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Love our new show tune in the intro/outro? It’s talented Australian independent artist Melanie Horsnell’s song “Birds”. So proud to support this wonderful Aussie artist and have her grace the show with her wonderful words and song!
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Low Tox Life Food – Now available!
It’s packed with inspiration and stories from regenerative farmers, checklists for what to ask about the produce you buy, ways to afford better choices, as well as 80 of Alexx’s most requested recipes for budget-friendly, easily adaptable meals without waste.
If you want to feel more certain and more hopeful about the future of food and our planet, this book is for you – Order yours today!
And on this week’s show!
In a world where conversations exploring the grey area of big, complex situations is rare, I’m thrilled to bring you this conversation with Professor Maurie Cohen, Professor of Sustainability at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Most recently, Dr. Cohen has been looking at what the global slowdown has meant for the environment and sustainable living, and what it could mean if some of the radical changes in our everyday lifestyles and consumption habits persist long-term. His work and areas of discussion in this interview cover Environmental Social Science, Alternative Mobility Futures, Socio-Technical Transition Management, Sustainability Science, Environmental Policy and Sustainable Consumption. It’s not an easy listen but you aren’t a headline thinker, so let’s dive in and I can’t wait to see what you get out of it.
Questions I asked Maurie:
- As someone who’s studied and is now a professor of sustainability, what have been some of the biggest personal ‘waves of realisation’ in your examination of sustainability… and has anything in your understanding dramatically shifted over the years?
- Sustainability isn’t enough, given if we keep things as they are, we’re still screwed and running out of resources – we need to undo damage and regenerate: what are the major challenges of reducing overall volumes of consumption
- How do we shift from being an economy that runs on more stuff, to an economy that runs on less without sacrificing millions of jobs? Is there even a way to transition?
- Reliance on consumerism: Through circular and recycled product initiatives, we’re seeing ways to slow down consumption/use of resources but is it enough?
- Wars are fought over a lack of resources – can we avoid a war and carve a new path?
- There is a lot of black and white reporting/opinion pieces about something being either 100% good or 100% bad for the environment but most often I’ve always found grey area – let’s take plant-based in good/eating meat is evil, but we then look at regenerative agriculture methods and see rehabbed landscapes teeming with biodiversity and restored water systems and carbon sequestering soil… another example is ‘renewals are the answer’ but renewables currently chomp through tonnes of mining sector resources also aren’t readily recyclable… how do we ensure nuanced discussion can flourish? How do we focus on our overlaps to move forward with positive change instead of fighting between each other about the details to the detriment of our progress?
- And let’s talk about Covid… The impact of COVID-19 on sustainability has felt like two big steps backward after a big step forward in the past decade.
About Professor Maurie Cohen:
Dr. Maurie Cohen is a Professor of Sustainability Studies at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Editor of Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy, Associate Editor of Environmental Innovation and Sustainability Transitions, and co-coordinator of the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production. He is deeply passionate about environmental policy and sustainability and would love to discuss what he has learned throughout his research with you and your listeners.
Most recently, Dr. Cohen has been looking at what the global slowdown has meant for the environment and sustainable living, and what it could mean if some of the radical changes in our everyday lifestyles and consumption habits persist long-term. His work and areas of possible discussion are not limited to this as he is well versed in Environmental Social Science, Alternative Mobility Futures, Socio-Technical Transition Management, Sustainability Science, Environmental Policy and Sustainable Consumption.
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Other helpful links:
You can grab his clear-eyed book “Sustainability” at the Book Depository.
Enjoy the show,