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Crazy Town
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101
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.
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How have humans become powerful enough to disrupt the world's climate, trigger the sixth mass extinction, and cause serious harm to the biosphere? And with all the abilities and technologies we've accrued, why do we so often oppress instead of uplift one another? Join us as we explore the hidden driver behind the converging crises of the 21st century. It all comes down to power - our pursuit of it, overuse of it, and abuse of it. Learn how different forms of power arose, what they mean for u ...
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LaUra Schmidt visits Crazy Town to discuss her work with the Good Grief Network and her book, How to Live in a Chaotic Climate: 10 Steps to Reconnect with Ourselves, Our Communities, and Our Planet. Along the way, she shares wisdom and insights on courage, taking meaningful action, terror management theory, and practices for processing the strong e…
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Asher, Jason, and Rob reflect on 2023 – a year filled to the brim with Crazy Townisms like the COP climate conference being held in Dubai, an anti-aging nutbag who parasitizes his own son, and the hijinks of the world’s dumbest billionaires. After a few predictions (all with money-back guarantees), they turn to some personal resolutions that might …
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The most vomit-inducing document of 2023 has to be the "Techno-Optimist Manifesto," written (oh so obviously) by a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Join Jason, Rob, and Asher if you feel like sharing in some outrage and learning about a WAY better manifesto that just so happens to focus on the world's smallest monkeys. Warning: This p…
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Investigative journalist Leah Sottile writes articles teeming with insights, and she produces and hosts podcasts filled with ah-ha moments. Rob tries not to sound like too much of a fanboy as he interviews Leah about political extremism, environmentalism, and the craft of storytelling during the Great Unraveling. Resources: Leah's website Leah's Su…
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Just how much has the extractivist growth mindset come to dominate Phoenix and other cities in the desert Southwest of the United States? Prepare to turn your indignation meter up to 11 as Jason, Rob, and Asher consider desalination, pipelines, and the folly of pursuing infinite growth in a dry climate. Support the show…
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We are pleased to share the new podcast from Post Carbon Institute, Holding the Fire. Award-winning journalist and author Dahr Jamail hosts in-depth interviews with leaders from around the world to uncover Indigenous ways of reckoning with environmental and societal breakdown. Support the showBy Post Carbon Institute: Sustainability, Climate, Collapse, and Dark Humor
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Wildlife ecologist and communicator extraordinaire Rae Wynn-Grant visits Crazy Town to talk human-wildlife interactions, the social side of environmentalism, diversity and equity in the sciences, and ideas for young people (don't worry if you're older—the ideas apply to you, too). Rae is the host of the PBS Nature podcast "Going Wild" and will soon…
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What do Saddam Hussein’s information minister and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board have in common? Hint: it starts with a “d,” ends with “enial,” and isn’t just a river in Egypt. A new and virulent strain of climate denial could be called “doomer shaming.” Instead of acknowledging how logical it is to be distressed about the state of the c…
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After hearing a story of woe on the streets of Portland, Oregon, Jason, Rob, and Asher cover the four critical ways of cultivating personal resilience to navigate the Great Unraveling. The report we reference several times is Welcome to the Great Unraveling: Navigating the Polycrisis of Environmental and Social Breakdown. Warning: This podcast occa…
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Asher, Rob, and Jason explore the lessons and dangers of the brotherhood of Phalse Prophets and consider better ways to achieve a sustainable and equitable society. Along the way, they examine how to start a cult, turn the insufferability index on themselves, respond to listener feedback, and repeatedly mispronounce amygdala. Please share this epis…
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Meet Elon Musk, the Muskian mogul who Elon Musks his way to the pinnacle of Muskitude. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from …
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Meet Steve Bannon, the Molotov mixologist who wants to light the world on fire. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our ver…
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Meet Guy McPherson, the extinction enthusiast who undermines legitimate climate concerns by predicting we’re all going to die yesterday. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the…
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Meet Barrett Moore, the bunker-building bullshit artist who helps capitalists survive the apocalypse with beans, bullets, and bravado. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the d…
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How would you like to hang out with Asher, Rob, and Jason (well, virtually anyway)? Your chance is coming up at the fourth annual Crazy Town Hall. The town hall is our most fun event of the year, where you can ask questions, play games, get insider information on the podcast, and share plenty of laughs. It’s a special online event for the most dedi…
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Meet William MacAskill, the puerile professor who helps crypto capitalists justify sociopathy today for a universe of transhuman colonization tomorrow. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prop…
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Meet Mark Jacobson and David Keith, the leading techno-fixologists who overpromise overhyped “solutions” to the climate conundrum. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the defin…
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Meet Stewart Brand and his band of merry dematerialists, the Silicon Valley salesmen who undermined environmentalism with planet-saving fantasies that reek of technofetishism. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of …
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Meet Bill Gates, the philandering philanthropist who attempts to remake the world's operating system in his own image. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-r…
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Meet Tom Friedman, the mustachioed metaphor maven who thinks we can have our cake and listen to it too. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. Warning: This podcast occasionally uses spicy language. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonom…
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Meet Bill Clinton, who converted the Democratic Party into slightly less loathsome neoliberals. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our very own Jason Bradford, PhD. Sources/Links…
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Meet Jack Welch, celebrated wrecker of real jobs and leading light of Wall Street wankers. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our very own Jason Bradford, PhD. Sources/Links/Note…
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Meet Ray Kurzweil, who combines Moore’s Law with nanobots in a faux recipe to cheat death. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our very own Jason Bradford, PhD. Sources/Links/Note…
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Meet Steven Pinker whose denial of limits increases the likelihood of his worst fear: the end of the Enlightenment. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our very own Jason Bradford…
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Meet the unelected leaders of Crazy Town, who keep our collective heads in the sand while the planet burns. Please share this episode to your friends and start a conversation. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our very own Jason Bradford, PhD. Sou…
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Stuart McMillen is a systems thinker disguised as a cartoonist. His long-form comics condense important academic topics into understandable and entertaining works of art. Stuart tackles topics in the fields of ecology, economics, psychology, and sociology. With original drawings, thought-provoking narration, and expertly paced storytelling, he intr…
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First wisdom, then action. Richard Heinberg shares insights from his deep dive into the nature of power and power relationships. He addresses the three main "power tools": money, weapons, and communication technologies with humble and thoughtful advice on how to approach them. You’ll have the chance to contemplate how you might live your most authe…
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Bob Jensen has written a book with Wes Jackson titled An Inconvenient Apocalypse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity. With a title like that, Jason and Bob have lots of heavy ground to cover, including overshoot, the limits to growth, and the cascading environmental and social crises of our times. They conclude that th…
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Asher is joined in Crazy Town by Danielle Celermajer, author and professor at University of Sydney, for a far-ranging conversation about human rights and the more-than-human world. Dany shares how her personal relationship with the Shoah (Holocaust) set her on a path of human rights work and impacted her experience of the devastating Black Summer F…
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Learn how humanity can exercise collective self-restraint to navigate the social and environmental crises of the 21st century. The world is in overshoot. There are too many people consuming too much stuff, and we're facing climate change, biodiversity loss, and immense social inequality. We're currently on a pathway to collapse, but the future does…
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Climate scientist and activist Peter Kalmus returns to Crazy Town, but this time with a green badge of courage. Earlier this year, he locked himself to the entrance of the JP Morgan Chase building in downtown Los Angeles to protest their ongoing investment in the fossil fuel industry. As you would expect, he was arrested for his troubles. It was an…
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Overpopulation, overconsumption, and overexploitation of Earth's resources go way beyond the realm of simple problems with straightforward solutions. Instead, they are dilemmas that require tradeoffs and difficult decisions. To guide such decisions, energy and sustainability expert Richard Heinberg explores big ideas such as the adaptive cycle, res…
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Douglas Rushkoff revisits Crazy Town, where he and Asher discuss why so many billionaires, academic institutions, and "serious" people are drawn to longtermism - the view that our top priority should be ensuring that humanity can spread its wings throughout the physical and virtual universe. What's the suffering of a few billion people in the here …
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As exploitation of fossil fuels powered exponential growth in population and consumption, humanity began running into problems. Serious problems. The existential kind, like the potential for runaway global warming and the onset of the sixth mass extinction. For many problems, a solution exists, but what happens when a selected solution actually gen…
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Over the 19th and 20th centuries physical power, social power, and economies grew explosively. The main cause was humanity’s exploitation of fossil fuels. Sources of oil, coal, and natural gas – a vast underground storehouse of ancient sunlight – provided an almost magical and seemingly unlimited supply of energy to grow more food, provision more p…
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Richard Heinberg, renowned energy and sustainability expert, explores the development of social power – simply defined as the ability to get other people to do something. Whether through money, violence, writing, or other means, humans have devised interesting ways of exerting influence over one another. One major downside, with implications for th…
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In her latest book "Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law," Mary Roach approaches the topic of human-wildlife conflict with entertaining stories, scientific insight, and a healthy dose of wit and humor. There are plenty of animal stories in this episode, from marauding mountain lions to bothersome bears, from macaques who are jerks to gulls who are dick…
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Join renowned energy and sustainability expert, Richard Heinberg, as he describes the flow of power in hunter-gatherer communities of the Pleistocene. As people learned to wield fire, deploy an array of tools, and coordinate actions through increasingly descriptive language, they became more capable of concentrating power. This development produced…
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To understand humanity's relationship with energy and power, and to get a handle on why we're experiencing a polycrisis of climate change, social inequality, and loss of biodiversity, you have to go back to the beginning – all the way back to the origins of life on Earth. Explore how power functions in nature, including predator/prey relationships,…
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Please check out our newest podcast, Power: Limits and Prospects for Human Survival featuring Richard Heinberg. How have humans become powerful enough to disrupt the world's climate, trigger the sixth mass extinction, and cause serious harm to the biosphere? And with all the abilities and technologies we've accrued, why do we so often oppress inste…
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Climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, poverty, and inequality are all symptoms of one overarching problem: the way we humans accumulate and use power. If we want to address this problem and reduce the chances of a chaotic collapse of society, we will have to confront our overuse and abuse of power. But first we'll need to define po…
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How have humans become powerful enough to disrupt the world's climate, trigger the sixth mass extinction, and cause serious harm to the biosphere? And with all the abilities and technologies we've accrued, why do we so often oppress instead of uplift one another? Join us as we explore the hidden driver behind the converging crises of the 21st centu…
  continue reading
 
Taylor Brorby has written one hell of a memoir. It covers many critical topics that come up in Crazy Town, from fracking to civil disobedience to that most inept of policies: aiming for infinite economic growth on a finite planet. Taylor shares both thought-provoking ideas (e.g., the intimidating width of prairies versus the intimidating height of …
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As a follow-up to Episode 61 of the Crazy Town podcast, Noam Chomsky, the well-known linguist, author, and social critic, joins Asher Miller in Crazy Town to discuss the failures and dominance of neoliberalism -- which Chomsky describes as "class war" -- since delivery of the Powell Memo 50 years ago. Chomsky responds to George Monbiot's critique o…
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The astute listener will recognize the trends in population and greenhouse gas emissions over the course of our chronologically arranged episodes on watershed moments in history. Describing these trends in one word: growth. In two words: massive growth! And in three words: What the WTF? In recapping the season and considering what we learned, we hi…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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 …
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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 …
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