Posts


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,


The Environmental Consequences of Putin’s War

by Connor Moynihan

Steady-state advocates know that peace is required for a stable and prosperous world. Herman Daly said, “It is hard to imagine a steady state economy without peace; it is hard to imagine peace in a full world without a steady state economy.” Brian Czech emphasized succinctly, “Peace is a steady state economy.” And peace campaigners have long connected their goals to the environment.


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,


A Steady State Economy is for the Birds

by Kate McFarland

Wind turbines kill birds.

This is not a fiction devised by the fossil fuel industry. It is an observable fact.

Ask, for instance, the dozens of birders who ventured to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides for a glimpse of a white-throated needletail, the first sighting of the species in Britain in 22 years. Like other swifts, the white-throated needletail is an adroit flier, catching insects on the wing and even mating during flight.


“Limits to Growth”: A Game for Elementary School and Summer Camp

by Kayla Downs

I spend my summers working at a summer camp in Upstate New York. For a reason unbeknownst to me this past summer, my campers became obsessed with the song “Let It Grow” from The Lorax. They asked me to play it constantly, knew all the words, and loved to sing along. I didn’t realize how relevant it would become to my own life and work.


Paying Taxes with Trophic Money: Watch Out for Environmental Backfires

by Brian Czech

I didn’t set out to coin a phrase, but “trophic money” will be far handier than “money derived pursuant to the trophic theory of money.” The trophic theory of money is that money originates via the agricultural surplus that frees the hands for the division of labor into all the other economic activities, most basically manufacturing and services. It’s a theory of money that reflects not only the trophic structure of the economy—with manufacturing and services built upon a base of agriculture and extraction—but the fact that money is meaningless unless we have an agricultural surplus at the trophic base.


A Life on Our Planet: A Tentative Step Toward Mainstream Steady Statesmanship

by James MacGregor Palmer

Sir David Attenborough is nothing short of a national treasure in the UK. The 93-year-old nature broadcaster’s lyrical but soft-spoken narration is instantly recognizable, providing the backdrop for many Britons’ most vivid on-screen encounters with the natural world.

Attenborough’s career has spanned well over half a century, bringing the world’s wildlife to our screens. While initially his focus was merely on bringing viewers a taste of the planet’s brilliant biodiversity,


Fair Incomes for a Healthy Future: The Sustainable Salaries Act

by Ashfia Khan

To achieve sustainability in the USA and generally, it is crucial that we narrow the income gap between the highest and lowest earners. An equitable distribution of income is a prerequisite of social and environmental sustainability. It’s not just about sustainability, either—it’s about fairness, too.

People tend to be happier and healthier in societies where there is a more equitable distribution of wealth, as well as more likely to receive higher education and have a longer life expectancy.


Wildlife on the Way Out While the World Wildlife Fund Lays a Policy Egg

by Brian Czech

It’s been awhile since wildlife—not just a species here or there but wildlife at large—has been front and center in the news. Usually the biggest environmental news pertains to climate change at the global level, or local pollution problems such as lead in the water pipes. “Biodiversity” gained traction as an issue in the 1990s, but seems to have slipped off the public’s radar. (When’s the last time you saw it in a prominent newspaper headline?)

“Wildlife,” on the other hand,


Uncommon Sense—The Foreword

by Brian Czech

Editor’s Note: This foreword is an excerpt from the Steady State Press’ forthcoming book, Uncommon Sense: Shortcomings of the Human Mind for Handling Big-Picture, Long-Term Challenges by Peter Seidel. Preorder a copy now.

I first encountered Peter Seidel at a Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Wisconsin. Or perhaps it was a conference of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics in New York.