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Brian Czech
Brian Czech has a Ph.D. in renewable natural resources studies from the University of Arizona with a minor in political science. The founding President of CASSE, Brian is also a Visiting Professor at Virginia Tech, where he teaches ecological economics in the National Capitol Region. A prolific author of peer-reviewed science articles, he is also the author of Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train, which calls for an end to uneconomic growth, and The Endangered Species Act: History, Conservation Biology, and Public Policy. He has played a leading role in engaging the environmental sciences and natural resources professions in ecological economics and macroeconomic policy dialog.

Entries by Brian Czech

First Cut: No Five-Kid Presidents

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 12:31 PM

(With apologies to the Octomom, who didn't ask for this kind of attention.)

Mention the Octomom, and the first thing that comes to mind is that ridiculous fecundity. If she tried running for President, she'd never make it to the first debate, because everyone would take the 14-kid factoid (yes,...

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5 Myths About Economic Growth

(1) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 6:05 PM


Myth #1. It's economic.

To be economic, something has to be worth more than it costs. Economic activity, per se, is more beneficial than detrimental. Technically speaking, "marginal utility is greater than marginal disutility."

If you liked a rug, but liked your...

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Preempting a Misleading Argument: Why Environmental Problems Will Stop Tracking with GDP

(18) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 3:53 PM

I hate to say I told you so, and could be too dead to do so, so I'll tell you in advance: One decade soon, environmental problems will stop tracking with GDP.

But the reasons? Well, they probably aren't what you think, especially if you've been drinking the

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Who Moved Obama's Win-Win Cheese?

(6) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 11:42 AM


Whether or not you like President Obama or his policy preferences, you have to acknowledge his consistency. Even those with "zero regard" for the president confess, "At least Obama is consistent."

But not consistently. There is one issue, at...

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A Stick in the Stocking: Santa's Supply Shock

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 3:06 PM

It's déjà vu all over again: another oil "supply shock." Seems like we've had one every few weeks for the past few months. Santa stuck another one in the Christmas stocking, and by New Year's Eve crude oil prices fell to Great Recession levels.

Frankly, though, an...

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Animal Welfare: Seeing the Forest for the Denizens

(5) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 1:49 PM

If you're a Huffington Post reader, your love of animals has been nurtured by "Hedgehogs Being Adorable," "Baby Hippo Has Won Our Hearts," and other such gems. The Post, The Animal Blog and various animal-lover media take a heartfelt approach to the appreciation of...

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Paul Krugman on Limits to Growth: Beware the Bathwater

(19) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 2:48 PM

Congratulations to Paul Krugman, whose opinion on "Slow Steaming and the Supposed Limits to Growth" hit the bulls-eye of at least one balloon. Landing at Washington-National the very day his opinion appeared was like crashing back into the growth fetish of the American Fourth Estate. Out came the...

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The Overlooked Anniversary: 40 Years Ago Congress and the President Called for a Steady State Economy

(3) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 8:04 PM

You read that right. Pursuant to an act of the 93rd Congress, President Richard M. Nixon signed into law the establishment of a steady state economy. That law was called the Endangered Species Act.

Technically it's true that we are closer to the ESA's 41st anniversary (Nixon signed it on...

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Gross Domestic Problem: Don't Shoot the Measurement

(8) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 6:47 PM

A battle is brewing on the outskirts of the general public. A rising tide of quixotic activists is trying to overthrow a time-tested American institution. Like the Battle in Seattle, where the IMF was put on public trial, this new struggle will get a lot of attention, but the institution...

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Climate Change: The Wrong Top Priority for Environmentalists and Conservation Professionals

(66) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 6:04 PM

You read that headline right, so let's start with a disclaimer: Climate change is one of the biggest threats of the 21st century. Only idiots, ignorami, and certain categories of the insane dismiss the abundant science pointing to climate change, its causes, and its ongoing and future effects.


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Duck Dynasty, the Green Party, and Steady Statesmanship

(18) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 8:23 AM

I've never seen an episode of Duck Dynasty, and I'm not a member of the Green Party, at least not any more. But who hasn't seen the news? And the Duck Dynasty reminds me why I left the Green Party. I'm not sure the Green Party will give a quack,...

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The Five Dumbest Things You'll Hear About Sustainability

(34) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 8:06 PM

This one's about dumb, dumber, and dumbest, plus two intermediate levels for good measure. Ready for the inglorious countdown?

#5. "There is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment!"

Might as well say there's no conflict between plowing a field and protecting the prairie,...

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The Debt Ceiling: What's Good for the Public Goose Is Good for the Private Gander

(2) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 4:16 PM

Tea Partiers railing against raising the debt ceiling have a valid point. Operating on perpetual deficits and debt is unsustainable. In fact, a perpetually growing government would be impossible under any circumstances. That's pursuant to the rule of thumb that nothing grows forever.

What the Tea Partiers tend to forget...

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Bring Back Hank Paulson (on One Condition)

(10) Comments | Posted September 1, 2013 | 11:34 AM

On and on the ironies go;
where they stop, nobody knows.
Biggest one last week for sho:
The Fed a-meetin' in Jackson Hole!

That's right. The entity as responsible as any other in the world for eroding our green space, all the way from grampa's...

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Bill Clinton's Legacy: An Inconvenient Irony

(35) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 3:14 PM

They say the ironies never cease, and last week the EPA headquarters were named the "William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building." But irony and legacy are not always good bedfellows. Before the history writers get carried away and bestow upon Clinton the label of Environmental Protector, let's look at the rest...

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Bill Clinton, The Nature Conservancy, and Rhetoric So 20th Century

(1) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 1:12 PM

When The Nature Conservancy talks, the environmental community listens. Even some of Wall Street listens. No other conservation organization is remotely close to TNC in political connection and resources. Therefore, one of the most influential environmental books of the year is likely to be Nature's Fortune by virtue of the...

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Supply Shock: The Journey

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 1:52 PM

Writing a book is like going on a journey. You explore the terrain, make discoveries, meet interesting people, and maybe learn a new language. The longer the book-writing, the longer the journey.

Supply Shock was a long journey; here is a short travelogue.

I set out in the...

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Economic Report of the President: 'Our Top Priority'

(6) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 12:40 PM

"Our top priority must be to do everything we can to grow our economy and create good, middle-class jobs. That has to be our North Star. That has to drive every decision we make in Washington." Barack Obama, Economic Report of the President, March 2013

If I wasn't...

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Sliding Down the Slippery Slope: A Truth Too Big for Obama

(6) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 4:13 PM

"Now, the good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue [climate change] while driving strong economic growth."

With those words from the State of the Union address, President Obama capitulated to paltry cynicism. Alas, he will not be the president who finally comes clean on the...

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Confessions of a Closet Football Fan

(7) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 8:24 AM

We're finally here, in the biggest week of the year. We're not talking about the inauguration, sequestration, or Secretary of State nomination. No, something much bigger. It's time for the Super Bowl!

I suppose those rabid soccer fans would argue that the World Cup beats all. Bully for them,...

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