recycling Are Tactical, Reducing is Strategic Ep 123 Dave Gardner : Busting the Growth Myth Initiative – new book by Joshua Spodek Our Moral Obligation to Conceive Just One Child (Ep 7 of The Overpopulation Podcast, with Travis Rieder) Toward a Small Family Ethic by Travis Rieder What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong Jake Fader Music(Jake wrote and recorded the GrowthBusters theme) Carlos Jones (Carlos sang the GrowthBusters theme) Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode: Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

44 MINJUN 16
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Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs

Avengers: Endgame – I Cut the Population in Half; Don’t Make Me Do This Again

Did the heroes solve a problem or make it worse? Did super-villain Thanos in the blockbuster movie, Avengers: Infinity War, solve the overshoot problem when he killed off half the beings in the universe to end overpopulation? Should the Avengers undo his deed if they can? Dave and Erika dissect Avengers: Endgame and how it treats these sustainability issues. We’re looking for a podcast editor or producer with great audio editing skills. If you’re interested, email us. LINKS: The Science of Avengers: Endgame Proves Thanos Did Nothing Wrong by JV Chamary Do Only Villains Care About Overpopulation? We dissected last year’s Avengers: Infinity War in GrowthBusters episode 15. Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

40 MINMAY 30
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Avengers: Endgame – I Cut the Population in Half; Don’t Make Me Do This Again

Masturbate, Don't Procreate

Bill Maher and Steven Colbert become the first honorees on the GrowthBusters podcast’s “Wall of Excellence.” You’ll find out why in this episode. We want to thank and celebrate influencers who help alert the public that we are in overshoot, demonstrate sustainable living in their own lives, or help educate the public about important ways we can shrink our footprints. New co-host Erika Arias introduces herself. She is very interested in the voluntary child-free choice and hopes to do research in this area in the future. She shares a clip from a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher about how it’s actually good news that millennials are having less sex and therefore fewer children. Maher is, of course, famous for being bold enough to make “politically incorrect” statements, but Dave thinks talking about overpopulation is finally becoming politically correct after a few decades of “population taboo.” Maher celebrates the declining birth rate in the over-developed world because it is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. See this Lund University report for the detail: The Four Lifestyle Choices That Most Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. On the other hand, Senator Mike Lee thinks having more babies will solve climate change. And even CNN prime time host Chris Cuomo gets some criticism here for painting population contraction as a loss of human potential. Dave finds it astonishing that even some very smart people are not aware that we are in overshoot. Also in this episode, Dave thought he recalled the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest estimate of the average cost to raise a child in the U.S. is $237,000. We looked that up after recording this episode and the most recent figure we could find is $233,610, a 2015 figure announced in January, 2017. NOTE: We’re looking for a podcast producer, or at least a podcast editor, to help out. Comment here or send us an email. LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: New Rule: Masturbate, Don’t Procreate - Bill Maher Are Millennials Having Less Sex Than Older Generations? A New Report Explores The Phenomenon Families Projected to Spend an Average of $233,610 Raising a Child Born in 2015(News release for most recent USDA study we could find) Expenditures on Children by Families reports by USDA Senator Mike Lee: More Babies Will Solve Climate Change(Steven Colbert Gives Mike Lee The Mike Lee Treatment) The World Economy is a Pyramid Scheme, Steven Chu Says Climate Change Will Take Food Off Your Table(Episode 27 of the GrowthBusters podcast with Michael Brownlee, author of Taking Back Our Food Supply: How to Lead the Local Food Revolution to Reclaim a Healthy Future) Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

37 MINMAY 15
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Masturbate, Don't Procreate

Climate Change Will Take Food Off Your Table

Will you be able to feed your family in ten or fifteen years? Mass starvation in industrialized countries due to climate change is not something we read or hear about. But it’s a real probability, according to Michael Brownlee, author of Taking Back Our Food Supply: How to Lead the Local Food Revolution to Reclaim a Healthy Future. Brownlee explains that not only is the global industrial food system the largest contributor to climate change; it also will not be able to feed us as we weather the storm.

59 MINAPR 2
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Climate Change Will Take Food Off Your Table

Latest Episodes

Don’t Make Me Stop this Spaceship!

When the world’s scientists are concerned enough about something that they issue a warning – to the world, you might think we’d all take notice. Once you get to three warnings, however, well, you start to wonder just how intelligent we humans really are. After a 1992 warning, and another in 2017, world scientists have this month issued what our guest, Stuart Scott, has termed, a “final notice.” In this episode we visit with the man who offered to help the world’s scientists step up to the microphone and be heard. Scott is the founder and Executive Director of the Union of Concerned Citizens of Earth. He’s taken on the mission of helping the world’s scientists communicate well with everyday people. The most recent warning, by the Alliance of World Scientists, is titled World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, and was published in the November issue of the professional journal, Bioscience. It begins: “Scientists have a moral obligationto clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is.’ On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” The piece goes on to summarize “six critical and interrelated steps…that governments, businesses, and the rest of humanity can take to lessen the worst effects of climate change. LINKS: Donate to Support this Podcast Scientistswarning.org This site has links to original 1992 warning, 2017 warning, and 2019 climate warning Robert Newman – History of Oil ScientistsWarningTV Alliance of World Scientists World Scientists Declare Climate Emergency Brief video featuring one of the warning co-authors, Dr. Thomas Newsome from the University of Sydney We Don’t Have Time Greta Thunberg message to world leaders at COP24 Rewriting Our Cultural Narrative – episode 105 of Conversation Earth We’re In Deep: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 – GrowthBusters episode with Mathis Wackernagel William Rees’ two recent “Am I Wrong” queries: Don’t Call Me a Pessimist on Climate Change. I Am a Realist (part one) by William Rees Memo from a Climate Crisis Realist: The Choice before Us (part two) by William Rees Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

57 MIN6 d ago
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Don’t Make Me Stop this Spaceship!

Decoupling Nonsense

Technological innovation cannot take the environmental destruction out of economic growth. Get the real facts, not the blind faith and hope, about whether “decoupling” can allow more and more “prosperity” for more and more people without also delivering more and more ecosystem collapse. Decoupling is Not a ThingIn this episode, Dave and Erika take serious exception to Andrew McAfee’s misguided thesis in his latest book, More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next. Erika really likes Sam Harris’ podcast, Making Sense, but when it comes to his episode interviewing McAfee, Dave assures her it is utter nonsense. But first… Individual Action vs. Waiting for System ChangeDo individual actions really matter in the face of the climate crisis? Or are they a distraction from critically needed system change? Should we all be flying less, reducing our meat consumption, and/or having fewer children? Or do we wait until gov...

61 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Decoupling Nonsense

Coming Out as Childfree

More and more young women are declaring their intention not to conceive children. BirthStrike, Conceivable Future and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have all made headlines on this point. Erika and Dave unpack the issues surrounding womanhood without motherhood in this conversation with the author of the new book, Childfree by Choice, sociologist Amy Blackstone. Amy is a professor of Sociologyat theMargaret Chase Smith Policy Centerat University of Maine. Her research into the childfree choice has appeared in a variety of academic and media sources including theNew York Times, National Public Radio, and other national, regional, and international outlets. Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family & Creating a New Age of Independenceis a definitive investigation into the history and current growing movement of adults choosing to forgo parenthood: what it means for our society, economy, environment, perceived gender roles, and legacies, and how understanding and supporting all types of families can lead to positive outcomes for parents, non-parents, and children alike. Amy writes about her own experience as a childfree woman, as well as the stories of other childfree men and women, and uses academic research to shed light into the choice that remains culturally misunderstood. As more people are choosing to forgo parenthood today than ever before, it’s important to ask how this affects our society, economy, and environment. We dig deep into this topic and hear from Amy herself about whether she thinks we should keep having kids, and more about her view on the population-environment connection, an area Erika hopes to study in graduate school. Being childfree herself, Erika is a firm advocate, and hopes to add more positive attention to the childfree choice in the media as co-host for the GrowthBusters podcast and in her future research endeavors. Get Your Childfree Sticker! Wanting to make childfree and small-family decisions cool and a point of pride, Dave created small family stickers for you to put on the rear window of your car (a variation on the common stick figure families). Order yours here. Display it proudly to change the norm, making it “okay” to be childfree, even “cool.” Apply to be a Producer or Editor on the GrowthBusters PodcastWe need a little help cranking out episodes. If you have the skills, we definitely want to hear from you. If you just have the aptitude but interest in learning and helping, you could be a great candidate. Send us a note with a little bit about your skills, experience, availability and interest. LINKS: Book Signing Event Schedule and Event Requests Will Not Having Children Save the Planet?The Stream on Al Jazeera English I Chose Not To Have Kids Because I’m Afraid For The Planet by Ash Sanders Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of IndependenceAmy’s new book What Gets Left Behind for Future Generations? Reproduction and theEnvironment in Spey Bay, ScotlandJournal of the Royal AnthropologicalInstitute World Vasectomy Day Film: To Kid or Not to Kid Further Reading: Keeping Families Small a Patriotic Act: ModiIndia Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges adoption of small families I Had 2 Kids. Now I Work to Influence People Against Having Their Own It’s Given Me Freedom': Three Women on Being Childless by Choice Toward a Small Family Ethic by Travis Rieder Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

67 MINOCT 4
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Coming Out as Childfree

Is the End Near?

There may be beer in your fridge when you open it, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t in the early stages of climate catastrophe. The crisis is now, this is a present threat, not a future threat, according to our guest on this episode, Jeff Nesbit. He compiled an attention-getting catalog of things unraveling around the planet in his book, This Is the Way the World Ends. Is Nesbit predicting the end of the world? Listen to this episode to find out. In their discussion of Jeff’s book and interview, Erika and Dave agree he places too much faith in technology and wish he shared their belief that changing individual behavior and contracting our population are both critical parts of limiting climate disruption. Erika has a great notion: there is a “sweet spot” between too much technology and not enough. And don’t get them started on economic growth (oops, too late!). PLUS: Erika can’t help but laugh at a piece critical of ecological footprint accounting and Earth Overshoot Day, written by Michael Schellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute. Dave is not a fan. And listeners have been sending their recommendations for additions to our Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs. We share three links below. Listen to the podcast episode that plays our top 10 songs here. LINKS: This Is the Way the World Ends by Jeff Nesbit Climate Nexus Small Family Stickers Songs Recommended by Listeners to Our Overshoot Playlist Episode: Earth Song by Michael Jackson Earth by Lil Dicky Poi Dog Pondering, by "The Ancient Egyptians” Overshoot Playlist: Top Environmental Songs playlist on YouTube GrowthBusters playlist on Spotify Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

55 MINAUG 15
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Is the End Near?

Welcome to Overshoot: Have a Nice Day

Since 1972, study after study, and report after report, has warned we are in overshoot – the sum total of human activity is too much for the Earth’s ecosystems to bear. Welcome to Overshoot explores overshoot’s causes, effects, and possible solutions, as well as some of the barriers to solving the problem. This is an in-depth follow up to episode 31 of the GrowthBusters podcast, which included a lengthy conversation with Mathis Wackernagel, co-originator of ecological footprint analysis and founder of Global Footprint Network. The best scientific estimates tell us human civilization is in overshoot. Were you aware of this? Do you know what overshoot is? This one-hour special is particularly relevant in the days leading up to, and immediately following, Earth Overshoot Day on July 29, 2019. Computer modeling by a team of MIT scientists in 1972 estimated the scale of human activity on the planet would cause systems to fail within a hundred years. Such failure is expected when humanity’s footprint on the planet consistently exceeds its carrying capacity. Since 1972, study after study, and report after report, has warned we are in overshoot – the sum total of human activity is too much for the Earth’s ecosystems to bear. Since 2003, scientists at Global Footprint Network have been analyzing UN data and satellite imagery to estimate the planet’s capacity to meet our needs (biocapacity), and humankind’s footprint - or demand (ecological footprint) - on that capacity. Their analysis suggests we have been in overshoot since about 1970. Welcome to Overshoot explores overshoot’s causes, effects, and possible solutions, as well as some of the barriers to solving the problem. Participants: Reported by: Dave Gardner Interviews: William Catton, author of Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change Brian Czech, author of Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution, and executive director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy Herman Daly, author of Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development Paul Ehrlich, Stanford Biologist, author of The Population Bomb Kerryn Higgs, author of Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet Ian Johnson, former World Bank vice president, former secretary general of Club of Rome Bill McKibben, environmental journalist, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, co-founder of 350.org. Dennis Meadows, lead scientist, The Limits to Growth Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist William Rees, co-originator of ecological footprint analysis Bill Ryerson, President of Population Media Center and Chair of Population Institute Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston University and author of Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth John Seager, CEO of Population Connection Gus Speth, former chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality Mathis Wackernagel, founder of Global Footprint Network and co-author of Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget Rex Weyler, environmental journalist Links: Earth Overshoot Day The Limits to Growth Conversation Earth Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget by Mathis Wackernagel and Bert Beyers (pre-order the book now, publication date is September 3, 2019) Footprint Calculator Move the Date Solutions to accelerate the shift to one-planet living Overshoot Index Past Earth Overshoot Days Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

52 MINJUL 24
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Welcome to Overshoot: Have a Nice Day

We're in Deep: Earth Overshoot Day 2019

In seven months humanity has burned through the resources it takes the Earth a full year to replenish. This is overshoot, and yes, it is a very big deal. In 2019, Earth Overshoot Day falls on July 29. Find out how we know when “Earth Overshoot Day” falls, how and why we’re operating in ecological deficit, what it means for us and our children, and what – if anything – we can do about it. Ecological footprint co-originator Mathis Wackernagel joins Erika and Dave for an in-depth discussion of overshoot. He explains the rigorous analysis done by the Global Footprint Network (which he founded) to calculate the biocapacity of the planet and the demands we place on it. Calculate your own ecological footprint using this footprint calculator and compare yours with Dave’s and Erika’s. We discuss much of the information and ideas in his new book, Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget, co-written with Bert Beyers (available September 3, 2019). One of the most interesting and important is the idea that governments at every level, including cities, that continue today to invest in infrastructure designed around fossil-fuel powered transportation, will not be competitive in the new world we’re entering. Plus: A new study claims cutting beef consumption by 40% will allow us to feed a world population of 10.9 billion people. Dave has a few problems with the reporting on this story and the rationale for doing the research. He suggests, “Let’s not put heroic efforts into feeding 10.9 billion. Let’s focus our efforts on not reaching 10.9 billion.” We know having fewer children doesn’t wreck the planet. We DON’T know the unintended consequences of the next “green revolution.” LINKS: Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget by Mathis Wackernagel and Bert Beyers (pre-order the book now, publication date is September 3, 2019) Cut Beef Consumption in Half to Help Save the Earth, Says New Study Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050World Resources Institute report Footprint Calculator Move the Date Solutions to accelerate the shift to one-planet living For further exploration: Overshoot Index (2016) Past Earth Overshoot Days Mentioned or recommended by Wackernagel: The One Planet Life by David Thorpe The Challenge of Man’s Future by Harrison Brown The Next Hundred Years: A Discussion Prepared for Leaders of American Industry published in 1957 by Harrison Brown, James Bonner, and John Weir Invisible Walls: Why We Ignore the Damage We Inflict on the Planet — and Ourselves by Peter Seidel (According to Wackernagel, “This was such a fabulous book; I believe the first ever to so clearly lay out the psychological and cultural barriers we are up against in the transformation to sustainability.”) Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

90 MINJUL 24
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We're in Deep: Earth Overshoot Day 2019

Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs

What’s the soundtrack of human civilization’s time on Earth? If we were to put ten songs into a time capsule to help historians in the future piece together what the hell humankind was doing as the planet crumbled beneath our feet, the ten songs in this episode would tell half the story. We’ll have to share another ten songs in a future episode to tell the rest of the story. So here’s our top ten (five curated by Erika and five picked by Dave). Music licensing restrictions prevent us from sharing these songs in full on our normal podcast episode, so we’ve posted a special episode with the complete songs at a site that licenses the music for us. Listen to the full-music version here. Also, doing this episode inspired us to create a special public playlist on Spotify. You can hear all these songs, plus the runners up, at the GrowthBusters Spotify Playlist. Let us know what important songs you feel we left out in this podcast or on our Spotify playlist (we’ll add them). Comment on this page, or on the GrowthBusters Podcast Facebook page, or email us. We’re posting videos (in most cases, the official video) to these songs at this episode's page on the GrowthBusters website. These videos can also be found on the Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs playlist on YouTube. 10. Love Song To The Earth – Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, and many more (2015) “See mama earth is in a crazy mess…. She under crazy stress” website: www.lovesongtotheearth.org 9. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell (1970) “Paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.” 8. Mercy, Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye (1968) “How much more abuse from man can she stand?” 7. First World Problems – Weird Al Yankovich (2014) “My house is so big, I can't get WiFi in the kitchen” 6. Sleeping In – Postal Service (2003) “People thought that they were just being rewarded… for mailing letters with the address of the sender. Now we can swim any day in November” 5. How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty (2007)“Where you going man you know the world is headed for hell? I guess we're gonna find out, Let's see how far we've come” 4. Gone – Jack Johnson (2011) “What about your soul? Is it cold? Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold?” 3. Full Steam – David Gray & Annie Lennox (2009) “We all saw it coming but we still bought it” 2. Idioteque – Radiohead (2000) “We're not scaremongering.This is really happening” 1. Road to Hell – Chris Rea (1989) “This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway. Oh no, this is the road…to hell” LINKS: This episode with the complete songs included (at MixCloud) Overshoot Playlist: Top Environmental Songs playlist on YouTube GrowthBusters playlist on Spotify Joshua Spodek’s podcast, Leadership and the Environment Ep 183: Reusing and Recycling Are Tactical, Reducing is Strategic Ep 123 Dave Gardner : Busting the Growth Myth Initiative – new book by Joshua Spodek Our Moral Obligation to Conceive Just One Child (Ep 7 of The Overpopulation Podcast, with Travis Rieder) Toward a Small Family Ethic by Travis Rieder What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong Jake Fader Music(Jake wrote and recorded the GrowthBusters theme) Carlos Jones (Carlos sang the GrowthBusters theme) Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode: Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

44 MINJUN 16
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Overshoot Playlist: Top 10 Environmental Songs

Avengers: Endgame – I Cut the Population in Half; Don’t Make Me Do This Again

Did the heroes solve a problem or make it worse? Did super-villain Thanos in the blockbuster movie, Avengers: Infinity War, solve the overshoot problem when he killed off half the beings in the universe to end overpopulation? Should the Avengers undo his deed if they can? Dave and Erika dissect Avengers: Endgame and how it treats these sustainability issues. We’re looking for a podcast editor or producer with great audio editing skills. If you’re interested, email us. LINKS: The Science of Avengers: Endgame Proves Thanos Did Nothing Wrong by JV Chamary Do Only Villains Care About Overpopulation? We dissected last year’s Avengers: Infinity War in GrowthBusters episode 15. Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Support this Vital Work Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

40 MINMAY 30
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Avengers: Endgame – I Cut the Population in Half; Don’t Make Me Do This Again

Masturbate, Don't Procreate

Bill Maher and Steven Colbert become the first honorees on the GrowthBusters podcast’s “Wall of Excellence.” You’ll find out why in this episode. We want to thank and celebrate influencers who help alert the public that we are in overshoot, demonstrate sustainable living in their own lives, or help educate the public about important ways we can shrink our footprints. New co-host Erika Arias introduces herself. She is very interested in the voluntary child-free choice and hopes to do research in this area in the future. She shares a clip from a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher about how it’s actually good news that millennials are having less sex and therefore fewer children. Maher is, of course, famous for being bold enough to make “politically incorrect” statements, but Dave thinks talking about overpopulation is finally becoming politically correct after a few decades of “population taboo.” Maher celebrates the declining birth rate in the over-developed world because it is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. See this Lund University report for the detail: The Four Lifestyle Choices That Most Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. On the other hand, Senator Mike Lee thinks having more babies will solve climate change. And even CNN prime time host Chris Cuomo gets some criticism here for painting population contraction as a loss of human potential. Dave finds it astonishing that even some very smart people are not aware that we are in overshoot. Also in this episode, Dave thought he recalled the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest estimate of the average cost to raise a child in the U.S. is $237,000. We looked that up after recording this episode and the most recent figure we could find is $233,610, a 2015 figure announced in January, 2017. NOTE: We’re looking for a podcast producer, or at least a podcast editor, to help out. Comment here or send us an email. LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: New Rule: Masturbate, Don’t Procreate - Bill Maher Are Millennials Having Less Sex Than Older Generations? A New Report Explores The Phenomenon Families Projected to Spend an Average of $233,610 Raising a Child Born in 2015(News release for most recent USDA study we could find) Expenditures on Children by Families reports by USDA Senator Mike Lee: More Babies Will Solve Climate Change(Steven Colbert Gives Mike Lee The Mike Lee Treatment) The World Economy is a Pyramid Scheme, Steven Chu Says Climate Change Will Take Food Off Your Table(Episode 27 of the GrowthBusters podcast with Michael Brownlee, author of Taking Back Our Food Supply: How to Lead the Local Food Revolution to Reclaim a Healthy Future) Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

37 MINMAY 15
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Masturbate, Don't Procreate

Climate Change Will Take Food Off Your Table

Will you be able to feed your family in ten or fifteen years? Mass starvation in industrialized countries due to climate change is not something we read or hear about. But it’s a real probability, according to Michael Brownlee, author of Taking Back Our Food Supply: How to Lead the Local Food Revolution to Reclaim a Healthy Future. Brownlee explains that not only is the global industrial food system the largest contributor to climate change; it also will not be able to feed us as we weather the storm.

59 MINAPR 2
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Climate Change Will Take Food Off Your Table
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