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It’s the GDP-obsessed growth model, many reformers argue, that’s leading us to perdition. They decry the irresponsibility of a relatively few taking more than their share, who are profligate with the earth’s dwindling resources. Certainly this “we’ve hit the limits” framing rings true, for, inarguably, human societies have exceeded the limits of destruction, depletion, and disruption our planet can sustain without massive human and nonhuman loss and suffering.
But is there a more effective way of understanding the roots of our predicament?
Here’s a possibility.
Let’s start with findings from neuroscience and psychology that offer significant clues about how we got into this mess: Humans beings, it turns out, don’t see the world as it is. “It is theory which...
Approximately three billion persons around the world eat daily meals cooked with fuel consisting of wood, twigs, agricultural waste, animal dung, and charcoal. They cook in diverse ways with diverse foods in diverse pots across many cultures, often on three-stone fires. A three-stone fire refers to three stones placed on the ground, supporting a pot under which a fire is lighted. Cooking with these traditional cookstoves is mostly inefficient and grossly polluting. Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires causes four million premature deaths annually (eight per minute), and is the largest environmental threat to health in the world today, measured in disability-adjusted life years.1 Women and newborn infants kept close to them are at the greatest risk, as the women...