William Rees

Fellow, Ecology & Resilience

Communities, Ecology

William Rees is an ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning. He is the originator and co-developer (with his former student, Dr Mathis Wackernagel) of ‘ecological footprint analysis’ and author of 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and numerous popular articles, on humanity’s (un)sustainability conundrum. Dr Rees work is recognized worldwide. The Vancouver Sun named Prof Rees one of British Columbia’s top public intellectuals in 2000. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2006 and has since been awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Laval University), a Trudeau Foundation Fellowship, the 2012 Boulding Prize in Ecological Economics and a 2012 Blue Planet Prize (jointly with Dr Wackernagel) .


Bill Rees - Why Degrowth?

length: 35:43   credit: The Extraenvironmentalist   Apr 24, 2014

Post Carbon Fellow Bill Rees recorded in April at the Vancouver Degrowth Event on why degrowth is the only realistic path to sustainability.

Watch the Q&A for this event


Bill Rees speech to Vancouver World Federalist meeting on Radio Ecoshock Show

length: 53:00   credit: Radio Ecoshockdownload   May 27, 2010

This is a speech by Dr. Bill Rees delivered April 15th at the World Federalist meeting in Vancouver.  It goes a long way to explaining why we fail to act, even as the facts become clear and indisputable.  He covers the three brain theory, the limits of evolution, memes, Peak Oil, and cultural myths, plus some thoughts on solutions - mostly contraction and convergence.  Rees is one of the few academics more or less calling for a planned economic collapse.

The 53 minute speech is featured in this week's Radio Ecoshock show, broadcast by 20 college and community radio stations in the U.S. and Canada, plus Green 960 AM in San Francisco.

Download a transcript

Latest Publications

Sustainability vs. Resilience

William Rees    Jul 17, 2014   

This is a response to the article The End of Sustainability. William E. Rees is the co-creator of the Eco-Footprint concept and a Post Carbon Fellow. He authored the The Human Nature of Unsustainability, and Thinking … >>

The Way Forward: Survival 2100

William Rees    Jun 22, 2012   

Credit: European Environment Agency A man and child garden in Ireland’s first ecovillage. The village aims to be self-sufficient in food, with residents growing their own fruit and vegetables. The author’s … >>

CULTURE AND BEHAVIOR: The Human Nature of Unsustainability

William Rees    Aug 30, 2011   

EXCERPT: Humans may pride themselves as being the best evidence for intelligent life on Earth, but an alien observer would record that the (un)sustainability conundrum has the global community floundering in a swamp of … >>

Creating a Sustainable and Desirable Future

William Rees

The major challenge for the current generation of mankind is to develop a shared vision of a future that is both desirable to the vast majority of humanity and ecologically sustainable. Creating a Sustainable and Desirable … >>

press coverage

Rees quote on economy at Vancouver 24hrs

William Rees  

Post Carbon Fellow Bill Rees was quoted in this article on growing wealth inequality at Vancouver 24hr news. From the article: The better way to get people working, according to Rees, is retrofitting buildings, cars and … >>