COP15: The Good, the Bad, and the Smugly

by Brian Czech

On a scale of one to ten, COP15—the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal last month—was a solid five. That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it represents significant progress from prior COPs, which dabbled along in the one or two range for the better part of three decades. The progress was evident from the start, when UN Secretary General António Guterres kicked off the conference by noting,


Fusion Energy: A Different Take

by Gary Gardner

The recent news that scientists moved a step closer to fusion energy was greeted with enthusiasm and awe in much of the media, a bright spot of cheer amid the ongoing drumbeat of existential global threats. Only the most cynical of curmudgeons could pooh-pooh this hopeful development—right?

After all, energy is the foundation of human development. Civilizational advance is a tale of ongoing successes in shaping energy for human ends.


Ending Planned Obsolescence: a Nonpartisan Movement for Steady Staters to Support

by Rosalie Bull

“Planned obsolescence” has become a household term for 21st century Americans. No wonder, considering that most household appliances today have been designed in accordance with the practice. Now more than ever, things just aren’t made like they used to be. In fact, they’re made to fail—often within a fraction of their potential lifespans—in order to spur more consumption.


A Primer on Economic Growth and Biodiversity Conservation for COP15

by Brian Czech

With COP15 coming up, it’s time to don the old conservation biologist hat and proffer a primer on the relationship between economic growth and biodiversity conservation. The last thing we want is a COP15 devoid of discussion about the fundamental conflict between growing the economy and conserving biodiversity. In fact, the 800-pound gorilla—GDP growth—ought to be front and center.

For the uninitiated, COP15 is the UN Biodiversity Conference,


In Commemoration: A Sampling of Herman Daly

by Herman Daly (posthumously) — Introduction by Brian Czech

Given the recent, tragic passing of Herman Daly, we allocate this week’s Steady State Herald to the wise words of Daly himself. From 2010-2018, Herman was a regular contributor to The Daly News, CASSE’s blog before the Herald was launched. (Herman’s modesty almost prevented us from naming the blog after him, but he was outnumbered by CASSE staff and board,


Slow is Beautiful: The Need to Decelerate

by Greg Mikkelson

Brian Czech once likened modern economic growth to a runaway train. This metaphor drives home the point that to save nature and humanity from an ecological train wreck, the most important thing is to decelerate the global economy. Unfortunately, much writing on environmental protection neglects this imperative and fixates instead on what we must accelerate.

For example, the must-read Living Planet Report,


Herman Daly (1938-2022): Up to the Steady State Economy

by Brian Czech

Herman Daly, the champion of steady-state economics, passed away in the presence of beloved family members on October 28, 2022. In the process, a world in dire need of Herman’s wisdom became a lesser place. Yet we can be grateful for the 84 years he graced the earth and for the legacy he’s left us.

An excellent festschrift edited by Joshua Farley, a sweeping biography by Peter Victor,


Hurricane Ian: A Profoundly Polluting Event

by Brian Czech

If you’re a steady stater, I know what you’re thinking about Hurricane Ian. For starters, of course, you’re deeply concerned about any family or friends you may have in Florida, along with folks in general along Ian’s path. But you’re also wondering, “What about the pollution?”

The marine pollution that accompanies coastal flooding, most notably from violent hurricanes, is probably ignored by the majority of folks,


Conservatives and the Steady State Economy: A Natural Fit

by Brian Czech

If you call yourself a “conservative” these days, what does that tell us? Or, what is it supposed to tell us? Does it mean you’re a Republican, a Tory, or a member of the largest party in the democratic world, the Bharatiya Janata Party? Must you be a particular brand of partisan—maybe a MAGA Republican or a Modi भक्त—to wear the conservative hat?

What about your faith?


Emerging Signs of Grassroots Resistance to Growth

by Christy Shaw

There seem to be encouraging signs that more and more average Americans are speaking out and taking action to oppose uncontrolled growth. Concerned citizens are sounding the alarm that too much growth is doing far more harm than good in their towns, cities and communities.

While there does not yet appear to be a coordinated nationwide coalition of activism, there are definitely increasing signs of grassroots efforts to push back against the all-too common,