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,


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.


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,


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,


Prospects for 负增长 Toward a Steady State Economy in China

by Yiran Cheng

China, as the world’s second-largest economy and a rising superpower, is an integral part of the discussion if a steady state economy is ever to be achieved at a global scale. China’s environmental impact grows by the day, yet serious consideration about intentionally slowing economic growth has seldom occurred, let alone the possibility of a sustained 负增长, the Mandarin translation of “degrowth”.

This is not to say China is oblivious to its environmental toll.


Next Big Thing or Next Big Mistake?

by Brian Snyder

In a 2021 landmark of ludicrousness, Jeff Bezos launched himself, cowboy hat and all, into space aboard a phallus-shaped rocket. But Bezos’ fruitless attempt to fill that gaping hole in his life was only the latest stupid reason to send something to space. Spaceship stupidity goes back to the SNAPSHOT program which, in 1965, sent a working nuclear reactor into space. Not surprisingly,


Labor Day Reflections: Growth Doesn’t Solve Inequality

by Taylor Lange

Labor Day, like other holidays of remembrance, is an opportunity to reflect on the past and critically consider the future. Our memory ought to include the foot soldiers of the labor movement, from the 10,000 coal miners who fought in the Battle of Blair Mountain to the steel workers who duked it out with the Pinkertons at Homestead mill. We owe our rights as workers to the bitter struggles of many who preceded us.


IPCC Report: Happily Ever After or Miserable Ever More?

by Brian Snyder

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve heard that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released the first section of its sixth report (hereafter, “the report”). The report focuses on the physical science of climate change, and projects the most likely ecological and economic impacts as well as possible mitigation pathways. If you’ve read it—and it is worth reading—you might find that the IPCC has managed once again to walk the line between terrifying and cautious.