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There’s No App for That: Technology and Morality in the Age of Climate Change, Overpopulation, and Biodiversity Loss

Technology has grown with us, side by side, since the dawn of human society. Each time that we’ve turned to it to solve a problem or make us more comfortable, we’ve been granted a solution. But it turns out that all of the gifts Technology has bestowed on us come with costs. Richard Heinberg examines where this incredibly pervasive belief falls apart and offers compelling evidence for why we can’t count on technology alone to save us from climate change, overpopulation, and biodiversity loss.

Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels

Climate change, along with the depletion of oil, coal, and gas, dictate that we will inevitably move away from our profound societal reliance on fossil fuels; but just how big a transformation will this be? While many policy-makers assume that renewable energy sources will provide an easy “plug-and-play” solution, author Richard Heinberg suggests instead that […]

Faustian Economics

Faustian Economics: Hell Hath No Limits

We have founded our present society upon delusional assumptions of limitlessness. Our national faith is a sort of autistic industrialism. This necessarily leads to limitless violence, waste, war, and destruction. Our great need now is for sciences and technologies of limits. The limits would be the accepted contexts of places, communities, and neighborhoods, both natural […]

Our Global Ponzi Economy

Our Global Ponzi Scheme

Our mismanaged world economy today has many of the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme takes payments from a broad base of investors and uses these to pay off returns. It creates the illusion that it is providing a highly attractive rate of return on investment as a result of savvy investment decisions […]

No Ecological Sustainability

No Ecological Sustainability without Limits to Growth

The main cause of global climate change is growth: unrelenting economic growth and a swelling human population. Most proposals for reducing climate change take this growth for granted and focus exclusively on technical means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. An economic system dedicated to generating ever more wealth and consumption for ever more people must […]

The End of Growth (Updated eBook)

In The End of Growth, published in September 2011, Richard Heinberg, made the observation that world economic expansion, which has been barreling along for the past few decades, is now stalling. The book further claimed that this is not an outcome we can prevent; we can only choose whether and how to adapt. He argued […]

What is Sustainability?

What Is Sustainability?

As a contribution to this ongoing refinement of the concept, I recently formulated five axioms (self-evident truths) of sustainability. My goal was simply to distill ideas that had been proposed previously and put them into a concise, easy-to-understand form. The First Axiom Any society that continues to use critical resources unsustainably will collapse. Exception: A […]

Ecological Economics

Ecological Economics

Many people would agree that the central desirable end of economic activity is a high quality of life for this and future generations.  Conventional economists argue that humans are insatiable, and therefore economics should focus on endless economic growth and ever-increasing consumption.  Considerable evidence, however, suggests that humans are in fact satiable&emdash;there is a point […]