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The Seeds: Growing Ideas into Impact

Jun 30, 2019

John Barry is a Professor at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, an author, and a former politician in Ireland’s Green Party. On this episode, we discuss the age of the Anthropocene, a term used to describe the geological epoch in which humans have become the major force determining the continuing livability of the Earth, whether a free market economy can achieve environmental goals, and how human development and poverty alleviation are connected to decarbonization and combatting climate breakdown.

Barry also speaks to the importance of governance and a radical shift away from a consumerist capital culture driven by a carbon economy, which is also the subject of his book. Although I am clearly a proponent of sustainable technology and innovation, this conversation made it very clear to me that along with general greening, we need to change our ideas, especially in the United States, around what progress, development, and the “good life,” mean.


Book recommendations:

The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainably: Human Flourishing in a Climate-Changed, Carbon-Constrained World, John Barry

Hope for the Hopeless, Vaclav Havel


#Green political theory

#Political economy of sustainability

#Environmental and sustainable developmental politics

#Environmental ethics

#Transition to a low-carbon/renewable energy economy