The NRA’s Kuznets Curve: Deadliest Mind Game on Earth?

by Brian Czech

Herald readers were reminded last week of a concept called the “Kuznets curve,” named after the late Simon Kuznets (1901-1985) for his analysis of the distribution of wealth. Kuznets (rhymes with “whose nets”) found, more or less, that the maldistribution of wealth had worsened in the decades preceding the 1920s, and lessened afterward. He famously linked both trends to economic growth, noting different effects of growth before and after the 20s.


Steering Away from a Car-Centric Society

by Mai Nguyen

Learning to drive scared me as a teenager. There was something terrifying about controlling a two-ton hunk of metal, and my drivers’ education teacher didn’t help by showing a graphic slideshow of injuries we could expect from a brutal car accident. This didn’t bother me much once I moved to the city; with buses, the metro, and bike or scooter shares, there are plenty of other ways to get around.


Morality in the Womb: More than Meets the Mass’s Eye

by Max Kummerow

With the recent leaking of the draft decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the heated controversy over a woman’s right to abort—or voluntarily terminate—a pregnancy is again at the forefront of democratic discourse. At the heart of this debate are issues of morality and theology. Self-identified Christians make up 63 percent of the U.S. population, with Evangelical Protestants and Catholics representing an overwhelming portion of the “pro-life” camp.


The Colorado River: Devoured by Growth

by Gary Wockner

“The nature of consumption is the consumption of Nature” – Jordan Perry

The natural environment of the American Southwest is sending out a loud call of distress, but few people in positions of power are listening. Economic and population growth are straining nature, especially across the Colorado River Basin, which encompasses parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, and California.

From 2010 to 2020,


Icebreakers in the Arctic: An Overlooked Environmental Concern

by Johanna Cohn

Global heating has a greater impact on the Arctic than the rest of the planet. In fact, the Arctic is warming at a rate almost twice the global average. This is due to Arctic ice’s high albedo, meaning the ice reflects a tremendous amount of sunlight into the atmosphere. As the ice melts, the sea water absorbs more sunlight than it reflects. The resulting water subsequently warms and evaporates,


A Perfect Storm for Inflation: COVID, Loose Money, and Putin

by Brian Czech

The current bout of inflation should be no surprise to steady staters. We have national and global ecosystems pushed to the limits by population and economic growth. At the same time, we have monetary authorities and heads of state—neoclassically oblivious to limits—eager to stimulate the economy with loose money. It’s a recipe for inflation.

We tweeted all the way back in March 2020 that inflation was coming.


Ukraine: Putin’s Lebensraum

by Brian Czech

People tend to think of Russia as a wide-open country with plenty of space for economic growth. While it may take days to ride the trans-Siberian railway, any notion of an empty Russia is as antiquated as Dr. Zhivago. European Russia, especially, has been cultivated, harvested, logged, mined, fished, and “developed” to the gills with roads, bridges, railways, power lines, pipelines, grids, towers, cables, dams, and canals connecting every industry under the sun to thousands of towns and cities plus tens of thousands of villages.


It’s Not Grain Putin Wants – It’s Water

by Andrey Beregovskiy

For several weeks now, the world has been following the movement of troops on the Russia-Ukraine border with a question: What does Putin want? While the Kremlin cites potential Ukrainian membership in NATO as a casus belli, experts have been proposing alternative reasons for why Vladimir Putin wants to invade Ukraine. In a recent post, Brian Czech suggests that the most overlooked reason is the extremely fertile agricultural lands comprising much of Ukraine.


Signs of LIFE: Assessing the European LIFE Programme

by Adel Ramdani

In November 2021, the European Commission approved an investment package of €290 million to support 132 new environmental projects through L’Instrument Financier pour l’Environnement, or the “LIFE” programme. LIFE is designed to help reach the environmental goals outlined in the EU Green Deal, and it’s the only EU funding programme entirely dedicated to environmental, climate, and clean energy objectives. With certain adjustments, it could be more aligned with steady-state principles.


Putin the Practical Wants Ukraine Grain

by Brian Czech

Pundits, think tanks, and politicians are asking, “What does Putin want with Ukraine?” If you’re familiar with Ukraine’s flag—especially the bottom half—you’re halfway to the answer.

But let’s start with the conventional wisdom. Yes, Putin wants to pressure the West into preventing Ukraine from joining NATO, thereby keeping the alliance off Russia’s doorstep. Russia’s natural gas transmission to Europe would be a lot more profitable if they didn’t have to pipe the gas through tariff-charging Ukraine,