Jon Erickson: “Illusions, power and political economy”



(Conversation recorded October 6, 2022.)

In this episode, Nate is joined by Jon Erickson, professor of sustainability science and politics. He and Nate dive into Jon’s new book The Illusion of Progress: Reclaiming Our Future in the Economy’s Fairy Tale, which covers the economic myths that have shaped our modern reality. How can we reshape the narrative and shift the paradigm to different economic systems that promote human and ecological well-being over material consumption?

About Jon Erickson

Jon Erickson is the David Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at the University of Vermont. He has published widely on energy and climate change policy, land conservation, watershed planning, environmental public health, and the theory and practice of ecological economics. He advised presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on economic and energy issues.

View notes and links to learn more

00:38 –Jon Erickson Works, Info + Most recent book – The Illusion of Progress: Reclaiming Our Future in the Economy’s Fairy Tale

05:12Isolationism and Reductionism

07:17 Academic trends towards more progressive ideas

08:16E.O. WilsonConsilience

11:57evolutionary biology

13:44Neoclassical economicsutility

15:35 Heterodox economics, Orthodox economics

16:02Ecological economy

17:38Economics tries to become Newtonian

18:32John Kenneth Galbraith

19:10carbon pulse

19:29Deep time graph

21:45 Speech by Michael Douglas in the film “Wall Street

23:05Economy, Ecology, EthicsHermann Daly

24:11 The Illusion of Progress: Reclaiming Our Future in the Economy’s Fairy Tale

24:35The field of ecological economics is very young

30:45 Article on Nate’s Superorganism

32:20Donella Meadows changes paradigm

35:38 The Conservative movement funded the academy from the 1950s

36:40Josh FarleyCircular firing squad

36:48Bernie Sanders

37:14Bernie Sanders record for amendments to bills

38:28Marxism, Socialism

39:10The American economy is built on the tradition of democratic socialism

39:17Gar Alperovitz, democratization of wealth

40:40Autocratic socialism

40:45Martin Luther King – Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor

42:40 Henry George, Karl Polanyi, The great metamorphosis

43:06The Econocene, Richard Norgaard

44:08Occupy Wall Street, Getting out of Gregory Mankiw’s class at Harvard

46:23Alfred KahnTyranny of small decisions

47:14Baseline offset

49:16Stages of growth in a forest

52:09Nordhaus – Nobel Laureate in Economics

54:01: Ha-Joon Chang, Cambridge economist

59:25People were drawn to both Sanders and Trump because of the anti-establishment

1:00:57 Timothy Parrique + TGS Podcast

1:04:40Seeing someone else do altruistic things makes us 300% more likely to be altruistic

1:05:08Josh Farley (TGS Episode)

1:08:01Frankly Series

1:09:20Christian David, Big story

1:11:35Dan Kahan’s study at Yale University (acceptability of climate science)

1:14:58The invisible gorilla video

Teaser photo credit: fairy tale of kings1909, by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis By Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis –, public domain,

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