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Economics for Rebels

English, Sciences, 3 seasons, 56 episodes, 1 day, 14 hours, 11 minutes
The world is on fire. We have to radically and rapidly transform every aspect of society to stay within 1.5 degrees of global warming. How is this possible? And how do we do this in a way that is fair? Ecological economists integrating ecological and critical social perspectives have long been working on ideas to bring about just sustainability transformations. This podcast aims at communicating these ideas in order to open them to critical discussion, from global problems to people’s everyday lives.
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The media's critical role in radical change - Nick Romeo

In our current attention economy, it is of vital importance how alternative economic solutions are being presented in the media by the most credible players. Any ecological economist would tell that mainstream media covers almost exclusively mainstream economic thinking significantly contributing to upholding a paradigm that needs to be transformed for people and planet. Today’s guest, Nick Romeo, a journalist with a predisposition to embrace heterodox economic thought explains us why that might be the case and what it takes to change that.
6/2/202438 minutes, 24 seconds
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Doughnut economics special: Part 2 - Doing the Doughnut in the real world

Today we’re very excited to have the Doughnut Economics Action Lab team on for Part 2 of our Doughnut economics special, building on our interview with Kate Raworth and now looking at doing the doughnut in the real world. We’re delighted to be joined by Leonora Grcheva who leads DEAL’s engagement with Cities and Regions, and Rob Shorter who leads DEAL’s work with communities. Hosted by Sophus zu Ermgassen. Edited by Aidan Knox.
5/13/202447 minutes, 5 seconds
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Doughnut economics special: Part 1 – Kate Raworth

We welcome Doughnut economics legend Kate Raworth onto the show. Kate talks us through the successes and challenges facing the adoption of doughnut economics over the last seven years, gives advice on how to better communicate the ideas of ecological economics, and gives her take on the key public policies for getting us closer to a life within the doughnut. Hosted by Sophus zu Ermgassen. Edited by Aidan Knox.
4/29/202448 minutes, 13 seconds
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Can we feed the world through sustainable means? - Pablo Tittonell

It is often argued that it was market-based capitalism that made agriculture so efficient that it enabled the eradication of hunger globally. This claim is shadowed by the incredible environmental degradation that was caused by industrial agriculture in the last centuries. Hence, due demand arises that we should keep the world fed through sustainable means. Our guest today, Pablo Tittonell claims that this is possible through agroecology where we combine agricultural and ecological knowledge to create food while taking care of nature’s amazingly creative and generous provisioning and regenerative systems. Hosted by Alexandra Köves. Edited by Aidan Knox.
4/7/202444 minutes, 17 seconds
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Holding Big Oil responsible through climate litigation

Ecological economists need to pull all sorts of leverage points to enable a just future in which the economy flourishes within planetary boundaries. One of the leverage points that is receiving increasing attention is climate and nature litigation. But what do we as community need to know about climate litigation, historical responsibility for climate change, and how litigation works in practice? We welcome Dr Benjamin Franta onto the show to discuss all things related to climate litigation. Ben is the founder and director of the climate litigation lab at the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Hosted by Sophus zu Ermgassen. Edited by Aidan Knox.
3/25/202441 minutes, 34 seconds
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Addicted to Growth - Robert Costanza

Today’s guest, Robert Costanza is hardly unknown to anyone who is vaguely familiar with ecological economics. While we could fill entire seasons discussing the topics he has covered in his works, in this episode we are discussing his latest book: Addicted to Growth: Societal Therapy for a Sustainable Wellbeing Future where he applies the analogy of addiction to our contemporary problems. Humanity is addicted to economic growth and like true addicts, even if we accept that it is ruining us by fuelling climate change, mass extinction and a wide range of social crises, we don’t want to quit. With today’s guest, we discuss if and how we can find the appropriate therapy to collectively come off the substance. Hosted by Alexandra Köves. Edited by Aidan Knox.
3/11/202439 minutes, 42 seconds
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Employment and work in a postgrowth world - Ben Gallant

Some key mainstream critiques of postgrowth economics revolve around labour, and what the labour market would look like in a postgrowth economy, with the common perception being that economic contraction tends to be associated with unemployment, and therefore that a postgrowth economy is socially unsustainable. But, if we are to transition to a postgrowth world for ecological reasons or because of secular stagnation, ecological economics needs to present a compelling story about what people’s jobs and lives could look like in this world. This episode’s guest Dr Ben Gallant is an expert in understanding and modelling postgrowth futures for the labour force, here to guide us through what employment in a postgrowth economy could look like. Hosted by Sophus zu Ermgassen. Edited by Aidan Knox.
2/26/202439 minutes, 24 seconds
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Fooling ourselves while burning our trees? - Mary Booth

Over the last decades, burning wood for energy has expanded in the EU, as have proposals for implementing Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The origins of this questionable boom can be found in accounting loopholes, which allow burning woody biomass to be classed as carbon neutral and BECCS as carbon negative. Based on these loopholes and large lobby power, (woody) biomass has received generous subsidies and been counted towards renewable energy targets in the EU. A large international supply chain has developed, with wood pellets being shipped all the way from forests in the U.S. Southeast to generate energy in the EU. In this episode, we discuss all these issues with ecologist Dr. Mary Booth, founder and director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI). PFPI is a small non-profit organisation in the US working on forest biomass, energy, and climate issues. Hosted by Matilda Susan Gettins. Edited by Aidan Knox.
2/14/202438 minutes, 55 seconds
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Where can science and policy making meet? - Eszter Kelemen

When it comes to environmental issues, it is crucial that policymakers rely on scientific evidence, while scientists become conscious of how important it is to provide relevant and comprehensive information on their work to policymakers. In our ambiguous post-truth world, this is no trivial challenge. Today’s guest, Eszter Kelemen tells us about the current state of affairs in science-policy interface and the challenges that this encumbered liaison poses not just to both sides but to environmental policy-making in general. Hosted by Alexandra Köves. Edited by Aidan Knox.
1/11/202433 minutes, 13 seconds
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Biosphere defenders - Claudia Ituarte-Lima

Ecological economics has a long tradition of disputing the mainstream economic view that people’s concern for the environment scales with income, and that it’s a luxury good. The main counterargument is the widespread evidence on environmental justice conflicts, encapsulated by what Joan Martinez-Alier called the ‘environmentalism of the poor’. Today, we focus on the role and importance of people working on the front lines of environmental degradation – biosphere defenders. Our guest today is Dr Claudia Ituarte-Lima. Hosted by Sophus zu Ermgassen. Edited by Aidan Knox.
12/20/202343 minutes, 45 seconds
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Trading irresponsibility: turning environmental policies into gambling casinos - Frederic Hache

When we say, “Money cannot buy conscience”, in today’s economy, we could not be further from the truth. Our current economy can turn absolutely anything into financial assets. Even irresponsible behaviour. A company that is incapable of reducing its carbon emission can just buy carbon credits and continue business-as-usual. Another that is about to ruin a habitat can offset its wrongdoing by paying money to someone else to save another habitat somewhere else. While these solutions may make bad behaviour slightly more costly, they do not stop them. Moreover, they contribute significantly to neocolonialism. Today’s guest, Frederic Hache explains us how these nature markets work and how they turn environmental policies into gambling casinos.
12/5/202335 minutes, 3 seconds
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Should countries pay for their climate debt?

There are huge inequalities in the world when it comes to releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Some countries have disproportionately contributed to the climate crisis and keep aggravating their climate debt. In the language of climate coloniality, these countries could owe reparation payments to low-emitting nations. But can we calculate who owes whom how much? And should we calculate it? Today’s guest, Andrew Fanning together with Jason Hickel recently published a paper aiming to answer these questions. Hosted by Alexandra Köves. Edited by Aidan Knox.
11/15/202338 minutes, 11 seconds
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Why will technology not save our souls? – Timothée Parrique

The myth of green growth surrounds us wherever we look. Eco-modernisation’s promise that technological fixes will provide us with the efficiency we need to decouple environmental burdens from economic growth suggests that business-as-usual can continue. Today’s guest Timothée Parrique is the best to explain why this is not happening and why relying solely on technological solutions is like betting on green zero in roulette. Hosted by Alexandra Köves. Edited by Aidan Knox.
10/30/202349 minutes, 4 seconds
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How governments can develop the capabilities to solve the 21st century’s sustainability challenges - Rosie Collington

There’s a long history of states solving major social challenges through ambitious and mission-driven public policy, such as getting a person on the moon, or the foundation of the UK’s national health service. But the last few decades have seen declines in the ambition and entrepreneurship of the state, at a time when global sustainability challenges have called for more and better leadership. How did this happen, why is this a problem for implementing policies consistent with the goals of ecological economics, and what can we do about it? In this episode we discuss these themes with Rosie Collington, the author alongside Prof Mariana Mazzucato of The Big Con: How the Consulting Industry Weakens our Businesses, Infantilizes our Governments and Warps our Economies. Rosie is a political economist at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL, studying how governments can develop the ability to govern socio-economic transformations. Hosted by Sophus zu Ermgassen. Edited by Aidan Knox.
10/17/202338 minutes, 17 seconds
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Can a sustainability transition do justice to the Global South? – Roland Ngam

The world as we know it now is built on a history of colonisation and even today massive parts of the world are being economically and culturally colonised. Our guest today, Roland Nkwain Ngam believes that hegemonic capitalism is both the creator and consequence of the brutal exploitation of black, brown and white bodies, women’s backs, nature and all the commons that we were all meant to enjoy equally. As the ecological crisis we are witnessing today is a direct consequence of hegemonic capitalism, we need ways to overcome it in a manner that it repairs rather than deepens these injustices. But can it be done? And if yes, how? Hosted by Alexandra Köves. Edited by Aidan Knox.
10/1/202342 minutes, 4 seconds
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Compensating for losses: what you need to know about biodiversity offsetting – Sophus zu Ermgassen

Currently markets determine most of what happens around us. But markets have no morals: everything is up for grabs. If you have the money, you can turn wetlands, forests, or any other biodiversity rich areas into mono-cultural agricultural lands, human habitats, or mines in the name of development. But can we and should we compensate this by making the developers pay for biodiversity conservation somewhere else? This is the central question around biodiversity offsetting and in his research, Sophus zu Ermgassen has been keen to understand if it is possible to design nature markets in a way that satisfies both ecological and financial objectives, and if not, what the alternative is. Sophus co-hosted Season 2 of Economics for Rebels and has asked his guests many exciting questions. In this opening episode to Season 3 we get to hear Sophus also as a guest. Edited by Aidan Knox.
9/18/202337 minutes, 46 seconds