Posts


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,


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,


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,


Three Senate Races for Steady Staters to Monitor

by Brian Czech

Election Day is almost upon us. Along with the 435 House seats are thirty-five seats for grabs in the Senate. Our focus here is on the Senate races, given their high-profile candidates, substantial policy stakes, and excellent examples of growthmanship gone amuck (literally, in some agricultural cases).

Candidates fall along a spectrum—theoretically at least—from a degrowth to a pro-growth stance. It’s a “theoretical” spectrum because, at this point in the history of the USA,


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,


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,


A Steady-State Approach to Immigration

by Brian Czech

Steady staters live with the reality that economic growth is unsustainable. It can continue for only so long before Nature will no longer support it. Therefore, we call for stabilization—the steady state economy—rather than growth. In particular, population and per capita consumption must be stabilized. Of the two, population is the most fundamental aspect of stabilizing the economy and its ecological footprint.

The population of a country is determined by births,


Facebook and Its Religion of Growth

by Taylor Lange

There was a time when I dreamt of working at Facebook. I was less intrigued by the software development side than with studying the exchange of information and the cultural evolution occurring through online social networks. One of my research interests is how individuals learn to act cooperatively and acquire new preferences. What better place is there to do that than at the largest online social media platform?

Since joining Facebook in 2009,


Reframing the Debate: It’s the (Steady State) Economy, Stupid

by Brian Czech

May I offer you a pet peeve to chew on? I’m willing to share one for our mutual displeasure.

Here it is: Being told by academics and activists—nary a political expert among them—that “it doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as we’re all after the same thing.” With the possible exception of Donald Trump’s lips, nothing could be further from the truth. If common sense doesn’t suffice to illuminate the importance of name recognition,