Erickson speaks on climate, ‘fairytale economics’

BRATTLEBORO — “I'm convinced that economics as currently taught and practiced will ensure a planetary path to ruin,” says economist and author Jon D. Erickson.

On Thursday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m., he will explain why and what must be done in his newest book The Progress Illusion: Reclaiming Our Future from the Fairytale of Economics (Island Press) at 118 Elliot, 118 Elliot Street.

The event is sponsored by 118 Elliot, Everyone's Books, and Epsilon Spires. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Events are free but donations are appreciated. Email [email protected] to reserve a seat.

Erickson is the Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at the University of Vermont, is on faculty at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and a Fellow of the Gund Institute for the Environment. He is the author/editor of five other books and an Emmy-award winning director and producer of documentary films. He lives in Ferrisburgh.

“This book is my small part in helping to turn the tide,” Erickson said in a news release. “The mainstream of my field tells a story centered on a very narrow caricature of humanity as greedy and independent. It's a story that assumes the Earth is limitless and at our disposal.

“It's a fairytale detached from biophysical reality and lacking a moral compass. The fate of people and planet depends on upending this illusion and writing a new story based on care, cooperation, interdependence, and stewardship.”

“Given that the Arctic has mostly melted, it seems axiomatic that our planet's economic system is not working very well,” writes Bill McKibben. “But Jon Erickson explains, in simple and powerful terms - just why that is, and just what would need to change if we were to actually build a world that worked much better.“

The talk is part of 118 Elliot and Everyone's Books Climate Book Series, featuring engaging authors who discuss the reality of climate emergency. Next up is Thursday, May 11, 2023, when author Chuck Collins will speak about his debut novel Altar to an Erupting Sun (Green Writers Press, May 2023), a near-future story of people in the Brattleboro area facing climate disruption in the critical decade ahead.

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