These are the CASSE blog articles on the steady state economy.


Degrowth in a Green-Growth World

by Rosalie Bull

I’m having an ongoing conversation with a friend about the merits and drawbacks of degrowth as a climate action strategy. She is easily the most astute climate thinker I know, with insights available only to those deeply immersed in the nuances of climate finance and decarbonization. She’s wary of the degrowth movement, as are many prominent players in the climate transition. She views it as an unhelpful distraction from humanity’s efforts to grapple with the climate crisis.


Happiness Matters, Even in a Steady State Economy! Part 2: Flourishing Life

by Orsolya Lelkes

Happiness matters. The quest for happiness is an elementary life force and an inherent part of steady state economies. Many fear that reducing material consumption will bring a decline in happiness. We do not like to lose what we already have. Recession and income loss tend to hurt.

On the other hand, voluntary adjustment of priorities in life may boost well-being, as a simpler life might deliver more of what many are missing: health,


Happiness Matters, Even in a Steady State Economy! Part 1: Sustainable Hedonism

by Orsolya Lelkes

From a historical perspective, we should be living in the happiest of all worlds. Ours is a culture ostensibly centered around happiness: The mainstream neoclassical economic system aims to maximize pleasure (utility) for all, and is based on the assumption that we humans seek the greatest pleasure and the least pain, and that this quest is the main driver of our actions.

Happiness has also been a philosophical,


Economic Growth is Bad for Your Breath(s)

by Gregory M. Mikkelson

Several years ago, some university students invited me to debate a hard-core mainstream economics professor on the topic of divestment from fossil fuel. Sadly but predictably, the economist lauded the fossil fuel industry for its role in boosting economic growth. At one point, he cited India as an example of how wonderful such growth is for people.

The moderator, from India himself, felt compelled to step in,


What About the Other Debt Ceiling?

by Gary Gardner

Official Washington is all aflutter over whether Congress should raise the ceiling on U.S. government debt. But this is not the most pressing debt question our country faces.

To see why, step back and enlarge the frame.  A new question emerges: Why would Congress create an artificial and wholly unnecessary debt crisis while ignoring a far more dangerous and decidedly real debt trap? I speak of our ballooning ecological debt,


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,