At COP15 Mrema is Wrong — Guterres is Right

CBD Secretary Mrema “doesn’t believe” there is a conflict between GDP growth and biodiversity conservation, despite the overwhelming evidence for a fundamental conflict, and despite the warning of UN Secretary General Guterres. Given that the bloating global economy is the ultimate and aggregate threat to biodiversity, Secretary Mrema should retract her “belief” or be replaced.

Montreal, December 13, 2022—During a press briefing on 12/12/2022, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, stated she didn’t “believe” there was a conflict between economic growth and biodiversity conservation. Her “belief” runs contrary to UN Secretary General António Guterres, who kicked off the conference by noting, “With our bottomless appetite for unchecked and unequal economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction.”

Secretary Mrema is behind the times, still harboring a fallacious belief in “green growth.” Meanwhile, hundreds of delegates and conferees have signed the CASSE position on economic growth describing the “fundamental conflict between economic growth and biodiversity conservation.”

Despite the $88 trillion GDP extinguishing species, displacing habitats, polluting air and water, acidifying oceans, bleaching coral reefs, melting glaciers and ice caps, and pumping forever chemicals into our soils and aquifers, Mrema fuzzily thinks we can have our cake and eat it too: continue growing an already-devastating GDP while reversing the Sixth Mass Extinction.

Secretary Mrema—an outstanding leader in other ways—is WRONG about GDP vs. biodiversity. E.O. Wilson, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki and many other world-class conservation scientists have spoken out about the fundamental conflict between GDP growth and biodiversity. While some countries do need economic growth, as no one would deny, growth won’t magically occur without impacting biodiversity.

With all the calls for “30 by 30,” or even “Half-Earth” — whereby much of the planet must be protected from economic activity, it should be obvious that the proper economic policy would be not growth for most countries, but rather the steady state economy (and even degrowth in countries with rapacious ecological footprints). In other words, biodiversity conservation calls for “steady statesmanship” in international diplomacy. Unless Secretary Mrema can recognize and acknowledge this, she should be replaced by someone who can and will.


For more information, contact CASSE at or Brian Czech at 703-901-7190.


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Sept. 21, 2020


Arlington, V.A. — The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) has launched a new podcast, The Steady Stater, dedicated to discussing a green economic approach via the steady state economy. The podcast will cover a range of topics, including limits to GDP growth, the implications of a steady state economy, salient current events, sustainable solutions and the burgeoning degrowth movement. The podcast is hosted by CASSE Executive Director Brian Czech. Experts and advocates of the steady state economy, such as American Ecological Economist Herman Daly, will make occasional guest appearances on the podcast. New episodes air Mondays at 8 am EST on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Buzzsprout and the CASSE website.

The Steady Stater proudly veers off the beaten path of economic discourse by refuting once-sacrosanct pro-growth theory. Czech explains, “Mainstream economists with no background in the environmental sciences continue to promote the fallacy of perpetual GDP growth. It’s about time that fallacy is challenged by a greener, fully sustainable vision for the 21st century.”

Podcast producer Richard Tibbetts adds, “Countless podcasts denounce fossil fuels, pollution and habitat loss, but none address the real problem at the core of these issues — the growth-at-all-costs economy. The Steady Stater does so without hesitation.”

CASSE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to advancing the steady state economy, with stabilized population and consumption as a policy goal with widespread public support.


CASSE Letterhead



Global GDP Hits $88 Trillion: Environment Reeling, Economy Threatened

 Earth Showing Impact of $88 Trillion in Economic Activity

Arlington, VA, February 20, 2020—Global GDP reached $88 trillion today, resulting in unprecedented environmental impacts. GDP has become the single best indicator of environmental impact including biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change.

A growing GDP entails increasing population × per capita consumption, and therefore a growing ecological footprint. As it grows, the human economy displaces non-human species and habitats. Due to the laws of thermodynamics, a growing economy must generate more waste heat and materials in the aggregate (not necessarily per capita). Meanwhile, GDP is the key variable in the climate change projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

$88 trillion of economic activity has caused (among other threats):

The timing of the $88-trillion impact is indicated by the CASSE GDP Meter, a real-time, rolling, 12-month GDP calculation. Given the severity of the impact, CASSE calls for “degrowth toward a steady state economy.” Otherwise—and ironically—the push for higher GDP will cause not only further environmental deterioration but economic crisis and conceivably collapse.

View the GDP Meter:

Learn about meter construction:

Read about the strategy:

CASSE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization based in Arlington, Virginia. For more information, see or email



Press Release: What is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hiding?

Arlington, VA, April 4, 2019— In a video clip published by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a long-running gag order at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service headquarters was revealed. Brian Czech, the first Conservation Biologist hired by the FWS in 1999, describes how he was prohibited from analyzing, discussing, or even mentioning the conflict between economic growth and wildlife conservation. The methods of suppression became extreme through the course of Czech’s 18 years at headquarters.

Czech, an expert in the ecological economics of biodiversity conservation, had studied the conflict between growth and conservation during his Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies. He now serves as Executive Director for the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (Arlington, VA).

While giving credit to the “smart, passionate, and productive” employees among FWS staff, Czech points to a problem in the leadership ranks of the National Wildlife Refuge System. He charges the Refuge System chiefs with failing to address the “big-picture, long-term, intellectually demanding” challenges to wildlife conservation, and instead using their positions as “tax-paid joyrides” throughout the Refuge System.

Czech maintains that civil servants have a crucial role to play in informing Americans of the trade-offs they face – but rarely hear about – between economic growth and environmental protection. Instead, he notes, political appointees and high-level bureaucrats mislead the public with the win-win rhetoric that “there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment,” while suppressing scientists and ecological economists who have analyzed the conflict.

The video is the latest segment of PEER’s Eco-Champions Campaign. It also announces a book going to press in 2019, Gag-Ordered No More.


CASSE is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. CASSE raises public awareness of limits to growth, identifies the steady state economy as the sustainable alternative, and studies the means to establish a steady state economy. For more information, contact (802-355-7855).




Press Release: NGOs Challenged to Back Up Their Rhetoric

Environmental organizations mollify their members with the fuzzy notion that “there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment.” CASSE wants a debate.

Arlington, VA, September 18, 2018—The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) has sent a letter to the presidents of the top ten environmental NGOs challenging them to a debate. The debate will center around one question: “Is there a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection?”

“Thank you for your efforts toward environmental protection,” the letter begins. “Your mission is of utmost importance in the 21st Century. We wish you the best in accomplishing it. You can’t, however, when the overriding domestic policy goal is economic growth.”

CASSE has analyzed the rhetoric of the NGOs and found that “many loudly proclaim that there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment,” while others maintain silence. Their failure to recognize the problem, CASSE executive director Brian Czech says, propagates “the notion that we can have our environmental cake and eat it too for the sake of GDP growth.” CASSE takes the position that there is a fundamental conflict between economic growth and environmental protection.

The debates—up to 10 of them—will be between each NGO president and Czech (who established CASSE in 2003 after being prohibited by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from raising awareness of the topic). Each debate will be moderated by a neutral host and held at the National Press Club, a major college or university, or some other venue conducive to a public hearing with press coverage. The debates will be structured with timed opening statements, rebuttals, moderator questions, and open questions from the floor.

The NGOs that CASSE has challenged include: National Wildlife Federation, Defenders of Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth (USA), Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, and the Izaak Walton League.


CASSE is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. CASSE raises public awareness of limits to growth, identifies the steady state economy as the sustainable alternative, and studies the means to establish a steady state economy. For more information, contact