Air Date 7/16/2022
JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: Welcome to this episode of the award winning Best of the Left podcast, in which we shall take a look at the problems of overconsumption and some policy solutions for reducing waste through a circular rather than linear approach to the economy. Sources today include TED-Ed, Global News, Good Together, euronews, the PBS NewsHour, the Circular Economy Show, and Andrewism, with additional members only clips from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Circular Economy Show.
Is capitalism actually broken? - TED-Ed - Air Date 11-1-22
GEORGE ZAIDAN: Each one of these machines represents the economic system of a country. Every machine has three inputs: labor (people's work), capital (all the stuff that a business might use, including intangibles, like ideas) and natural resources. The machine converts these inputs into goods and services.
Because we are willing to pay for the things the machine produces, what the machine is really creating here is value. [00:01:00] Economies turn inputs into value.
What determines whether the machine is capitalist, communist, socialist, or something else? Three dials.
The first dial controls who owns the capital. Over here, the government owns every bit of capital, down to the last office paperclip. North Korea is probably the closest economy to 0%. On the other end of the spectrum, at a hundred percent, private citizens own all the capital. The US is about here, at roughly two thirds private ownership.
The second dial dictates how much control the government has over what gets produced. In economies with high coordination, like the old USSR, the government dictated what the economy could and would produce. In economies with low coordination, the government might mandate a few things, but leaves most decision making up to the private sector.
The third dial controls how extensively markets are used to set prices. Over here at 0% we have economies with no markets, where the government sets all prices and consumers [00:02:00] have no say. Over here at a hundred percent, markets are used to set the price of everything, even things like basic life-saving healthcare. You can also think of this dial as controlling the number and extent of government regulations, from tariffs on foreign goods to antitrust laws, to regulations on net neutrality. So capitalism isn't just one type of economy; it's a wide range of possible economies, which makes answering the question of whether capitalism is broken complicated. But we're gonna try.
At the height of the Industrial Revolution, the dials were set pretty close to what we'd now call free market or laissez-faire capitalism. There were very few regulations and economists of the time believed that capitalism's "invisible hand" -- basically individuals acting freely and in their own self-interest -- would produce optimal outcomes, both for the economy and for society.
And that's how we ended up with embalming fluid in milk. In the late 1800s in the United States, food manufacturers put all kinds of cheap [00:03:00] and sometimes dangerous adulterants in food to maximize profits. What they were doing was legal, but of course wrong. There was a public outcry, and in 1906, Congress passed a Pure Food and Drugs Act, setting the stage for the Food and Drug Administration, which watches over the US's food supply to this day.
Now these days, no economy really practices pure, invisible hand capitalism. But some people are increasingly worried that today's threats, like climate change and rising inequality, can't be solved by any capitalist system.
Let's look at climate change first. Capitalist economies incentivize growth. That's created massive demand for the cheapest energy possible, which for a long time was fossil fuels. Burning all those fossil fuels unquestionably drove, and continues to drive, climate change. Not only that, but the desire to maximize profit usually gives corporations a powerful incentive to ignore inconvenient truths. Just like tobacco companies denied the link between cigarettes and cancer, oil and gas companies denied or downplayed climate science for decades.[00:04:00]
Next, inequality. Inequality is complicated enough that we made a whole video about it, but the simple story is in many countries, inequality is rising. In the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland, and Australia, the top 1% of income earners have been eating up a larger and larger share of total income over the past 50 years. In the UK, the top 1% share doubled from 7% in 1980 to 14% in 2014. But that's not the whole picture. In England, the country for which we have the best data before capitalism, the share of income going to the top 5% of income earners peaked at around 40% in 1801. And then as capitalism took hold, it fell steadily to a low of about 17% in 1977. These days it's back up, hovering around 26%. And here's another data point. In many European countries and Japan, the top 1% share of income came down from 20 to 25% in the early 1900s to 7 to 12% today. [00:05:00]
So is capitalism increasing inequality or not? It depends. Remember, there's a wide range of settings that all fall under capitalism, meaning that one country's version can look very different from another's. It's totally possible that inequality could be increasing in China's version of capitalism, while it decreases in France's. Capitalism, it seems, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it generates a huge amount of value, which translates to almost everyone having more money than they otherwise would. On the other hand, it also funnels the biggest chunk of that money into the wallets of relatively few people.
Capitalism's staunches defenders say that with enough grit and determination, anyone can join the ranks of the wealthy. Is that really true? In a free capitalist market, the wealth generated by successful companies mostly flows to the owners, and along with that come other benefits: education, health, social standing, and power. If owners tinker with the machine so that it benefits them more than others, they [00:06:00] create a feedback loop where power and everything that flows with it calcifies within their families. And then you've got basically an aristocracy.
So let's break down the question we started with: is pure invisible hand capitalism with all the dials set to the extremes broken? Yeah. But it's also kind of irrelevant, since no country uses pure capitalism. Is contemporary capitalism as it's practiced in much of the world today broken? Well, it's the major driver of climate change and in many places is contributing to rising inequality, and it may even be creating a defacto aristocracy in certain countries, so... not looking good.
The critical question is, can we fix contemporary capitalism by fiddling with the dials or restricting who can turn them? Or do we need to tear the machine down and build a new one from scratch? And will any of it make a difference?
World Water Day: UN chief warns “vampiric overconsumption” is draining “humanity’s lifeblood” - Global News - Air Date 3-22-23
ANTONIO GUTERRES: Water is humanity's lifeblood -- from the food we eat to the ecosystems and biodiversity that enrich our world; [00:07:00] to the prosperity that sustains nations; to the economic engines of agriculture, manufacturing, and energy generation; to our health, hygiene and survival itself. Water is a human right and the common development denominator to shape a better future.
But water is in deep trouble.
We are draining humanity's lifeblood through empiric overconsumption and unsustainable use, and evaporating it through global eating. We've broken the water cycle, destroyed ecosystems and contaminated groundwater. Nearly three out of four natural disasters are linked to water. One in four people lives without safely managed water services or clean drinking water. And over 1.7 billion people lack basic sanitation.
[00:08:00] Excellencies, dear friends, this is more than a conference on water. It is a conference on today's world seen from the perspective of its most important resource.
This conference must represent a quantum leap in the capacity of member states and international community to recognize and act upon the vital importance of water to our world's sustainability, and as a tool to foster peace and international cooperation. From water as a key driver across economies and policy making, to the recognition of water and sanitation as a human right, from the integration of water and climate policies, to an innovative approach in the use of water in food production, now is the moment for game-changing commitments to bring the water action agenda to life.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: A 2022 study by the University of California-Los Angeles estimated that almost half [00:09:00] of the world's population will suffer severe water stress by 2030. This is a crisis, one that affects people around the globe and one that demands concrete action. That's why I am proud to announce that the United States is committing $49 billion toward equitable climate-resilient water and sanitation investments at home and around the globe. That significant number should demonstrate just how seriously we take water security. These investments will help to create jobs, prevent conflict, safeguard public health, reduce the risk of famine and hunger, and enable us to respond to climate change and natural disasters.
This announcement builds on the first-ever White House action plan on global water security, an innovative and unified approach that brings together US [00:10:00] diplomatic and development tools as well as science and technology to respond to water security around the world.
But let's be clear: the global crisis requires global cooperation. The Security Council must take up the issue of water scarcity, especially because we know that water scarcity exacerbates conflict and disrupt peace and security. Without water, there cannot be food. There cannot be peace. There cannot be life. We must build a future where safe water flows freely to all.
How Our 'Stuff' Problem Impacts the Planet (and the Key to Beating Overconsumption for Good) - Good Together: Ethical, Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Living - Air Date 6-28-23
LAURA ALEXANDER WITTIG - HOST, GOOD TOGETHER: I don't think we are talking enough about consumption and doing it in a more responsible and conscious way. I mean, that's the whole reason we founded this podcast and Brightly. I mean, to me it becomes so much more of an issue when you actually start to think about the impact that you're having on a personal level. And so you, but listeners, you know, we like to throw in statistics just to help, you know, ground you in what we're talking about. [00:11:00] But, in 2022, so last year, US consumers spent $17.4 trillion on goods and services and that spend has almost doubled in 17 years. So, we are accumulating more things and you know, the EPA, we've talked about this statistic before, but I love it cuz it's just staggering in my opinion. Like the EPA says that the average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash every single day. And that's crazy. I mean, like, can you, I'm trying to think like, Nick, what's something that weighs like five pounds that people, is it like, I'm like, how like how much is like a sack of flower weigh?
NICK HUZAR: Maybe one of those. Even the more mind blowing stat is the average American will produce 128,000 pounds in a lifetime.
LAURA ALEXANDER WITTIG - HOST, GOOD TOGETHER: Oh my God.
NICK HUZAR: And that's just one person. So do the math times the number of Americans. And you think about consumption, and what happens to everything? Where does it all go? Right? So I've been interviewing and talking to a lot of recycling companies and waste management [00:12:00] companies, just more or less outta curiosity of, you know, there's still value in this waste stream. And I think the hard part is how do you extract, you know, how do you reuse these things? And so I think that, you know, you're seeing a lot more innovation in this space than we've ever had, which is good. But it is a massive problem.
LAURA ALEXANDER WITTIG - HOST, GOOD TOGETHER: Yeah. And let's talk a little bit about that, because I feel like people who want to still have a lot of stuff oftentimes rely on this sort of happy path that their goods go through when they leave their house, right? So, recycling or Goodwill or, you know, a bunch of various ways to get rid of your things. But ultimately I'm a big believer that, you know, number one, you should. Try and get somebody else to reuse it directly, right? Like using an OfferUp or Buy Nothing or something like that, because that's like a direct impact. But then when we think about recycling, donation, et cetera, like stuff really doesn't end up oftentimes where we think it does. We had a great podcast with a [00:13:00] gentleman who came from a family of, um, garbage collectors, for lack of a better word, for many, many years it was his family business. And, you know, they have just been, they've focused on textiles, but they, he talked for a long time about just how it's not ending up where we think it is. So, I'm curious to know, like in some of these conversations you've been having on StuffTV, what are some things that are jumping out to you?
NICK HUZAR: Yeah, well, I think starting all the way, um, you know, to your house and as consumers. So let's talk about manufacturing for a minute. So, some of the trends, I think, the things that are bubbling up require government and require policy. And so if you look at, uh, I think we all go through this, is, you know, you take your trash and you go, Where then does this even go in? It is so complicated. And you know, the little recycled kind of the sign on there that was never intended to be recycled, uh, recyclable. That, that came about as just a way to label and describe what the products are made of. And then we over time said, Okay, this means certain things. It's [00:14:00] extremely complicated and I think that's where government needs to come in and create more policy, kind of like a traffic light. Like we know no matter what city in America you go to, what a red light means. Why don't we know, why aren't our things labeled in a way that really explains that? And so one challenge is manufacturing is typically done with a large audience or a global audience in mind. But the way we deal with waste is very regionalized, sometimes down to the city level. So where you live versus where I live, chances are they do things differently. And so that creates a macro challenge, it's very different.
So, I have heard that they are going to start to enforce different types of labeling, uh, for manufacturers. And I've also heard they're gonna put some of the burden on manufacturers of what happens with their waste. So a good example would be, you know, in the world today we will produce 500 billion, with a B, plastic water bottles. Coca-Cola is probably a big part of that. So, I think if they're manufacturing that many water bottles, that they [00:15:00] should have some level of liability to say, Okay, how are these disposed?
So I think those are all very good things at a macro level. And then, you know, part of it is just, I think it's challenging to educate consumers on like, oh, you're gonna stand there, you need like a PhD to figure out what goes where. So I think that's part of it is, can we simplify that? Can we put some of the burden on manufacturers and hopefully over, this'll take a while, you know, can we do things at the very, at that spot? Whereas consumers, we put it in the trash. Okay. Because then what happens is then waste management and other places inherit that, but we play a vital role in that. So like if we throw a battery, for example, in our trash, that is catastrophic for a lot of waste management companies that creates fires, explosions, like, you know, so that is bad. You know, how much are we wish cycling? So if we take, uh, you know, plastic and we throw, you know, or we actually take trash and throw it in our recycle bin, well now you just tainted the whole bit. Right? And so, that is a big challenge. But there are some cool things you have to look at it, let step by step and really break it down. So there's companies, for example, that are doing [00:16:00] AI recycling robots. In fact, I had a company called Glacier on the StuffTV podcast recently. And the cool thing about that is, they can go super fast and they can learn and they can create data and you can learn a lot from that. So that is a big challenge in recycling now, is you don't have a lot of very accurate data. And so can we learn from that and understand what are the things that are coming through these plants?
Then the other thing some of these companies are doing is they're starting to understand we have a lot of value here. Why are we just throwing these in landfills? Can we actually do more local recycling? And so, you know, a recent company that I had on was Republic Services. And they're a large waste management company. They have about 17,000 trucks. This gives you an idea how big this company is, and they're trying to partner with companies like Tide to say, Hey, you keep throwing out these, you know, consumers keep throwing out these these bins, but we can actually reuse them in this new center they have called a polymer center. And so now you don't have to ship these goods around the world anymore. You can say, Oh, I'm just gonna get my [00:17:00] supply locally. Which is huge. Which now you're, now you wanna talk about the impacts to the environment, that is a massive, massive change.
How do we create a better economy? - TED-Ed - Air Date 11-29-22
KATE RAWORTH: We live, particularly in the West, particularly the last 150 years, in a society that has a very strong belief that growth is the sign of progress. And to a certain extent, it's true. We love to see our kids grow. We love to see nature growing in spring. Growth is a wonderful, healthy phase of life. But in our economies, it's like we've turned to Peter Pan economics, the economy that never wanted to grow up. It wanted to grow and grow and grow forever, and it becomes this permanent phase. But we already know in our own bodies, in our own lives, that there's another side to this metaphor of growth that we love so much. If I told you my friend had gone to the doctor, and the doctor told her she had a growth, that already feels completely different. Because in the space of [00:18:00] our own bodies, we know that when something tries to grow endlessly within this healthy dynamic living whole, it is a threat to the health of the whole. And we do everything we can to stop it. But when we step into our economies, for some reason, we think that endless growth is progress. And we are now running into severe problems because we are addicted to endless growth.
Simon Kuznets, he was asked in the 1930s by US Congress to come up for the first time with a single number to measure the output of the economy. America could say, Well, we produce so many tons of steel and so many bags of grain, but can we add it all together? So they commissioned him to do this, and he said, Yes, I can. I can add it all together in one number: national income, what we now know as GDP. But he gave it with a caveat. He said, The welfare of a nation can scarcely be known from this number. Don't mix it up with welfare. Right? Because it tells us nothing about the unpaid caring work of parents, tells us nothing about the value that's created in communities, cuz that's not priced, [00:19:00] and it's a measure of the flow of economic value. It tells us nothing about the living world, the forests, the mines that get run down in order to create this value.
But the convenience, the temptation of this single number was so great that politicians sort of tucked it in their armpit and carried right on, and we ended up in a horse race of pursuing GDP growth. The dream is that GDP can keep on increasing. We can have increasing financial returns, but that we can decouple from using Earth's resources, we can use less carbon and less metals and minerals and plastics, and we can use less of the Earth's land surface and separate these two, ever-rising GDP and falling resource use. It's a fabulous dream, would that it would be true.
We are at a time of climate emergency, of ecosystem collapse. We need to radically reduce our use of Earth's resources and we are nowhere close to that. So I offer it as a compass [00:20:00] for 21st Century prosperity and this compass, silly though it sounds, it looks like a donut with the hole in the middle. So imagine, from the center of it, humanity's use of Earth's resources radiating out from the middle of that picture. So in the hole in the middle of the donut, that is the place where people don't have enough resources to meet the essentials of life. It's where people don't have enough food or healthcare or education or housing or gender equality or political voice or access to energy, and we want to leave nobody in that hole. We want to get everybody over a social foundation of wellbeing so all people on this planet can lead lives of dignity and opportunity and community. And in low income countries, it absolutely makes sense, Yes, let's see the economy grow in ways that invest in health and education and transport for all. That was a very 20th Century project. We are in the 21st Century. We have Earth system scientists who started looking at the impact we were having on the climate and the [00:21:00] loss of soils and acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer and the collapse of species. And they said, Hang on, we've been ignoring our planet. In the growing to meet human needs, we have ignored the fact that we are deeply dependent on this delicately balanced living planet. It's the only one we know of out there. And when we use Earth resources in such a way that we begin to push ourselves beyond the living capacities of this planet, we are literally undermining the life supporting systems on which we depend.
So, hang on, just as there's an inner limit of resource use and we call that poverty and deprivation, there's an outer limit of humanity's resource use, that's ecological degradation, and we are breaking down this planet on which we depend. So there you get the donut. You get the inside, which is leave nobody behind in the hole, but don't overshoot the outer ring either. And so the shape of progress has fundamentally changed. It's no longer this ever-rising line up exponential growth that we hear about in the [00:22:00] financial news all the time. It's balance.
To me, a source of real hope is that we deeply understand this at the level of our body to go to the doctor. The doctor will say, Have enough food, but not too much, enough water, oxygen, exercise, sleep, anything you like, have enough, but not too much. We, our health, lies in balance. And if we can take that metaphor from the human body to the planetary body, we give ourselves a cracking chance at understanding the deep interdependence of our world.
Europe’s Circular Economy Action Plan - euronews - Air Date 11-24-20
NARRATOR EURONEWS: The world uses more resources than our planet can sustain. Current levels of global consumption suggest we will need three earths by 2050. The circular economy calls for a different approach: transforming the traditional "take, make, dispose" model, it seeks to create a world where very little goes to waste.
CILLIAN LOHAN: The current linear model of extracting finite resources simply cannot continue. By its very [00:23:00] definition, if you have a limited amount of something that you're continually using and not replenishing in any way, it's going to run out eventually, and there's gonna be none left. So that linear model is unsustainable, and the circular economy is one of the tools that can deal with that problem.
NARRATOR EURONEWS: As part of its green deal strategy to reach climate neutrality by 2050, the EU recently unveiled a new circular economy action plan that aims to redesign the way Europe's economy works, from root to tip.
CILLIAN LOHAN: The new circular economy action plan from the EU sets a really ambitious goal. And the big change that it brings to how we use and consume products, and the big effect it will have, is that it's put a focus on eco design. Critically, whether a component part breaks, or whether the product goes out of style or just isn't wanted anymore, that it still has a life [00:24:00] afterwards. And even if it doesn't have a life as that functioning product, the component parts of that product can be recovered.
NARRATOR EURONEWS: Transitioning the way we manufacture products will be a huge challenge. Many sectors, like the textile and fashion industry, are embedded in the old ways of doing things. Globally, right now, it's estimated less than 1% of all textiles are recycled into new fabrics. Most are burned or sent to landfill. But supporters of change insist it can bring massive business benefits.
CILLIAN LOHAN: The opportunities coming out of the circular economy have to be easy and they have to be easy to implement and easy to be on the receiving end as a consumer. If you are a manufacturing company, for example, and you are incentivized to retain responsibility and ownership of the materials that you're using, then it incentivizes you also to [00:25:00] design those in a way that they're not going to become waste.
The end result of that is that businesses move to a service-based model. It's almost like a leasing arrangement, and that's a fundamental shift in how consumers interact with businesses. And that's already happening in a lot of cases across member states.
NARRATOR EURONEWS: But what about the rest of the world? Even if Europe does manage to transform the way it currently uses resources, will it be enough to spur change elsewhere?
CILLIAN LOHAN: On circular economy I've traveled a lot with it and I found in New York, in Colombia, in Australia, they're all referencing back to what is being done within the EU. So certainly we're setting a good example of best practice that other jurisdictions are watching and are starting to follow.
But secondly, we have trade deals. And in an interconnected, globalized economic system, the trade deals are [00:26:00] now containing elements of circularity in them. Once you introduce that, the impact that the EU countries can have and the EU as a trading block can have on global supply chains is massive.
Amsterdam’s ‘doughnut economy’ puts climate ahead of GDP - PBS NewsHour - Air Date 4-24-21
JAMES VEENHOOFF: So welcome to the Denim clubhouse!
MEGAN THOMPSON: James Veenhoff is taking us for a tour of Denim City. It's a combination workshop, foundation, archive and trade school in Amsterdam, a city with a high concentration of big-name demin brands and denim wearers.
JAMES VEENHOOFF: We wear it to work. We wear it to school, weddings and funerals. We wear denim all the time.
MEGAN THOMPSON: But denim is also one of the most resource-intensive fabrics in the world. Each pair of jeans requires thousands of gallons of water and the use of polluting chemicals to produce.
JAMES VEENHOOFF: Clearly if you use 7,000 liters of water per jean and you are producing about a billion a year that's something that is going to end at some point because there's just not enough water for everybody.
MEGAN THOMPSON: So Veenhoff is experimenting with different ideas like increasing the use of recycled materials.
JAMES VEENHOOFF: This [00:27:00] fabric is made using 20% recycled cotton fiber. This is part of the high tech part. This is cool.
MEGAN THOMPSON: And rather than using gallons upon gallons of water to give jeans that finished look, they are trying lasers instead.
Denim isn't the only industry in Amsterdam focusing more on sustainability. The entire city is in the midst of a massive shift, launched last year. Embracing a radical new economic theory with a catchy name: "doughnut economics."
KATE RAWORTH: This is the shift we need to make if we, humanity, are going to thrive here together this century.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Kate Raworth of Oxford University calls herself a renegade economist. She came up with the model, outlined in her 2017 book, which made waves around the world and was even commended by the Pope.
[to Kate Raworth] What is doughnut economics?
KATE RAWORTH: So doughnut economics, it's not about doughnuts, but it's about the future of humanity. We offer a [00:28:00] doughnut shaped compass for creating the 21st century that we want.
MEGAN THOMPSON: What makes the theory radical is Raworth's assertion that governments need to stop looking at GDP growth as the ultimate measure of success.
KATE RAWORTH: We're getting very, very clear signals from the earth system, from climate breakdown, from ecological breakdown, that the way we are pursuing growth is destroying the living systems on which we depend.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Instead, she says societies should strive to operate within two concentric circles that look like a doughnut. She uses a diagram like this to explain.
The outer ring represents Earth's "ecological ceiling"–limits on damage being done to the planet, including climate change, air pollution and shrinking freshwater supplies. The inner ring represents a "social foundation"–minimum living standards, like having enough food, housing, work, and a political voice. The ring in between, described as "humanity's sweet spot," is the doughnut.
KATE RAWORTH: [00:29:00] So let's leave no one in the hole in the middle. Everybody into this lovely green ring.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Don't we need economic growth in order for economies to survive and provide resources to their citizens?
KATE RAWORTH: What we need are economies that enable people to have good jobs in communities where they reap some of the value that's created. So we need to reorient our economies away from the notion that growth is success, to the notion that thriving that meets the needs of all people within the means of the planet. That's success.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Amsterdam was the first city in the world to formally adopt this model and they did it last April right after the Coronavirus crisis began.
MARIEKE VAN DOORNINCK: … the historical part of Amsterdam with the canals…
MEGAN THOMPSON: Deputy Mayor Marieke Van Doorninck saw it as an opportunity.
MARIEKE VAN DOORNINCK: Actually this is a time where people start thinking about what is really important in life. Maybe money-making isn't the most important. It's about having enough, but not having everything.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Van Doorninck says [00:30:00] Amsterdam is now full speed ahead with the doughnut. Part of that means becoming a so-called "circular city" by 2050.
MARIEKE VAN DOORNINCK: A circular city is a city where we don't have waste. If something is broken we want to have it repaired. If something can't be repaired we want to have the materials that the products are made of, can be reused, but we also want to cut down on consumption as a whole.
MEGAN THOMPSON: In short, reduce, reuse, and recycle. And they want to do it in three key areas: food, consumer goods, and construction. They have come up with a system called "The Monitor" to measure their progress. Among the goals: by 2030 the city must reduce overall consumption by 20% and reduce food waste by 50%. And starting in 2022, all new urban development in Amsterdam must use sustainable materials as much as possible.
For example, on Amsterdam's east side, Beach Island is being built with the doughnut principles in mind. [00:31:00] The city requires construction companies to list a "materials passport", so if the building is ever demolished the building materials can be reused. There will be 8,000 new homes here helping address the city's housing shortage, 40% allocated for social housing, and the homes will be environmentally friendly.
YVONNE VAN SARK: Yeah, I think the doughnut model– yeah, I embrace that. Totally.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Yvonne van Sark lives in another new development on the north side of Amsterdam. A floating community that embraces sustainability.
YVONNE VAN SARK: So we have five entrances to the jetty, but they are all connected. You can just walk through the area, which is really nice.
MEGAN THOMPSON: In all, 46 families live here.
YVONNE VAN SARK: This our house, this is where we live...
MEGAN THOMPSON: Her house like the others was built elsewhere and towed to this site. Van Sark's home is super-insulated with natural straw between the walls and solar panels on the roof.
YVONNE VAN SARK: So we produce our own electricity and we have a smart grid [00:32:00] that shares it among the households.
It's a vacuum, so…
MEGAN THOMPSON: They have special toilets that use much less water. And they contract with a company to share electric cars and bikes.
YVONNE VAN SARK: Some of the techniques we have been piloting, we hope they will become much more spread around the city and around Holland and around the world. Yeah.
JAMES VEENHOOFF: The doughnut model started us thinking and also was a great segway to talking to government.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Back in Denim City, James Veenhoff credits the doughnut with giving government, activists, and business leaders a much needed space to collaborate around shared goals.
Last October, Veenhoff and the City of Amsterdam helped organize some 30 denim-related businesses and organizations to form the "Denim Deal", an agreement to produce 3 billion garments that include 20% recycled materials by 2023.
JAMES VEENHOOFF: Usually jeans people don't really talk to government a lot. They talk about style and street and cool. [00:33:00] But since we have the same intentions it was very easy to align with the City of Amsterdam and the Ministry of Infrastructure to make this happen.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Amsterdamers like Veenhoff are enthusiastic about the Denim Deal and other doughnut-related projects.
KATE RAWORTH: … impact of climate breakdown…
MEGAN THOMPSON: But will they be enough to address the global environmental crisis that Kate Raworth describes?
BRANKO MILANOVIC: It's not an even situation because you can…
MEGAN THOMPSON: No, says economist and income inequality expert Branko Milanovic, one of Kate Raworth's most outspoken critics.
BRANKO MILANOVIC: When it comes to real policy advice, it's very, very weak and it's purely voluntary and there is really no bite in that advice.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Milanovic also thinks Raworth's ideas about limiting global economic growth are unrealistic and would lead to trade-offs the world isn't prepared for.
BRANKO MILANOVIC: The issue is really, if we were to espouse Kate's ideas, that we should not have an increase in the world GDP, that means that we have [00:34:00] to either make rich people become much poorer than they are now, or we will have to keep all the poor people at the very same very low level of income for a very long time.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Are these ideas politically viable?
BRANKO MILANOVIC: Well, I think that they are not viable. And I think that she uses the word, for example, "thriving", that we can keep flourishing and thriving without having higher income. Yes, maybe we could. But maybe also the fact is that many people want to have higher incomes in order to live better.
MEGAN THOMPSON: How realistic is all of this? How do you convince the world's largest economies to get on board?
KATE RAWORTH: Well, I would flip it around, say how realistic is it to keep running economies that think they can grow endlessly while we are visibly, evidently destroying the life supporting systems on which our planet depends?
MEGAN THOMPSON: To help promote her ideas, Raworth launched the Doughnut Economics Action Lab. She says cities including Brussels, Copenhagen, Portland, Philadelphia, and others are reaching out to her to learn how to incorporate the concept of doughnut economics into their long term [00:35:00] plans.
MARIEKE VAN DOORNINCK: It seems like something that a lot of people are waiting for, this idea there is an alternative. There's another way we can arrange our economics that is better for the people and better for the planet. And don't wait for the perfect moment because the perfect moment is now.
Busting the myths of circular design for fashion - The Circular Economy Show Podcast - Air Date 4-11-23
CHLOE ANDERSON: People come to us and they think that circular design is all about recycling. Recycling is one component, so it's very important to consider how we design our garments with recycled material and also how we design for our garments to be recyclable. But it's just one element of a wider story and a wider system. We've talked about already, some of the tools in the book are around systems thinking and actually thinking beyond just the product itself and thinking more about actually all the different elements of the product and how they come together. So, it's not just about recycling. It's much more than that.
PIPPA SHAWLEY - HOST, THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SHOW: That's really interesting because I think it's, there's something around the communication [00:36:00] of what "good" looks like, which I think you've dived into in the book. What is your next myth?
CHLOE ANDERSON: The next myth is all about durability. So, often we get asked or, you know, people really focus on the physical durability of the garment. But actually it's a lot more than that. It's also about the emotional durability. And that means, how do people connect with the garment? How can the garment be used over time? So how can you design a garment that lasts through multiple, multiple seasons? It's not just a seasonal thing, but how can you create in a garment that really lasts the tail of time?
PIPPA SHAWLEY - HOST, THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SHOW: So, you're talking there about the material durability, but also the style. So, not something that's gonna look out of date in a few months time.
CHLOE ANDERSON: Exactly. So, I guess the jumper that I'm wearing today, it's quite a standard, I guess poloneck jumper, black, um, maybe some monochrome [00:37:00] colors, white, a bit of gray. I've had this for years. It actually probably needs some care, but it's something that I think it's really easy to wear, to throw on, it goes with a lot of different things. For me, it's a timeless piece that I would ha quite happily keep in my wardrobe because I know it's easy to go with lots of different things. I know that, I feel like a black poloneck never really goes out of fashion. Might get some alternative opinions about that, but yeah, I think it's something that can last in my wardrobe for a long time and for me it's that emotional connection of, this is something I know I can really easily throw on and it looks good and I maybe look, you know, presentable to other people as well. So, it's something I can connect with quite quickly. And yeah, also for me, it's been durable over the years. I've worn it a lot, but really it's that emotional connection and how I respond to it and being my wardrobe as well.
PIPPA SHAWLEY - HOST, THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SHOW: Yeah. And then I guess bringing it back to your previous point, when it's being designed, it's not just that it's timeless, but eventually, no matter how [00:38:00] well you repair it and look after it, you will need to do something with it afterwards. And that goes back to your previous point, right?
CHLOE ANDERSON: Yeah. So I guess we try to anchor our circular economy for fashion work around our circular economy for fashion vision. So, there's three principles within that. One is "used more". So that's when we're talking about the durability of the garments, so both physical and also emotional. Also, um, there's a massive opportunity within circular business models. So, there's an element of, yes, you have to keep things durable, but how do you keep them in the system? How do you keep them circulating? And how can you ultimately make more money with, by producing less or not producing at all? So there's lots of different circular business models. We have a paper on this that really explores the opportunity that exists today, both monetary and also environmentally and those are two key elements, really, around how we see garments being able to be used more.
The second point of the [00:39:00] vision is "made to be made again". So this comes to the point of, you know, I've worn this out from probably the end of its use phase. Maybe it's looking a bit, you know, droopy. We also need to design garments that are made to be made again. So that's talking about they are easily disassemblable. But then ultimately at the end of its life, they're also recyclable. So this is going back to, you know, how can we keep things in the loop? How can we circulate that material as we go forward?
And then the final point of our vision is, um, making sure that we're making garments from safe and recycled or renewable content. And actually there's a quote in the book that I'd quite like to read.
PIPPA SHAWLEY - HOST, THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SHOW: Oh yeah, go for it.
CHLOE ANDERSON: ...about that one in particular. So, um, it's from Geraldine Vallejo. And she is from the Caring Group and it says, "circular design is also about ensuring there's no leakage in the system that would harm nature. For instance, practices that use materials that impoverish soils or pollute oceans [00:40:00] cannot be part of circular design". So, this goes back to our, our third point of the vision there around actually using materials that are safe and recycled. But when that's not possible, they could come from renewable sources. And when we talk about renewable sources, we also want those materials and those fibers to be sourced from regenerative production. And that is looking more at how can we give back to nature? How can we create positive outcomes for nature and not harm nature as a process of making clothes?
We Need A Library Economy - Andrewism - Air Date 10-5-22
ANDREW - HOST, ANDREWISM: Libraries have begun to provide a variety of services, in the realm of not just access to knowledge, but also access to materials and training in a social space uncorrupted by the demands of consumerism. With the rise of the internet came a vast expansion in the utopian potential of the library. After all, the library could revolutionize access to [00:41:00] whatever we could want or need from humanity's well of common heritage.
As a species, we could step up to new heights. And yet the internet has been sabotaged. Just as the true tragedy of the commons was the lost thereof, the true tragedy of the internet has been its fall from grace. It was the chosen one. And it has been corrupted by digital enclosure and privatization, the rise of tech monopolies and the forced implementation of artificial scarcity upon the abundance it could provide.
But I refuse to let go of the vision. I refuse to discard the unrealized possibilities of the library concept. If we believe that free access to humanity's heritage of knowledge is a right all humans inherently possess, can we not not also recognize the right to free access to other essentials of human flourishing?
If you don't mind entertaining this thought experiment. [00:42:00] Let's take a moment to explore what could be the foundational concepts of a library economy. In The Ecology of Freedom, social ecologist Murray Bookchin spends a lot of time exploring three key concepts: usufruct, the irreducible minimum, and complementarity. These concepts are foundational to any cooperative, caring and egalitarian society, but particularly to what Bookchin called "organic society," which consists of the egalitarian tribal societies that can be found in much of human history. These societies lacked social hierarchy, as in institutionalized systems of rank based on status distinctions, and as such, lacked domination in the sense of both dominating people and dominated what Bookchin called "first nature," the natural ecological world.
Our modern society is part of "second nature," which is the human world. Beginning with the first essential concept for a library economy, usufruct refers [00:43:00] to the freedom of individuals or groups in a community to access and use -- but not destroy -- common resources to supply their needs. This is as opposed to the limitation of access based on exclusive ownership.
Libraries allow you to access and use books when you need them, and encourage all of us to be good stewards of the books we borrow, taking care of it when we have it, and returning it when we're done, because it belongs to all of us, and to be readily available for use.
Imagine this principle applied to libraries of decor, libraries of furniture, or libraries of tools.
Perhaps you would borrow cushions, couches and paintings to suit one interior design taste for a few months before switching it out and trying a new style. You might borrow a shovel from the tool library to get a permablitz done one weekend and return when it done so someone else can use it when they need it. Alternatively, you can keep it for as long as you want to use it, all without [00:44:00] having to produce excessively or leave stuff wasted away in storage.
If we want to live sustainably, we need a library economy. We need an economy based on usufruct that incentivizes producing enough lasting, durable stuff that everyone can share and use when they need it, instead of producing around planned obsolescence and excess, wasting crucial time, energy, and resources.
A library economy will be an essential component in a move towards de-growth, an economic theory will be exploring in the next video.
The second essential concept for a library economy is the "irreducible minimum," which is the guaranteed provision of the means necessary to sustain life, the level of living that no one should ever fall below, regardless of the size of their individual contribution to the community. This includes access to adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, education, and [00:45:00] healthcare. Libraries as they exist now provide free access to knowledge, but knowledge is only one component of an individual's and a community's self-actualization, which in library economy should be organized to help reach.
Libraries of consumables like food, drugs, and toiletries may be difficult to imagine, which is why in addition to libraries of things, a library economy should also have dispensaries of necessities.
Farming cooperatives, in collaboration with cooking collectives, can work to ensure that the entire community is provided with a range of healthy food options from the local and regional gardens, farms, and food forests.
The popular assembly can organize with building cooperatives to establish a range of housing options to accommodate the needs of each and every member of the community.
An emphasis on "slow fashion" by a broad and diverse network of designers and tailors, as opposed to "fast fashion," would ensure that everyone's wearing clothing that [00:46:00] lasts in the styles that they like.
A library economy would require a vast reorientation of our priorities, from the centrality of capital and competition to the centrality of humanity and cooperation.
Which brings us to the final core concept for a library economy: complementarity. Some people are abled, some people are disabled. Some people are bakers, some people are shoemakers. Some people will farm and some people will sing. People will have a say in how they labor and how they leisure. None of them need to be defined by or limited to the things that they do, but all should find joy or satisfaction or accomplishment in the things that they do for the sake of doing them.
Together we'll have all the bread, shoes, veggies, and songs we could ask for. And for the things that no one enjoys -- as I said in my video on a post-work society -- we can find ways to rotate, gamify, or transform the [00:47:00] tasks that need doing to make the drudge less drudgerous. A library economy should be based upon a complex social ecosystem that fulfills the many necessary rules a society needs filling.
Complementarity is a way of looking at non-hierarchical difference as something that is generative, where each person contributes a small part to an outcome greater than the sum of its parts.
How Can We Make Policy Makers Realise & Understand the Potential of the Circular Economy? - Ellen MacArthur Foundation - Air Date 10-11-19
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Tell us a bit more then about how the, you are involved in training and how urban policy makers understand the potential of the sector economy idea. How are you going about that in Napoli?
LUIGI ACQUAVIVA: Well, the understanding was that you can't have policy if you don't know really what you're, where you're going. I mean, which could be the way of doing it. I mean, we have a national level, which is a bit low, slow in this key, uh, issues. And uh, so the idea was if we put everybody at the same level of understanding, would be much easier to speak about. Same language. So both from the policymaker, the [00:48:00] technical stuff within the civil servant, but also the community.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: So it's a level playing field that you're looking to create.
LUIGI ACQUAVIVA: That's the idea. So we went for very formal training for policy makers, which was difficult at the beginning for them to fulfill and they were quite unhappy to be forced into it. But then they saw really the importance. They saw how far they can go because many of them will not come from a technical competence that they had already. So that was the additional view. It's like giving them an additional pair of glasses to see further and sort of, and later on we got also the [unintelligible]. Because they are the ones that will really make the machine work.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Interesting. So it's mandatory. It started off more for those on the technical side. It sounds a little bit like there was a bit of overcoming of resistance to, at the beginning. But then you've also, would you say, did you always plan to involve the non-technical functions or was that a learning that you needed to also engage the more generalist?
LUIGI ACQUAVIVA: Well, in reality we tried to get, [00:49:00] throughout all of them, and we kept in a sort of continuous way. I mean, you get the same training if you missed the year before, you will get it next year. I mean, that slot will still be there available for you to participate. So even if you don't get in either for any reason, even if you didn't want it, I mean you still have the opportunity to do it. Because the idea is that as soon as we get everybody on board, I mean everybody has to, let's say, swim in the same direction, otherwise it would be very difficult.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Yeah. And tell me a bit about what the training actually involves. Is it sort of learning set content or is it more ways of thinking and approaches? Like, what's the balance?
LUIGI ACQUAVIVA: Well, it's a mix because you need to have content, because you need to have a ground level for everybody to discuss it, to be acquainted with. But then you give them the opportunity to develop their own idea, their own input coming from there. So you have additional section that starts maybe in a period of here and then continue after some time so that they can come back with their own view.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Interesting. Okay. And when you said giving them a period of, after you've done the content, and then [00:50:00] when they're adapting it to their own area, what does that look like? Does that look like writing documents or setting up practical pilots or...?
LUIGI ACQUAVIVA: Well, practical pilots is the idea. I mean, we already, as planning office we are trying to make already pilot project running alongside, but we do it just to make them aware that things can happen, things can be done. So if they come with idea, we can really put them in place and test it.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Great. I'm gonna come to you in a second, Cheryl, but one question's just come in from Mona, from Poland. She said, "There are no zero waste cities in Poland. How do you speak to people in power who don't understand the concept of secular economy?" we were talking a little bit about this earlier. How do you do it?
LUIGI ACQUAVIVA: Well, the idea has been just trying to sit them on table and at the beginning was not really "training", the word that we used, we're just sharing, peer exchange. So that was the approach. But then it becomes formal training in the longer term, and that's the only way to get them in because, especially people always been in politics for many years, they think they already know everything that needs to be done, you know?
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Interesting. And I [00:51:00] mean, generally on the secular economy, sometimes, and I think this is the case in Glasgow, there are some clear initiatives that use the word circular economy, but equally, there are actually actions that policymakers are taking that are compatible with the circular economy, but don't carry the label. So, when Mona says there are no cities doing this, perhaps there is actually some action taking place, but it's not carrying the label necessarily. Interesting.
Cheryl, when we were talking earlier, it sounds like a very different approach.
CHERYL MCCULLOCH: It is.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Tell us a bit about the way that you've gone about building up the business community and their understanding and where is that linked to the urban policymaker?
CHERYL MCCULLOCH: Yep. And, so, our starting point was very much actually a bit of almost a result of a chance conversation. So the chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland was speaking with Guido from Circle Economy and speaking about how Zero Waste Scotland had been taken very much a sector approach and their activity to try and accelerate circle economy principles and said, You should be looking at cities. [00:52:00] Cities that are real sort of hotbed for innovation activity. You know, you should really start to look at that and given sort of chamber of commerce in terms of our activity, um, it was a sort of natural fit for us to be able to try and explore that concept.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: So the difference was people have been looking at just one sector, and they hadn't really thought about, almost, place?
CHERYL MCCULLOCH: I think the sort of the original or the kind of earlier focus from Zero Waste Scotland is more around sector activity. So driving innovation and circular principles, rather than a specific sector. Whereas this was a different approach where you could look at it more from a city perspective. So you're bringing together the different sectors where there could be the unexpected collaborations where businesses could work more closely together. And, um, we really from that point wanted to actually address, you know, Well, how do you actually make a city circular? So back in 2015 we commissioned a piece of research to look at that essential question really. And that identified manufacturing, and from within that food and drink, [00:53:00] as the sort of primary sector of real opportunity for Glasgow.
What we've found, you know, as you're talking about policymakers, it's the same with businesses. How you talk to people is really important. How you get that message across of the circular economy, really important. If you make it too theoretical, too abstract, they don't get it. They don't buy in. So for us, actually having food and drink was a great way to say what everyone eats, everyone drinks, people will understand what we're talking about. And that resulted in a report that came out in 2016. So from that, we've very much been working to engage, interact, and inspire businesses and from that activity we've been able to use that to work with the policymakers. So we have a really healthy, um, real collaboration and coalition of the willing with Glasgow City Council, with Zero Waste, Scotland, and with other key stakeholders in the city and the activity with the businesses who really enabled us to then drive the policy [00:54:00] aspect behind that and support and influence that as well.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: So the focus is business. But there the policymaker gets involved because they're part of enabling, setting up, the system in a way that we all work in.
CHERYL MCCULLOCH: Absolutely.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Like, have you found it difficult to engage policymakers or have they been knocking at your door desperate to get involved in the action? Like, why are they coming, why are they participating, and is it voluntary almost?
CHERYL MCCULLOCH: Yeah, I mean the policymakers, I mean, our relationship with Glasgow City Councilor, local municipality, is really positive. They're very active, they're very open and willing to look at the circle economy principles. They have embraced circlular economy through Glasgow economic strategy, as well as looking to provide a roadmap of which has sort of, I suppose, been enabled in part through the work that we are doing with the business community, because they're getting those real insights into what some of the challenges are, what the opportunities are, what the business models are, and how that can really help the city accelerate.
PIPPA SHAWLEY: Okay. So it's a bit like, I mean, you were talking about pilots earlier [00:55:00] from the policy side. This is like practical examples, businesses trying to put this into practice, and then you get that feedback loop of, This is easy within the current legislation, or, We'd love to do this, but actually we can't currently do it. And that's an important feedback loop effectively for the policymaker. Pace of change can be quite slow and you need to convince an awful lot of people to come on board with you.
Add to basket: How retailers are working towards a circular economy for food - The Circular Economy Show Podcast - Air Date 6-5-23
ROANE RAPSON: Natoora was founded coming up to 20 years ago in London. We are now a wholesaler, supplier, retailer, and manufacturer. First and foremost, we source for flavor. There's been a considerable degradation in the value that people place against food. And we believe that by sourcing through flavor, we have a trickle down effect on how food is grown. And we can fulfil our overarching mission that is essentially to revolutionize the food system.
PIPPA SHAWLEY - HOST, THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SHOW: [00:56:00] One way Natoora aims to source the best flavors is by thinking about what Roane describes as "micro seasons", working directly with producers to determine when produce is in its prime.
ROANE RAPSON: As a grower or a farmer, the weather, the climate, the quality of the produce, and the flavor is not as simple as four time slots in the year. So we actually like to celebrate the seasonal micro seasons if you like and the seasonal changes throughout and the biodiversity that flourishes. If you taste a perfectly grown in season orange or a peach, the flavor really is quite radical. And it's that seasonality and that care and love and attention that's gone into growing it that brings that flavor.
PIPPA SHAWLEY - HOST, THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SHOW: There’s no doubt that a peach grown in season tastes delicious, but Natoora also applies its ethos of radical seasonality to its processed food items. The company supplies soup to British bakery chain, Gail’s, and also [00:57:00] sells a range of deli goods through retailers including Ocado, Whole Foods, and its own shops. Roane explains how Natoora developed a way to provide great-tasting products year-round.
ROANE RAPSON: We recognised quite early on that we have to work within the food system in order to change it to a certain degree, and big retailers, and the food system in general, likes to have a consistent product on the shelf throughout the year. It plays into consumer habits, consumer behaviours, etc. So, for example, one of our products that perhaps isn't quite so familiar, a muhammara, which is traditionally a roasted red pepper and walnuts dip of Levantine origin. We, in the summer, we get absolutely fantastic red peppers from Italy. They're sweet, they're luscious, we roast those, we peel them by hand, and we blend it with beautiful creamy walnuts [00:58:00] into a fantastic dip. However, when the months get colder, those peppers are no longer available. And if we wanted to get our hands on them we will be buying a industrially grown pepper that lacks the flavor and integrity that our summer peppers do. But that left us with the problem of, one, losing those sales with what has become a customer favourite in our range. And two, not keeping up with a regular product on the shelves for the retailers that we work with.
PIPPA SHAWLEY - HOST, THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SHOW: Those are pretty important problems. So, what did they do about it?
ROANE RAPSON: So, we tweaked the recipe slightly under the same product name, to use a dried pepper throughout the colder months and switch and interchange between the two throughout the year. We found that that approach actually worked incredibly well. So we rolled [00:59:00] that out into a few other products that we manufacture to give us that... to stay true to seasonality, but also provide a consistent product.
PIPPA SHAWLEY - HOST, THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SHOW: So, we’ve talked about the benefits for business, but as Roane has mentioned, creating a new, collaborative dynamic with farmers is essential to ensure our food system works for everyone and the environment. Beyond changing the relationship between producers and retailers, Reniera points to modelling done around a few key ingredients for the Foundation’s Big Food Redesign report, to explain the benefits for farmers.
RENIERA O'DONNELL: You know, our modelling in the report shows that, not only, if you use the circular design for food framework, not only is it good for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 70%, reducing biodiversity loss by about 50%, but actually, our total output from single hectares of land goes up massively. So I guess there's that other piece that says, We've got this hugely growing population, and [01:00:00] everybody's worried about how to feed, you know, to have an ongoing food system that feeds the population, our modelling has shown, you know, in the UK and Europe, across a subset of ingredients, that actually total food output on the land goes up, so that you can actually feed this growing population. And I guess one of the really important things and why it makes good business sense is, you know, we hear a lot around how farmers are really being pushed to produce food cheaper and cheaper and cheaper, over and over again. And what we've seen in our modelling is that by adopting regenerative farming practices, because of a demand from business, we see farmer profitability going up by about US$3,000 per hectare per harvest.
So I think it's a couple of things. It's a combination of being very forward thinking around how to build a resilient supply chain to keep your business going. But also, I guess, [01:01:00] reacting in advance to some of those challenges that are coming down the line that will mean business becomes more financially stressed.
Final comments giving an update on the membership drive
JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: We've just heard clips today starting with a TED-Ed segment about the economy being out of balance. Global News highlighted World Water Day at the UN. Good Together discussed overconsumption and the need for producers to also take responsibility for what becomes of their products. TED-Ed highlighted the dangers of pursuing GDP growth. euronews reported on the EU's goal to reshape its economy by 2050. The PBS NewsHour highlighted the work being done in Amsterdam to adhere to the doughnut economics model. The Circular Economy Show looked at the problem of fast fashion. And Andrewism described the library economy.
That's what everybody heard, but members also heard bonus clips from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which looked at some of the nuts and bolts of turning theory into practice through policymakers, and The Circular Economy Show highlighted a case [01:02:00] study of the benefits of a business turning to circular economic principles. To hear that and have all of our bonus content delivered seamlessly to the new members only podcast feed that you'll receive, sign up to support the show at bestoftheleft.com/support.
Now to wrap up, I just want to highlight that we are halfway through our membership drive for July. I sincerely thank everyone who has signed up so far, and especially those who were already members but decided to upgrade their contribution. It's really appreciated. So, now there's just two weeks left for new members to take advantage of the sale price we currently have available and keep it for the life of your membership.
As I've mentioned, this member drive is a bit overdue, which means that I waited until I realized that it was time to panic a bit about our need for support. So, if you've been listening and considering signing up, there is no better time than now, in more ways than one. All the details are at bestoftheleft.com/support. And of course, that link is in the show notes.
That is going to be it for [01:03:00] today. As always, keep the comments coming in. I would love to hear your thoughts or questions about transforming our economy for the better. You can leave us a voicemail or send us a text to 202-999-3991 or simply email me to [email protected]. Thanks to everyone for listening. Thanks to Deon Clark and Erin Clayton for their research work for the show and participation in our bonus episodes. Thanks to our Transcriptionist Trio, Ken, Brian, and LaWendy for their volunteer work helping put our transcripts together. Thanks to Amanda Hoffman for all of her work on our social media outlets, activism segments, graphic designing, web mastering, and bonus show co hosting. And thanks to all those who've already been supporting the show by becoming a member or purchasing gift memberships at bestoftheleft.com/support. As you know, you can join them now during our membership drive. And if you want to continue the discussion, you can join our Discord community. There's a link to join in the show notes.
So coming to you from far outside the conventional wisdom of Washington, DC, my name is [01:04:00] Jay, and this has been the Best of the Left podcast coming to you twice weekly, thanks entirely to the members and donors to the show from bestoftheleft.com.