42 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

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.”

    39 You Have to Stay Poor – I’m Having a Steak

    39 You Have to Stay Poor – I’m Having a Steak

    On a full planet, where human civilization is already in overshoot and in the process of crippling life-supporting ecosystems, it’s unfortunately not possible for the world’s poor, en masse, to rise out of poverty and live as richly as the even the average family in the industrialized world. There’s not enough biocapacity for 8 billion people to live high on the hog, and technology has not changed that. But “reputable” economists and technology Pollyanna’s like Andrew McAfee routinely fail to recognize this.
    In this episode, Dave and Erika respond to the surge of listener feedback from GrowthBusters Episode 35, Decoupling Nonsense, in which they critiqued the unrealistic premise of Andrew McAfee’s latest book, More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources-and What Happens Next.
    After listening to that episode, Terry Spahr, executive producer of the film 8 Billion Angels, sent a thoughtful email with some particularly interesting ideas. So we invited him to join us on the podcast to discuss. He offers an interesting challenge to some of the things we advocate on this podcast. He’s not necessarily impressed with the things you do that you THINK are shrinking your footprint. Find out why in this episode.
    How can we react to all this information and behave fairly and ethically? Let us know what you think.
    The conversation with Terry Spahr was recorded in November of 2019. He is in the process of planning screenings around the world for his film. Visit the film website to learn more.
    *In case you haven’t already, we recommend listening to Episode 35, Decoupling Nonsense, prior to listening to this episode. Enjoy!
     
    Links:
    8 Billion Angels (film)
    Earth Overshoot nonprofit
    Decoupling Nonsense – Episode 35 of the GrowthBusters podcast
    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
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    • 46 min
    38 Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

    38 Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

    We’re back! Today’s episode of the GrowthBusters podcast welcomes the New Year with the Telegraph’s 11 Green New Year’s Resolutions That Put the Planet First. But do they really? Whether you’re considering switching to electric, eating less meat, or choosing some combination of this year’s most popular green resolutions, Dave and Erika unpack the good and the confusing, and pick apart the not-so-great.
    “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
    – Jane Goodall
    Get some unusually good sustainability resolution recommendations from us in this episode, and learn how Dave and Erika are challenging themselves. Erika makes a VERY big footprint-reducing resolution. Listen to find out what it is. Will she be able to keep it? They tell us 80% of people give up on their resolutions by February, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be the change you want to see! Being one of her favorite holidays, Erika shares about what the new year means to her and questions what this statistic tells us about social influence and our search for living more sustainably.
    In your journey towards becoming an eco-hero, we understand there will be times when you will want to give up, and perhaps even break your resolution(s), but we encourage you to be the example, get back up, and stick with it!
    On the GrowthBusters podcast, Erika and Dave explore the joy of sustainable living and provide a recovery program for our society’s growth addiction (economic/consumption and population). This podcast is part of the GrowthBusters project to raise awareness of overshoot and end our culture’s obsession with and pursuit of growth.
    Dave Gardner directed the documentary GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, which Stanford Biologist Paul Ehrlich declared “could be the most important film ever made.” Erika Arias is researching the childfree/environment connection and is about to enter grad school.
    LINKS:
    Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air – David MacKay Book – online and free
    A Reality Check on Renewables – David Mackay TEDx Talk
    11 Green New Year's Resolutions that Put the Planet First
    America's Top New Year's Resolutions for 2020
    Green Goals for 2020 – 10 Green Goals to Jumpstart Your New Year!
    The Best New Year’s Resolution Is the Easiest One
    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:

    • 46 min
    37 A Finer Future?

    37 A Finer Future?

    We could use some good news. According to the four scholars who wrote A Finer Future, we are already experiencing some of the dramatic changes our system must undertake in order for our planet to meet the needs of future generations. This episode features a conversation with L. Hunter Lovins about the wellbeing economy and how sustainable behavior makes good business sense. Interestingly, this book grew out of a homework assignment from the King of Bhutan.
    Please think of us in your year-end giving. GrowthBusters is a non-profit project funded by YOU. DONATE HERE
    Hunter Lovins is President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions. She co-founded the Rocky Mountain Institute, and co-authored (with Paul Hawken and Amory Lovins) the landmark book, Natural Capitalism. Lovins consults on sustainability for corporate giants and world leaders. She also finds time to serve as professor of sustainable business at Bard MBA.
    This conversation was recorded in February of 2019, with introduction and close recorded in December of 2019.
     
    LINKS:
    A Finer Future – book, blog, resources
    Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies - Study
    Wellbeing Economy Alliance
    Capital Institute
    Club of Rome
    The Limits to Growth
    The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
    A Finer Future report for/by Club of Rome
    Happy Planet Index
    Global Alliance for Banking on Values
    Business End of Climate Change - Study
    Green Illusions by Ozzie Zehner
    Planet of the Humans - film
    Follow us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter
     
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    36 Don’t Make Me Stop this Spaceship!

    36 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 obligation to 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
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    • 57 min
    35 Decoupling Nonsense

    35 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 Thing
    In 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 Change
    Do 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 government regulations incentivize us to behave better? Erika and Dave agree with Greta Thunberg, but add a few more reasons to do the right thing, and do it now.
    They review a piece by BBC Chief Environment Consultant Justin Rowlatt that includes a conversation with Greta Thunberg, plus insights from Princeton University Professor Peter Singer (“the world's most influential living philosopher”) and Professor Kelly Fielding of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. These experts agree that our actions do matter, and we have an opportunity to be the change we want to see. Following Greta’s lead, we can and should signal to others with our actions, if we want to inspire the next environmental movement. Spoiler alert: Free will is real!
    Next…
    Can the Next President Get Us to Net-Zero Carbon Emissions?
    Presidential candidates are promising to deliver the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions targeted by the IPCC. Politicians’ climate policy platforms have been characterized as an “auction of promises,” by analysts. Are these promises realistic? Don’t get your hopes up. What will it really take to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050?  Would you believe we have to turn on 1500 new wind turbines every day, if we’re not going to give up our overconsuming ways and our quest for eternal economic growth? Good luck with that! Erika and Dave discuss some interesting analysis by Roger Pielke in Forbes.
    How to Be Sustainable
    Last, but certainly not least, we have a quick chat with a hero at California State University Northridge. Lecturer Dev Vrat teaches classes in sustainability, and caught our attention with an excellent list of…wait for it…individual actions you can take to behave more sustainably. The list was created by his students and published in the student newspaper. We were particularly impressed that the list includes choosing to adopt rather than bring new children into the world.
     
    LINKS:
    Climate Change Action: We Can't All be Greta, But Your Choices Have a Ripple Effect – BBC piece by Justin Rowlatt
    The Great Uncoupling- A Conversation with Andrew McAfee – Making Sense podcast
    How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources: The Very Nature of Technological Progress is Being Radically Transformed – book review
    Decoupling is Dead! Long Live Degrowth! – Resilience.org piece we recommend reading
    Study: Decoupling Debunked
    Net-Zero Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 2050 Requires a New Nuclear Power Plant Every Day – by Roger Pielke
    How to be Sustainable – guide by CSUN Students
    14 Mayors Commit to Slashing Meat Consumption in Major Cities Worldwide
    Planet of the Humans – new film
    Free Will Is Real – some recommended reading
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    34 Coming Out as Childfree

    34 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 Sociology at the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at University of Maine. Her research into the childfree choice has appeared in a variety of academic and media sources including the New York Times, National Public Radio, and other national, regional, and international outlets.
    Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family & Creating a New Age of Independence is 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 Podcast
    We 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 Independence
    Amy’s new book
    What Gets Left Behind for Future Generations? Reproduction and the Environment in Spey Bay, Scotland
    Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
    World Vasectomy Day
    Film: To Kid or Not to Kid

    Further Reading:
    Keeping Families Small a Patriotic Act: Modi
    India 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
     
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    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

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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