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Crazy Town

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Crazy Town

Post Carbon Institute: Sustainability, Climate, Collapse, and Dark Humor

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With equal parts humor and in-depth analysis, Asher, Rob, and Jason safeguard their sanity while probing crazy-making topics like climate change, overshoot, runaway capitalism, and why we’re all deluding ourselves.
 
Our biweekly podcast features provocative discussions and thoughtful exploration of innovations in science, technology, the environment, and everything in between. Our guests include thought-leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, and experts in the global innovation economy.
 
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Talk about cascading consequences: when a few nerds wanted to get high and orchestrated a small exchange of cannabis, they kicked off the age of ecommerce. Now that online shopping and the technology supporting it have ramped up commercialization and supercharged consumerism, we're facing existential crises. Exactly what nefarious internet innovati…
 
Bonus episode: With the recent passing of Hazel Henderson, Vicki Robin revisits her April 2020 interview with Hazel as part of her CoVida Conversation series. This earlier series inspired the What Could Possibly Go Right? podcast. Hazel Henderson (1933-2022), D.Sc. Hon., FRSA, went virtual (her own words) on May 22, 2022, at the age of 89. A prolif…
 
Free trade, private property, and limited government – these policies might seem well-intentioned and even benign. But when a couple of colluding, power-tripping, wealthy blockheads packaged them into a political system that would become known as neoliberalism, it was like putting capitalist exploitation on steroids. Pollution and other environment…
 
Douglas Rushkoff makes a third appearance in our series, sharing his latest thoughts on What Could Possibly Go Right? Listen to his previous interviews in episodes 28 and 52. Douglas Rushkoff is an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age. Rushkoff’s work explores how different technological environments change our relat…
 
For such tame technology, air conditioning really packs a punch when it comes to enabling environmental obscenities, indefensible infrastructure, and shortsighted settlement patterns. In the story of how A/C came to underpin human overshoot, you couldn't make up a better bad guy. Perhaps the most Batmanesque villain we've encountered would make a g…
 
Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD, is the Executive Director of Climate Emergency Fund. She is a clinical psychologist turned climate activist whose work helps people face the truth of the climate emergency and transform their despair into effective action. She founded and directed The Climate Mobilization from 2014-2020, advocating an all-hands-on-deck,…
 
Are shameless product placements keeping you from enjoying your movie-viewing experience? Have you ever felt assaulted by pop-up ads and sidebars while trying to read something on the internet? These are some of the less insidious advertising techniques deployed to manipulate you into buying stuff you never knew you needed. Take a tour through the …
 
Betsy Taylor is president of Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions LLC. For over thirty years, she has built a solid reputation as a philanthropic advisor, social change leader, motivational speaker, and problem solver. For the past four years, Betsy has worked to build the field of regenerative agriculture through grant-making, network development, …
 
Don't you wish we could power daily life on road rage, frustration, and righteous indignation? If that were possible, the U.S. highway system would be the best investment of all time. As it stands, the unintended consequences (e.g., pollution, habitat fragmentation, discrimination, town wrecking, dependency on unsustainable infrastructure, and the …
 
Helaine Olen is an award-winning opinion writer for the Washington Post Opinion section. An expert on money and society with a deep understanding of public policy, she writes, speaks and consults on issues including Social Security, retirement, healthcare, student loans and women’s financial issues. Helaine has appeared on The Daily Show, Frontline…
 
What kind of thinking leads to the unleashing of exotic species on unsuspecting ecosystems? Hint: it's certainly not systems thinking or critical thinking – in fact, thinking may not be involved at all! Learn about three charter members of the Weirdo Hall of Fame who wanted you to eat tasty McHippo bacon burgers for breakfast. Influenced by the ill…
 
Dr. Britt Wray is a Human and Planetary Health Fellow at Stanford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her research focuses on the mental health impacts of the ecological crisis. She is the creator of Gen Dread, the weekly newsletter about “staying sane in the climate crisis” and the author of Generation Dread: Finding…
 
Welcome to the dehumanizing world of scientific management, where business gurus and middle managers view workers as resources, and where a cult-like devotion to productivity has invaded almost all facets of daily life. From fairy tales about strapping steel workers who put CrossFit champions to shame, to the plight of Amazon warehouse workers who …
 
Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a national research and advocacy organization that fights corporate control and works to build thriving, equitable communities. She directs its initiative to decentralize economic power and level the playing field for independent businesses. She has produced many influential re…
 
Back in the day, the World's Fair was a global showcase of innovation and a peerless cultural event where visitors envisioned a neon future filled with technological wonders. These international expos featured miracle inventions and opportunities to explore new ideas, but also on display were useless gizmos, silly stunts (who's ready for a game of …
 
Sarah Crowell is a dancer and choreographer who has taught dance, theater, mindfulness and violence prevention for over 35 years. She founded the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, which was the subject of two documentary films, and won the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award. Sarah has facilitated arts integration, violence prevent…
 
Skyscrapers have sprouted like mushrooms in our urban landscapes. But in an environmentally depleted, energy-pinched era, we need to take a closer look at the downsides of movin' on up to the sky. We especially need to pay attention to embodied energy and all the features required to keep skyscrapers standing: uninterrupted supplies of electricity,…
 
Christina Baldwin is a writer, wanderer, and teacher on the trail of community and story; she is co-founder, with Ann Linnea, of PeerSpirit, Inc. and The Circle Way Process, bringing modern structure and application to the human heritage of circle. Christina is the author of 7 books, including (with Ann) The Circle Way, A Leader in Every Chair; Sto…
 
Welcome to the seductive, but regrettable world of unquestioned positive thinking, where faith healers, BS slingers, pseudoscientists, and get-rich-quick schemers all peddle the same basic message: think positively, and it’ll all work out. The problem: there’s no room for critical thinking and no call to do the hard work of finding real responses t…
 
Stephanie Rearick is the Founder and former Co-Director of the Dane County TimeBank (DCTB) – a 2800-member time exchange, and Creative Director of Mutual Aid Networks, a new type of networked cooperative. In addition to her work in timebanking and growing grassroots-up economic and community regeneration, Rearick is co-owner of Mother Fool’s Coffee…
 
The “tragedy of the commons” is an idea that has so thoroughly seeped into culture and law that it seems normal for people and corporations to own land, water, and even whole ecosystems. But there’s a BIG problem: the “tragedy” part of it has been debunked – it really should be the triumph of the commons. Learn the origin story of privatization and…
 
Nate Hagens is the Director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future (ISEOF), which focuses on educating and preparing society for the coming cultural transition. Allied with leading ecologists, energy experts, politicians, and systems thinkers, ISEOF assembles road-maps and off-ramps for how human societies can adapt to lower throughp…
 
Indigenous rights lawyer, leader, and author Sherri Mitchell describes how the Christian Doctrines of Discovery made their way from 15th-century European religious leaders into the U.S. legal system. She elaborates on how the U.S. government justified centuries of colonization and dispossession of Indigenous lands, with implications for social just…
 
Kristi Nelson, Executive Director of A Network for Grateful Living, is also the author of Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted. Her life’s work in the non-profit sector has focused on leading, inspiring, and strengthening organizations committed to progressive social and spiritual change. Being a long-time sta…
 
In 1493 the most corrupt (and orgy-throwing) pope of all time gave the nod of approval for wealth-seeking Europeans to trample the rest of the world. As seafaring colonizers divvied up the world and justified their actions using the Doctrine of Discovery, the era of land-grabbing imperialism led to outrageous exploitation of Indigenous peoples and …
 
Stephen Dinan is an author, speaker, and the founder and CEO of The Shift Network, an organization that delivers virtual summits, courses, and trainings on spirituality, peace, holistic health, psychology, parenting, enlightened business, shamanism, indigenous wisdom, and sustainability. Stephen helped create and directed the Esalen Institute’s Cen…
 
When greedy power-trippers perpetrate unspeakable acts of exploitation, they often rationalize their loathsome acts after the fact. Such is the case with the Atlantic slave trade. European kidnappers of African people used racism to justify slavery and enforce a shameful system of forced labor and a disgraceful social hierarchy. Learn how the ideas…
 
Hear from our host Vicki Robin in this solo episode, as she reflects on the themes emerging from “What Could Possibly Go Right?”, including: The challenges of cultural scouting and remaining open to seeing the whole picture within “growing social insanity” The limiting nature of polarized thinking, seeing things in binaries, and overgeneralization …
 
Investigative journalist and podcaster Amy Westervelt talks with Asher about the cultural roots of the climate crisis. Their wide-ranging conversation covers many stop-and-make-you-think ideas about sustainability, racial and gender equality, economic systems, the social contract, and philosophy over a long sweep of history. Stick around for the co…
 
Akaya Windwood facilitates transformation. She advises, trains, and consults on how change happens individually, organizationally, and societally. She is on faculty for the Just Economy Institute and is founder of the New Universal, which centers human wisdom in the wisdom of brown womxn. She was President of Rockwood Leadership Institute for many …
 
Michael Jackson had a private zoo with elephants, lions, tigers, orangutans, and more. Michael Vick bankrolled and organized a dog fighting ring. But you don’t have to be named “Michael” to have an exploitative relationship with animals. Going back thousands of years, humans have exhibited a sordid history of abusing animals (and by extension, natu…
 
Peter Lipman is the former (founding) chair of Transition Network and Common Cause Foundation. He also chaired the UK government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change’s Community Energy Contact Group. He’s been a teacher, a co-operative worker, an intellectual property lawyer, and worked at UK charity Sustrans, latterly as external affairs dir…
 
People have a long history of trying to control water, like when the Roman emperor Plumpus Crackus built the Cloaca Maxima (only one of those names is made up) to transfer sewage into the Tiber River. From irrigating fields to building canals to damming waterways to bringing water into our buildings, we've engineered more and more complex ways to t…
 
Helena Norberg-Hodge is a linguist, author, filmmaker, the founder of the international non-profit organization, Local Futures, and the convenor of World Localization Day. A pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement, she has been promoting an economics of personal, social, and ecological well-being for more than thirty years. In addition to authoring h…
 
Sherri Mitchell is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous land and water rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. She was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation (Penawahpskek) and teaches around the world on issues of Indigenous rights, envi…
 
Tim DeChristopher gained international attention (and a 21-month prison sentence) for sabotaging an auction of oil and gas leases on public lands back in 2008, and has supported nonviolent direct climate actions ever since. He joins Asher in Crazy Town to talk about a different kind of sabotage — the destruction of property and infrastructure that …
 
Billy Wimsatt is founder and Executive Director of the Movement Voter Project, an organization that works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government by helping donors – big and small – to support the best and most promising LOCAL community-based organizations in key states – with a focus on youth and communities of color. Billy has…
 
Tami Simon hosts the popular Sounds True podcast, Insights at the Edge, which has been downloaded more than 20 million times. With its guiding principle “to disseminate spiritual wisdom”, Sounds True has grown into a multimedia publisher that has produced over 6,000 titles, has been included twice in the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing compani…
 
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, bestselling author, and a renowned lecturer who has keynoted conferences and led workshops on the impact of commerce upon the environment. Hawken has consulted with governments and corporations throughout the world and has appeared in numerous media including the Today Show, Bill Maher, Larry King, …
 
Jenny Price has written an environmental manifesto that's angry, funny, and short. In it she asks, "Why should I give a frick about Exxon's LEED-certified building?" And goes on to explain that we need to care about what they're doing inside that building. Jenny and Rob rant about green consumerism, the lack of systems thinking, and "regulatory cap…
 
No need to stress during the holidays! The "sponsors" of Crazy Town have all of your consumerist needs covered. This season you could be walking in a warming wonderland, singing the 12 Days of Overshoot, and hanging out with Frosty the Melted Snowman. Act fast, supplies are limited! Support the show (https://www.postcarbon.org/supportcrazytown/)…
 
Toyia T. Taylor is the Founder and Executive Director of We.APP and is a highly sought-after educator and motivational speaker, who has used her voice to inspire audiences nationally and internationally. Toyia has dedicated her life to community service, social justice and performing arts. Her awards have included the Wonder of Women (WOW) Award, t…
 
Pat McCabe (Weyakpa Najin Win, Woman Stands Shining) is a Diné (Navajo) mother, grandmother, activist, artist, writer, ceremonial leader, and international speaker. She is a voice for global peace, and her paintings are created as tools for individual, earth, and global healing. She draws upon the Indigenous sciences of Thriving Life to reframe que…
 
In this podcast, you will hear from Dr. Paul Goering, former VP of Allina Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Services; Kelechi Ubozoh, a mental health consultant, author and advocate; and Dr. Kelly Koerner, CEO of Jaspr Health and Larta Institute alumni company. The following podcast contains sensitive topics that some listeners may find disturb…
 
Since 1967, Dr. Susan Campbell has been a couple’s therapist, relationship coach, speaker, workshop leader, trainer of professional coaches, college professor, certified Radical Honesty trainer, and founding teacher of the Getting Real work. The Getting Real work is a body of communication and awareness practices that foster personal healing and so…
 
Douglas Rushkoff is a prolific author, documentarian, and podcaster with a delightful sense of humor. He joins the gang in Crazy Town to ponder paradoxical questions such as: Why would homes on Miami Beach be selling for millions of dollars if that property were really going to be underwater in a decade? Why would so much of the world be business-a…
 
In Part 2, Dr. Brouwer examines hydrogen and fuel cell global markets/trends, discusses whether existing infrastructure could be used for hydrogen storage and provides policy recommendations for how hydrogen and fuel cell solutions can achieve widespread adoption.By Larta Institute
 
Miki Kashtan is a “practical visionary”, exploring the application of the principles and tools of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to social transformation. She is an author, certified NVC trainer, and co-founder of Bay Area NVC (baynvc.org). Miki teaches and works with organizations, visionary leaders, activists, and others to support the transition…
 
In another solo episode, our host Vicki Robin shares her recent reflections on themes emerging from the “What Could Possibly Go Right?” inquiry, including: The lessons from studying polarization in ourselves and in wider society That “we need to soften the animosity and find cracks where the light comes in”, negotiating and learning so we can work …
 
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