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This week, most of the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. As we think about the things we are grateful for - family, food, football, dogs etc. - we don’t often remember to recognize energy’s role in enabling all this. . In this brief video, Nate reflects on all the things which abundant and cheap energy provide for us, especially in the United …
 
On this episode, ecology activist and regenerative agriculture advocate Vandana Shiva joins Nate to discuss how her powerful work has shaped the way she sees the world. From chaining herself to trees to winning against powerful agriculture giants like Monsanto, Vandana shares the many lessons she’s learned in fighting for food systems that are bett…
 
We were reminded this week of how precarious and dangerous the ongoing NATO/Russia situation is. An errant missile in Poland on Tuesday nearly started World War III (thankfully - cooler heads prevailed). The situation in Ukraine is horribly complex - but are people in the USA even paying attention? Many naively believe getting rid of Putin or ‘winn…
 
On this episode, Nate is joined by Sustainability Science and Policy Professor Jon Erickson. He and Nate dive into Jon’s new book The Progress Illusion: Reclaiming our Future from the Fairytale of Economics, which covers the economic myths that have shaped our modern reality. How can we reshape the narrative and shift the paradigm towards different…
 
In the midst of the COP27 in Egypt and one of the warmest Wisconsin Novembers on record, this week’s Frankly is a reflection on the boundaries with which humans use to think about the threat of climate change. The past 26 Climate Conferences have attempted to use the same framing to solve an issue that is both systemic in nature and larger than any…
 
On this episode, petroleum geologist Arthur Berman returns to discuss recent diesel shortages and go into depth on the importance of diesel and the complexity of getting it and other products from a barrel of crude oil. He and Nate also talk about the nuances of the global oil market as it shifts from the effects of the Russian/Ukraine war. Is the …
 
With the upcoming election, citizens of the USA once again align our beliefs and dreams with our ‘favored’’ political party, while often showing disdain and ridicule for the opposition. There is an unspoken hope that if all 3 branches of government are unified (with the right flavor!), the issues that we care about will finally be addressed. In thi…
 
In this episode, Nate is joined by environmental and social activist Betsy Taylor. She and Nate have a wide ranging conversation about climate, consumption, culture, nuclear war, agriculture and the future. How has the environmental movement evolved over the past couple decades and how has it interacted with other social change movements? Why is re…
 
Its nigh Halloween. Monsters (in costume) and revelry. As humans - we each possess a rational, caring ‘Dr. Jekyll’ and an atavistic, emotional, reactive ‘Mr. Hyde’. This brief (15 minute) reflection shows 7 areas of our life where Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde interact and suggests ways for a stable (and more sustainable) integration might occur. For Show …
 
In this fourth installment of conversations with Daniel Schmachtenberger, we dive deeper into the nuances of humans using energy, materials and technology. Human’s ability to develop and use tools is one of our greatest strengths - yet has also led to increasing destruction of the natural world. How does technology intensify the binding effects of …
 
Of all the challenges facing our culture, the fact that humans use social sorting mechanisms to solve physical world problems looms as perhaps the greatest. This Frankly is a reflection on the possibility of sharing a socially unpalatable message to a large percentage of citizens and leaders. Our vertical and horizontal social infrastructure isn’t …
 
On this episode, Nate is joined by Marty Kearns, a civic organizer and networking specialist. He and Marty discuss why both networks and communities will be critical to the coming challenges we face. How will the social ties we form now influence the outcome of power, peace and new social organization? How can we organize ourselves in order to best…
 
Despite the improved standard of living that modern finance has enabled, it has also created an unsustainable economic system rife with systemic risk. Recent trends in debt, monetary inflation, interest rates and U.S. dollar hegemony are accelerating us toward a point of biophysical reckoning when the system can no longer function as intended, and …
 
This week, religious scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker unpacks the entanglement of religion and ecology from an academic perspective. She and Nate discuss what the roots of environmental ethics in religions all over the world look like and how they’ve been evolving in the face of a climate and biodiversity crisis. Could we learn and leverage the uniting p…
 
We are a product of evolutionary processes - certain categories of behaviors made our ancestors more ‘fit’ depending on the environmental/social circumstances in the past. One of these behaviors - ‘spite’ - is when an animal (or human) actively does something against their self-interest as long as it hurts their competitor more. In a post growth wo…
 
On this episode, Nate talks with Ayan Mahamoud, a climate and resilience planner from Djibouti. They discuss the growing challenge the poly-crisis poses for the Global South and how climate change is already creating challenges for people (and animals) in East Africa.In many ways, the discussions in our world are not only energy blind but also blin…
 
Climate change is often described as one of the single most important and existential issues of our time - that there is no greater threat to humanity. While the effects of climate on our ecosystems and wildlife is one of my greatest concerns, it does not tell the whole story. On this weeks Frankly, I highlight (what was in my case) Seven Stages of…
 
On this episode, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Sebastian Heitmann discusses his work in tech innovation towards more sustainable futures. Technology will inherently be a part of any human future - the question is what will this technology be? Sebastian’s work focuses on finding what is termed ‘Gigacorns’ - scalable inventions for low(er) carb…
 
This week’s Frankly is a reflection in response to (and support of) Gerardo Ceballos’ new project Creatures United, launching this week at Stanford University.. The Earth is in the middle of a massive biodiversity and population loss - on the verge of a 6th Mass Extinction. Though most conversations and actions will revolve around the economy, pove…
 
On this episode, Professor of environmental chemistry Martin Sheringer joins Nate. Together, they discuss Sheringer’s most recent paper on PFAS - the ‘forever chemicals, their ubiquity in waterways all over the globe, and their numerous critical health effects. More broadly, they outline the risks and scenarios of plastic pollution to planetary fut…
 
On this segment of Frankly, Nate responds to the predicament of increased use of forests, especially in Europe, for heating fuel in the face of declining availability of Natural Gas and other fossil fuels. Will this be a ‘Terminal Deforestation Event’? What does this mean for the future of climate and accuracy of models? The importance of trees can…
 
On this episode, Author and Professor Douglas Rushkoff joins Nate to discuss how human behavior interacts with technology and how we have arrived at a place with enormous wealth and income inequality just as society is rapidly approaching biophysical limits. Rushkoff unpacks parts of his new book, Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Te…
 
Earlier this week there was a livestream debate highlighting the key points of the Green Growth and DeGrowth perspectives - this week's Frankly adds a 3rd 'growth critical' perspective - that modern society has a metabolism and momentum and will grow - in non-green ways - until we can't. This is a critical third category that should be included in …
 
On this episode, Climate Scientist Steve Vavrus joins Nate to discuss the Arctic and its critical impact on climate science. Why are the effects of warming so extreme in the Arctic, and what are the implications for weather events and average temperatures on the rest of the planet? Do runaway arctic feedback loops mean disaster ‘Blue Ocean’ scenari…
 
On this episode, we meet with legendary financial icon Kiril Sokoloff to take a bird’s eye view of the global energy/financial situation. Why is the financial community so complacent about peak oil and the relationship between increasing energy scale and growth? Can we make predictions about the future by looking back at history? Kiril shares his p…
 
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