James Gustave Speth

James Gustave Speth

James Gustave Speth is former Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and author of several books on America’s future at Yale University Press.  He was co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Resources Institute and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Next System Project. During the Carter Administration he served as Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.

Articles by this author

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Friday, March 29, 2019
A People’s State of the Nation
With Democratic candidates for president coming forward and progressives nationwide defining the agenda ahead, this is a good time to look hard at where we are as a country. Abraham Lincoln put it best: “If we could first know where we are… we could better judge what to do and how to do it.” So...
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Friday, June 05, 2015
Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions: Time to Talk About the Next System
The following essay first appeared at The Leap , the recently launched blog for the This Changes Everything project: If you’re reading this, chances are you already know that we’re facing a profound crisis. It is a crisis that encompasses almost all aspects of national and international life. We...
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Thursday, April 02, 2015
It's Time to Get Serious About Systemic Solutions to Systemic Problems
It's getting harder and harder to be an optimist. A deep economic crisis has given way to a profoundly unequal recovery. Climate catastrophe is steadily unfolding across the globe. And the work of building a racially inclusive society appears to be stalled -- indeed, in many areas, to be losing...
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Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Growth Fetish: Five Reasons Why Prioritizing Growth Is Bad Policy
Not much in our society is more faithfully followed than economic growth. Its movements are constantly monitored, measured to the decimal place, deplored or praised, diagnosed as weak or judged healthy and vigorous. Newspapers, magazines, and cable channels report regularly on it. It is examined at all levels -- global, national, and corporate.
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Friday, March 29, 2013
Labor and Environmental Leaders Move Beyond Differences to a Common Vision
During our many decades of work in the labor and environmental movements, there have been many battles that led to tensions between our communities. The Keystone Pipeline is only the most recent example.
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Sunday, September 30, 2012
Manifesto for a Post-Growth Economy
YES!
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Monday, September 10, 2012
America the Possible: Breaking the Chains of Consumerism
The following is an excerpt from the recently published America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012) .
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Sunday, June 17, 2012
For Rio+20: A Charter for a New Economy
The overarching goal at the upcoming Rio+20 summit must be achieving sustainable prosperity for all. Within this broad objective, the subject is bracketed, if you will, by two of the greatest challenges faced by the international community: the greatest social challenge, world poverty, and the...
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Thursday, March 01, 2012
America the Possible: A Manifesto, Part I
[This is an excerpt from America the Possible: A Manifesto, Part I in the March/April 2012 issue of Orion magazine.]
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Monday, September 12, 2011
Beyond Growth: Creating a Unified Progressive Politics
The U.S. political economy is failing across a broad front – environmental, social, economical, and political. Deep, systemic change is needed to transition to a new economy, one where the acknowledged priority is to sustain human and natural communities. Policies are available to effect this transformation and to temper economic growth and consumerism while simultaneously improving social well-being and quality of life, but a new politics involving a coalescence of progressive communities is needed to realize these policies.
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