52 episodes

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.”

GrowthBusters Dave Gardner and Erika Arias on sustainable living

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

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.”

    Damn, It's Earth Overshoot Day Already!

    Damn, It's Earth Overshoot Day Already!

    If we were on a spaceship, the end really would be near – August 22. That is Earth Overshoot Day for 2020. We all know we can’t graze 100 head of cattle for long on a one-acre patch of land. We’d have a barren wasteland and a bunch of dead cattle in no time. It’s a little more challenging for us to make this calculation about meeting the needs of 7.8 billion people on a larger patch of land – the entire planet. But the laws of physics equally apply.
    Analysts at Global Footprint Network do an impressive job of performing this worldwide calculation. Since 2003, they’ve 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.
    If you have too many people, consuming resources faster than the planet can regenerate them, and generating waste faster than the planet can convert that waste, you are in overshoot. This bonus episode of GrowthBusters features the Conversation Earth special, Welcome to Overshoot: Have a Nice Day. This is a 2020 update of the special we shared a year ago. Welcome to Overshoot explores overshoot’s causes, effects, and possible solutions, as well as some of the barriers to solving the problem. It features a who’s who of environmental and economic experts:
    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 True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans Are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy
    John Seager, CEO of Population Connection
    Gus Speth, former chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality, Co-Chair of the Next System Project
    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 podcasts
    Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget by Mathis Wackernagel and Bert Beyers
    Footprint Calculator
    Move the Date
    Solutions to accelerate the shift to one-planet living
    Past Earth Overshoot Days
     
    OTHER LINKS:
    Join the conversation on Facebook
    Make a donation to support this non-profit project.
    Archive of all episodes of the GrowthBusters podcast
    Subscribe to GrowthBusters email updates
    See the film – GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth
    Explore the issues at www.growthbusters.org
    View the GrowthBusters channel on YouTube
    Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

    • 52 min
    Things Are Not Fine

    Things Are Not Fine

    Physician Sofia Pineda Ochoa became so concerned about the future of life on Earth that she wrote, produced and directed the new documentary, Endgame 2050. “There is no human health without planetary health,” she tells us. She interviewed several notable experts in the film, but musician/environmental activist Moby provided the most brutally candid assessment of our situation: “Things are not fine.” He told Sofia we “are destroying the only home that we know of in the universe that will support life…. if we can’t change ourselves, if we can’t learn how to live in sustainable harmony with the only world that will support us, we need to go away.”

    The film doesn’t shy away from human overpopulation as a chief contributor to our ongoing destruction of Earth’s life-supporting ecosystems. Dr. Ochoa does more than diagnose our problem; she also offers some solutions: “I think we have a moral obligation to raise awareness about the unsustainability of our current population growth rate, and the importance of slowing that rate down, as well as changing our consumption patterns.” On the consumption side, Endgame 2050 makes a compelling case for eliminating meat from our diet.
    Alec Baldwin, Brad Pitt, “nature porn,” and the United Nations all come up in our free ranging conversation. The film is free to view on several streaming services. Visit endgame2050.com for screening information (and for good resources if you want to dig deeper into the subjects raised in the film).

    DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:
    Welcome to Overshoot: Have a Nice Day – Conversation Earth Special
    Podcast Version
    Radio Broadcast Version
    Endgame 2050
    MeatYourFuture.com – Sofia’s website supporting a plant-based diet
    Lie Down in Darkness – by Moby
    The Game Changers
    Bad science and bad arguments abound in 'Apocalypse Never' by Michael Shellenberger – by Dr. Peter H. Gleick
    Decoupling Nonsense – episode 35 of the GrowthBusters podcast

    OTHER LINKS:
    Join the conversation on Facebook
    Make a donation to support this non-profit project.
    Archive of all episodes of the GrowthBusters podcast
    Subscribe to GrowthBusters email updates
    See the film – GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth
    Explore the issues at www.growthbusters.org
    View the GrowthBusters channel on YouTube
    Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Sarah’s Wildlife Friendly Wedding

    Sarah’s Wildlife Friendly Wedding

    If you're planning your wedding, or have a friend planning theirs, this episode is for you. The idea of a virtual wedding seemed pretty geeky a year ago, but in the COVID era, suddenly the notion isn’t so far-fetched. But if you’re not going virtual, we have some other recommendations for you to shrink the footprint of your wedding.
    In this follow-up to episode 25 of the GrowthBusters podcast, Sarah Baillie reports on how she made her wedding “wildlife friendly.” Sarah wrote the Wildlife Friendly Wedding Guide, and told us about this before her own wedding in episode 25 (link below). At the time she was just embarking on planning her own wedding, so we invited her back to report on the blessed event.
    Sarah is Endangered Species Condoms Coordinator at the Center for Biological Diversity, so we also asked her for an update on this program (we are big fans), especially during the pandemic period of isolation.
    The Wildlife-friendly Wedding Guide (e-version is free)
    How to Have a Green Wedding – GrowthBusters Episode 25
    Bury Mom in the Back Yard? The Ins and Outs of Green Burial – GrowthBusters Episode 41
    The SoKind Registry (register your wedding for small-footprint gifts - homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more.)
    Center for Biological Diversity
    Endangered Species Condoms
    Avoid Unplanned Parenthood (video of Dave handing out Endangered Species Condoms)

    How To Make Vegetable Broth With Kitchen Scraps

    Sustainable Gift Giving in the Time of Coronavirus – by Sarah Baillie

    Our Webinars (video and podcast versions) about Planet of the Humans:
    VIDEO:
    Planet of the Humans: a Sequel (Webinar)

    Planet of the Humans Webinar Part 2

    PODCASTS:
    Planet of the Humans: What Did the Film Get Right? (webinar part 1)

    1-See Planet of the Humans; 2-Resolve Overshoot (webinar part 2)


    OTHER LINKS:
    Join the conversation on Facebook
    Make a donation to support this non-profit project.
    Archive of all episodes of the GrowthBusters podcast
    Subscribe to GrowthBusters email updates
    See the film – GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth
    Explore the issues at www.growthbusters.org
    View the GrowthBusters channel on YouTube
    Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

    • 42 min
    1-See Planet of the Humans; 2-Resolve Overshoot

    1-See Planet of the Humans; 2-Resolve Overshoot

    What should we do in response to the key messages of the 2020 documentary, Planet of the Humans? This is a continuation of the discussion begun in part one of the webinar, Planet of the Humans: a Sequel. In part 2, our panel explores actions we can take now – to avoid terminating  human civilization. Both parts of the webinar addressed the roles of overpopulation, overconsumption and economic growth in the most serious environmental crises we face.
    The webinar was co-hosted by GrowthBusters and World Population Balance.
    Panelists:
    Kristine Mattis: An interdisciplinary environmental scholar with a background in Biology and Earth System Science, Kristine has worked as a medical researcher, a science reporter for the congressional record in the U.S. House of Representatives, and a science teacher. She holds a PhD in Environment and Resources. Her writing encompasses issues of social and environmental justice, public health, risk, and science.
    Brian Czech: Executive director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE). With a Ph.D. in renewable natural resources, his specialties intersect ecological economics, conservation biology, and public policy. The author of several books, Czech recently edited Best of The Daly News: Selected Essays from the Leading Blog in Steady State Economics.
    Dave Gardner: Co-host of the GrowthBusters podcast about sustainable living; co-host of The Overpopulation Podcast; director of the documentary GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth; host of the syndicated radio series, Conversation Earth; and executive director of World Population Balance.
    Erika Arias: Co-host of the GrowthBusters podcast about sustainable living; co-host of The Overpopulation Podcast; Programs & Engagement Coordinator for World Population Balance, and a childfree researcher and advocate.
    LINKS
    VIDEO:
    Planet of the Humans: a Sequel (webinar part one)
    Planet of the Humans Webinar Part 2

    BOOKS:
    Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered - by E.F. Schumacher 
    Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources - by Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill 
    Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders, and a Plan to Stop Them All - by Brian Czech 
    Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth - by Juliet Schor 
    B******t Jobs: A Theory - by David Graeber 

    PODCASTS:
    The Overpopulation Podcast 
    GrowthBusters podcast about sustainable living 
     
    PAPERS & ESSAYS:
    Works by Kristine Mattis 
    Degrowth A Vocabulary for a New Era (2014) 
    Nobody Takes the Renewable Energy Transition Seriously - by Richard Heinberg 
    Beyond Green Growth - by Dan O’Neill 
    Wake Up Call on the Environment: A Student Manifesto 
    Exiting the Fast Lane: Job Sharing is One Route to Discovering the Personal and Environmental Benefits of Working Less
    How to Make a Job Sharing Situation Work 
    Planning for Post-Corona: A Manifesto for the Netherlands 
    Crossroads for Planet of the Humans – by William Rees 
     
    PEOPLE & ORGANIZATIONS:
    World Population Balance
    GrowthBusters
    Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
    Herman Daly 
    Transition Network
    Transition U.S.
    Common Future (formerly Business Alliance of Local Living Economies) 
    Wellbeing Economy Alliance
    Doughnut Economics Action Lab
    Take Back Your Time
    The Simplicity Collective

    OTHER LINKS:
    Join the conversation on Facebook
    Make a donation to support this non-profit project.
    Archive of all episodes of the GrowthBusters podcast
    Subscribe to GrowthBusters email updates
    See the film – GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth
    Explore the issues at www.growthbusters.org
    View the GrowthBusters channel on YouTube
    Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Planet of the Humans: What Did the Film Get Right?

    Planet of the Humans: What Did the Film Get Right?

    “There are too many human beings, using too much, too fast.” Those are the words of Richard Heinberg in a controversial new documentary executive produced by Michael Moore. Planet of the Humans presents us with some inconvenient truths – far more inconvenient than just the greenhouse gas effect. Yet because the film skewers some renewable energy advocates for painting an overly rosy picture that’s not 100% accurate, there’s been a lot of backlash and effort to keep the film from being seen. In the film, director Jeff Gibbs notes:
    “It was becoming clear that what we had been calling green, renewable energy, and industrial civilization are one and the same – desperate measures not to save the planet, but to save our way of life.”
    We think the most important messages of the film are just too critical to avoid, so GrowthBusters teamed up with World Population Balance to co-host the webinar, Planet of the Humans: a Sequel. You can view a video replay of that webinar here. Or you can listen to the audio of the webinar in this episode of the GrowthBusters podcast.
    We just recorded a continuation of the panel discussion begun in that webinar. Watch for that as another episode of the podcast in the very near future. Subscribe to our email updates or the GrowthBusters YouTube channel to be notified immediately when that video is posted.
    LINKS:
    Planet of the Humans film
    Planet of the Humans: a Sequel webinar video replay
    World Population Balance
    One Planet, One Child Billboard Campaign
    Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
    Fact Check at Planet of the Humans Website
    Full and Sustainable Employment Act (post in Steady State Herald)
    The Real Green New Deal Project
    Green New Deal
    Panelists’ reviews of Planet of the Humans:
    The Inconvenient Truth of Planet of the Humans – by Dave Gardner
    Climate Crisis: Our Ecological Dysfunction Has a Marketing Problem (and it’s not Michael Moore) – by Kristine Mattis
    Planet of the Humans Puts Sacred Cows Out to Pasture – by Brian Czech
    Other Insightful Reviews:
    Sequence Matters – by Herman Daly

    Review: Planet of the Humans – by Richard Heinberg
    Crossroads for Planet of the Humans - by William Rees
    OTHER LINKS:
    Join the conversation on Facebook
    Make a donation to support this non-profit project.
    Archive of all episodes of the GrowthBusters podcast
    Subscribe to GrowthBusters email updates
    See the film – GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth
    Explore the issues at www.growthbusters.org
    View the GrowthBusters channel on YouTube
    Subscribe (free) so you don't miss an episode:

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Just Sitting Around Waiting for the World to End

    Just Sitting Around Waiting for the World to End

    Is there any use in choosing to live more sustainably if you’re surrounded by an unsustainable system? There are those who argue there is little value in making efforts to trim your own ecological footprint. They lament, “It’s difficult to skinny up your life when you live within a system that needs structural change,” built to drive itself off a cliff. The GrowthBusters disagree. But who can you turn to for good advice on this? An astrophysicist, of course!
    We’re joined in this episode by NYU professor Joshua Spodek. Yes, he has a degree in astrophysics, but these days he’s busy teaching and coaching leadership and entrepreneurship, doing TEDx talks, authoring best-selling books, blogging daily, and hosting his own podcast. It takes Joshua a year to accumulate a load of trash, and he hasn’t hopped on a plane in four years. So when it comes to both the joy, and the value, of individual planet-saving action, Josh is our guy.
    Here is the complete email from Rob Boman in Oregon (we shared a portion of it on the podcast) Links promised are below this.
    Hello, I just listened to podcast #35 (uncoupling nonsense). I could send a lot of stuff and I’m in the process of developing a website, but for now, you might find this interesting: I call it The Fifteen Criteria Points of Genuine, Meaningful Sustainability Thanks for your work, Robert Bolman
    1) What people commonly refer to as “sustainability” is not truly sustainable. For example, people will refer to “sustainably harvested lumber”. Lumber may be harvested in a manner that is not destructive of forest ecosystems, but in order for lumber to be sustainably harvested, not only would the chainsaws and logging trucks need to be running on something other than fossil fuels, but the chainsaws and logging trucks would need to be MANUFACTURED using something other than fossil fuels. When you consider the amount of energy required to make a large metal object like a logging truck, it is clear that even Forest Stewardship Council certified lumber is far from sustainable
    2) Genuine, meaningful sustainability is defined by a rigorous set of criteria including, but not limited to the use of nonrenewable resources and the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet.
    3) It therefore follows that achieving genuine, meaningful sustainability is a dauntingly complex, remote, far-flung ideal. It will be VERY difficult to achieve.
    4) As difficult as it may be, genuine, meaningful sustainability WILL be achieved because to do anything less is unsustainable. Whatever the human family fails to do voluntarily, we WILL do involuntarily. It is possible that we will become a sustainable, advanced, complex civilization. On the other hand, dust blowing on the wind is sustainable.
    5) The longer we wait, the longer we procrastinate, delay and make excuses, the more wrenching and traumatic the transition to sustainability will be. We are squandering precious time and resources presently. We have used up approximately half of our one-time geological allotment of fossil fuels. The remaining half will be increasingly more expensive and energy intensive to extract. We should be feverishly using the remaining half to construct the post-fossil fuel infrastructure that we will need. This is especially the case when considering Climate Change. Fully preparing for life without fossil fuels could take decades. Also, it is not at all clear just HOW everything we do with fossil fuels can be accomplished with wind, solar and biofuels. The time to begin that transition is NOT when the fossil fuels are dwindling and the economy is collapsing.
    6) Growth is unsustainable. Period. Within a closed, finite system like a petri dish, an island or a planet, growth of the physical environment cannot be continued. Thus, mainstream economics with its emphasis on perpetual growth is quite misguided

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

yghkhdg ,

Future of humanity

This podcast is easy to understand and entertaining. It addresses how much better the future will be for generations to come if we quit abusing the planet we depend on for survival.

Joshua Spodek ,

The essential topic to cover

Consider nearly any issue of the environment, conflict, disease, resource depletion, global warming, and so on. Follow the issue to its roots and you'll find a belief that growth will solve almost anything -- economic growth, which people believe requires population growth.

We can talk about it or not. If we talk about it we have a chance to do something about it. So far almost no one talks about it. Dave Gardner and Growthbusters talks about it.

This is the podcast of the future. It will change how you see the world, your place in it, and how to act.

Love my Community ,

Very unique podcast

I had no idea there is so much corporate welfare going on, in secret, benefitting developers and builders, at citizen expense. Paving Paradise offers information and perspective you don't find everyday. If you're concerned about growthmania where you live, Paving Paradise can help you understand why elected officials seem to love growth, and how growth profiteers are gaming the system behind closed doors. This podcast can empower you to fight back.

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