Richard Heinberg Nov 18, 2013
If we hope to avert climate apocalypse in the decades ahead, we must make fundamental changes to industrial society. Before those changes can be approved and implemented, citizens and policy … >>
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, 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.
EXCERPT: But living now in relative abundance, when the whole world is a shopping mall and our appetites are no longer constrained by limited resources, our craving for reward--be that for … >>
What magic, or monster, lurks behind the light switch and the gas pump? Where does the seemingly limitless energy that fuels modern society come from? From oil spills, nuclear accidents, … >>