Culture & Behavior

From the ancient Sumerian story of Gilgamesh to recent practices like mountaintop removal, history is full of examples of societies consuming resources (and competing for those resources) like there's no tomorrow. But there are also many examples of societies — both prehistoric and more recent — living in relative sustainability.

Whether or not humans are simply unsustainable by nature, one thing is clear: the way we organize ourselves socially matters deeply. How does human evolution impact our behavior? What kinds of cultural norms encourage overconsumption and how can we change these? How do our political institutions shape the kinds of sustainability decisions that can —and cannot— be made by businesses and governments?


Josh Farley: The Foundation for a New Economy

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Josh Farley, a professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont was the keynote speaker Friday night in Madison, WI for the dedication of the Farley Center for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability. I caught up with Josh after the talk and asked him to elaborate on the "New Economy", if the human race has time to transition from current over consumption to a modest, sustainable existence.

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