“CASSE is a non-profit that I established while I was working for the US government, because I start to get these gag orders that prohibited me from even talking about the conflict between economic growth and environmental protection. By the end of my tour of duty with the government I couldn't speak to anybody even in the halls theoretically about this. And so in 2017, I quit to run CASSE full-time so I would be able to speak truth to power about this.”
Brian Czech, founder of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy, is an ecological economist and former conservation biologist. Brian joined me just after returning from COP15 and, thankfully, says the fallacy of economic growth is finally being discussed at these critical conferences.
On the episode, Brian explains the relationship between economics and the planet’s biosphere before introducing steady state economics, an economic model which prioritises stability and the protection of planetary boundaries. He also describes his time working for the US government, and walks us through the trophic theory which dismantles any techno-utopian argument that we can innovate our way out of the climate crisis and continue to enjoy growth for growth’s sake.
Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it.