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Prof. Venus Bivar on the Impact of Economic Growth

With climate change a hot topic these days (some would say it's getting hotter every year), Trinity's Adult Education series led to a very compelling presentation and discussion.

Assistant Professor of History at Washington University Venus Bivar gave a presentation focused on the European industrial revolution, and the cycle of “growth” that our American society has grown accustomed to since then. Economic growth became inseparable from fossil fuel consumption, which became inseparable from climate change.

While scientists are warning us of the effects, Professor Bivar pointed out that the social climate surrounding consumption has yet to really shift towards reducing & re-using, in addition to recycling. Trinity congregants asked questions and brought ideas forward to try and better understand this issue.

This was a fascinating presentation, and we hope you enjoy!

Update: Professor Bivar has sent on some recommendations for people interested in learning more about the politics of climate change and economic development…

Tim Jackson, Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (London: Earthscan, 2009)Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014)Stiglitz, Sen, and Fitoussi, Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn't Add Up (New York: New Press, 2010)Robert Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War (Princeton, 2017)

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