Podcasts from the perspective of an alien anthropologist


January 28, 2017 143 mins

Though we often think the modern culture of consumerism is an export from United States and a product of capitalism, people long before today’s era were enjoying the benefit of soft shoes, beautiful cloth and exceptional goods. Acquisition has been an important part of community and identity, essential to societies even though only recently so […]

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Companies like Twitter can make billions of dollars in revenue while providing a widely used service and still be considered a financial failure. Though today's digital technologies provide new innovations that reorganize daily life, can the digital economy expand forever? Will our most promising tech ever reach its potential in an economy pushing for growth […]

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September 5, 2016 115 mins

After years of mediocre negotiations on an international agreement to limit future climate change, it is easy to be cynical about the viability of a global strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. What do these large conferences really mean for the future of the planet? Our correspondent reports back from the December 2015 COP21 meeting […]

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Digital communication technologies hold the possibility of re-orienting the way we exchange value and think about money. Do digital currencies like Bitcoin have the ability to change the global economic order? Can machine learning, automation, and cryptocurrencies unleash exponential innovations that unseat the financial institutions at the top of the monetary pyramid? In Extraenvironmentalist #92 we first […]

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March 21, 2016 132 mins

The common political conversation about our shared economic future focuses on achieving an escape velocity where the post-war growth boom can return as usual. While years of lackluster economic performance mount, a rapidly growing global economy is still discussed like it is readily just over the horizon. Can the factors creating a slower growth world […]

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December 22, 2015 110 mins

In our highly connected world of cell phones, ever expanding inboxes and regular social media updates, it is easy to be constantly immersed in the rich and dynamic worlds created by our technologies. While the internet gives us so much, it also changes our social relationships and mental environment in many subtle ways that can […]

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In this Autumn 2015 Interlude of The Extraenvironmentalist we talk about research on how ancient humans perceived sounds with Steve Waller on rock art acoustics and Miriam Kolar about her archaeoacoustic research at Chavín de Huantar.   // Music (in order of appearance) St. Germain - Forget Me Not Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm - […]

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We're launching The Energy Transition Show with Chris Nelder - the first show on our forthcoming podcast network! This is the only episode we'll place in our Extraenvironmentalist podcast feed so please go to http://energytransitionshow.com/ to subscribe. Episode #0 features the conversation we had with Chris in XE #89 on how global macro trends are […]

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September 16, 2015 115 mins

Today's textbook notions of business were developed during an unprecedented global economic expansion - a cultural condition that faces diminishing returns in today’s world. Can we build enterprises for a post-growth future that thrive among challenges of the next century? By reversing the process that privatizes profits, would unsustainable trends and drivers of inequality be […]


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August 17, 2015 114 mins

Our governments, businesses and economic institutions were built on a society that was supercharged with fossil fuels to get as big as possible as fast as possible. Now, with the challenges of the 21st century, resilience is a more appropriate principle for reinventing and reorganizing our economic life. Is it possible to develop economic and […]

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Usually we think of permaculture as a system for land and food, where humans work with the flows and systems of nature. Can we also apply permaculture to societies? To our justice or education systems? Can we reorganize our civilization to live on yield rather than the principle before depleting our most important stocks? In […]

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The soil of our food system provides the roots of our culture. Without soil, our modern lifestyle would cease to exist. As climate change accelerates rates of soil erosion, will the global population be left as a stranded asset? As we fail to describe the real cost of cheap food through our vocabulary and economics, and […]

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April 14, 2015 142 mins

Our 20th century food system has created a global market for cheaply priced commodities of corn, wheat, soybeans and rice. We pump a plethora of food from the earth, in the same way we pump barrels of oil. A vision of never-ending technological progress frames the creation of genetically modified organisms in an attempt to […]

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March 3, 2015 118 mins

Our industrial system of agriculture and an integrated global marketplace has created an abundance of available food for those in wealthy nations. Cheaply priced produce and meat shows up in our supermarkets and restaurants with rarely any concern. Values of efficiency and synchronized just-in-time deliveries have been served by a philosophy of capital-intensive financing for […]


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The degrowth movement seeks to decolonize a cultural imaginary that is currently directed to expand the scale and scope of a materially extractive economy. Through adopting strategies like voluntary simplicity and convivial activities, degrowth advocates aim to create an economic system that is compatible with the biosphere. Are the ideas and concepts of degrowth ready […]

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September 28, 2014 69 mins

The degrowth movement seeks to redefine a cultural imagination focused on expanding the scale and scope of a materially extractive economy. Through adopting strategies like voluntary simplicity and convivial activities, degrowth advocates aim to create an economic system that is compatible with the biosphere. Are the ideas and concepts of degrowth ready for a wider […]

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September 2, 2014 126 mins

With its empire in decline, the United States is no longer the world's dominant superpower. Stuck in the idea of international control, it continues to maintain military reach at the expense of long-term economic health. Will the people of the US empire be able to regain democratic control over their communities as the political system fails? John Michael Greer returns […]

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August 5, 2014 78 mins

Though death is an inevitable part of life, do we really act as if we know we're going to die? In a culture that glorifies youth and technology, the true acknowledgement of death can come as an affront to our perceived ability to negotiate with limits. Can we each acknowledge the role of death in […]

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Over the last hundred years, the international money system has unraveled every few decades with surprising regularity. With the current US-based system reaching the end of its useful life for newly rising economic powers, will campaigns of financial warfare push countries to abandon the dollar denominated financial regime? How does human nature and behavioral psychology […]


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With emerging and innovative methods for distributing information and the means of education, we're still embedded in the relationships created in the 20th century. Can our societies distribute knowledge to enable healthy forms of production and consumption as a template for a decentralized and equitable post-growth economy? On Extraenvironmentalist #78 we discuss the FLOK Society Project with Michel Bauwens of […]

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