True Conservation: A 21st Century Vision for the Next Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

by Brian Czech

The 21st century challenges to wildlife conservation are unprecedented. The ecological integrity of the nation and planet is unravelling before our eyes. Species and ecosystems are disappearing, if not immediately off the face of the planet, then via slow, dead-end emigrations as they respond to climate change.

It’s not as if climate change was needed to imperil fish and wildlife. Climate change is actually the fourth major crisis in the past 150 years.


A Place for a Steady State in the EU Green Deal

by Adel Ramdani

The European Green Deal, the EU’s flagship environmental program, aims to profoundly transform the EU’s 27 member states into low-carbon economies. The deal was rolled out in December 2019 by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. It’s supposed to be a roadmap toward a “fair and prosperous society” with an economy that is modern, resource-efficient, and competitive. So far, so good? Let’s take a deeper dive.


Biden’s Black Swan: New Oil Leasing is Bound to End in Disaster

by Taylor Lange

The USA is well acquainted with disastrous crude oil accidents. Eleven years ago an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform killed 11 workers, injured 17 more, and discharged roughly 4.6 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The incident cost BP more than $65 billion to clean up, destroyed thousands of acres of ocean reefs, and killed thousands of marine animals. Just over two decades prior,


Resisting the Temptation of Growth at the County Level

by Daniel Giles

Across the USA, a battle for the souls of rural counties is being waged. The battle is fought not in major news outlets, but in local government meetings and the opinion columns of local newspapers. Despite the lack of national coverage, the cumulative outcome of these localized conflicts will change the American landscape for generations to come.

This monumental battle is between those fighting for growth—or “development” as some use interchangeably—and those who strive to conserve the current character of counties.


Come Hell, High Water, or Both

by Haley Mullins

Sea-level rise is one of the “highlights” (if we can call it that) of our climate emergency, yet most of us know so little about it. For many, the polar bears on Coca-Cola’s cans are the closest they’ve come to the issue. But marketing campaigns and halfhearted sympathies do little for the most vulnerable species and people. We should be doing far more. We certainly can’t afford complacency in the face of sea-level rise.


The New Herman Daly Bio: Confusion at a Critical Juncture and Other Missteps

by Brian Czech

No one in the sustainability business deserves a biography more than Herman Daly. But then, as a literary Clint Eastwood might say, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.” If a biography needs to be shot out of the saddle—or shot down a peg at least—so be it. Remember, it’s not the fault of the biographee.

Let me shoot straight to the bottom line, then. If you want to know about Herman Daly’s economics for a full world—and you should want to—read Daly’s books and articles.[1] If you want to know about Daly’s childhood days,


Pope Francis and the Steady State Economy

by Brian Snyder

Let’s play a game of “who said it.” I’ll give you quotes from either For the Common Good (by Herman Daly and John Cobb), or Let Us Dream (by Pope Francis). You guess who wrote it:

  1. “…in the wealthier parts of the world, the fixation with constant economic growth has become destabilizing, producing vast inequalities and putting the natural world out of balance.”
  2. “Then ‘God’ became redundant and disappeared.

Facebook and Its Religion of Growth

by Taylor Lange

There was a time when I dreamt of working at Facebook. I was less intrigued by the software development side than with studying the exchange of information and the cultural evolution occurring through online social networks. One of my research interests is how individuals learn to act cooperatively and acquire new preferences. What better place is there to do that than at the largest online social media platform?

Since joining Facebook in 2009,


Housing Policy: An Agent for Growth

by John Mirisch

In the ongoing and increasingly heated discussions about housing, urban planning, and zoning, I often return to Greta Thunberg’s seething indictment of our world’s decision-makers: “Here we are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can do is talk about money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”

Greta may have been directing her remarks to politicians at the highest levels of government; but, neither should we forget as former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once famously remarked,


Labor Day Reflections: Growth Doesn’t Solve Inequality

Labor Day, like other holidays of remembrance, is an opportunity to reflect on the past and critically consider the future. Our memory ought to include the foot soldiers of the labor movement, from the 10,000 coal miners who fought in the Battle of Blair Mountain to the steel workers who duked it out with the Pinkertons at Homestead mill. We owe our rights as workers to the bitter struggles of many who preceded us.

Despite the gains of the labor movement, it seems we still have a long way to go. It is well-documented that while the productivity of the American worker has continued to rise, our compensation has risen slower. All that extra surplus has gone right into the bosses’ pockets; Mother Jones would be up in arms by now.