Environmental leadership resources

August 3, 2018 by Joshua
in Nature

earth from space

Here are resources I learn from and return to about joy, discovery, meaning, purpose, community (not doom, gloom, new-age fluff, etc), in no particular order.

I’ll keep adding to it.

I recommend bingeing on all of it.


The Leadership and the Environment podcast

When people hear my podcast name, they focus on the environment part. I consider leadership incomparably more important. We know what to do. The question is changing our behavior, which is leadership.

I consider my book, Leadership Step by Step, the top resource on learning to lead.

The Spodek Method: Making Meaningful, Sustainable Changes

The Story of Stuff

Main site

Their short movies (my favorite part of the main site and one of my top starting points)

The Story of Plastic (feature length)

Zero Waste

Bea Johnson videos, a big role model since saying I pollute less than other Americans is about the lowest bar possible

Bea’s page and blog

Lauren Singer videos, another role model

Lauren’s page and blog

Rob Greenfield’s page, another role model. An article he wrote: Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food for a Year, his videos.

The Clean Bin Movie and Project

Just Eat It Movie

Life Off Grid (book and movie, also on Kanopy)

Living the Change (also on Kanopy)

Limits to Growth

The 30-year update book

The book synopsis


Tons of videos

My post on recent comparisons with data, with links to original papers

Nature and Humans

Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (OVER), the picture book by Population Institute, Population Media Center, and Foundation for Deep Ecology.

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be by J.B. Mackinnon

Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen by James Suzman

The Great Dance, a film of San Bushmen life, a possible view into how we lived for tens to hundreds of thousands of years by Craig and Damon Foster.

Not So Simple: Notes from a Tech-Free Life, by Mark Boyle (his Guardian column and TEDx talk)

Endgame 2050

The myth of aging populations being a problem: Silver tsunami or silver lining? Why we should not fear an ageing population

Birth rates decrease faster from deliberate family planning than without Population Control Policies and Fertility Convergence

Systems Thinking

Tons of videos

If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?, on W. Edwards Deming’s helping Japan take over industry globally with quality based on respecting and honoring people. My goal: to achieve what Deming did in industry and productivity with culture and stewardship.

My favorite book on the topic, Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows

The book that introduced me to it: The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge

Human and nature dynamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies, Safa Motesharrei Jorge Rivas Eugenia Kalnay

The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education by W. Edwards Deming


Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves by Adam Hochschild

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas

Videos on William Wilberforce

More videos on William Wilberforce

Videos on John Newton

American Experience The Abolitionists Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Voluntary, intentional national-level family planning yielding stability

Family planning success stories from The Overpopulation Project

What proposals will work (most won’t)

The Do The Math blog, by Tom Murphy, one of my favorite sites. It’s accessible. You don’t need to know math, science, or engineering. UPDATE: Tom compiled his blog into a textbook, Energy and Human Ambitions on a Finite Planet, by Tom Murphy, for his course for non-science undergraduates. Here’s my review of it. You can download it free here.

A reality check on renewables – David MacKay, a Caltech-trained Oxford physicist, simply and accessibly illustrates how much energy we use.

Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air, MacKay’s incredible book (and free download) describing in more depth how much energy we use and what we can do about it.

Pulling Back The Curtain On The Energy Transition Tale, by Megan K. Seibert and William E. Rees of the Real Green New Deal Project, compiles what we would need to convert from fossil fuels. Devastating if you thought we could live as we do today, just without pollution. Liberating if you want to live in harmony with nature and other people. Here’s a peer-reviewed version of the paper: Through the Eye of a Needle: An Eco-Heterodox Perspective on the Renewable Energy Transition.

The Myth that Growth Helps

The Nobel Prize for Climate Catastrophe

Is Decoupling GDP Growth from Environmental Impact Possible?

Capitalism and the Curse of Energy Efficiency

Can Economic Growth Last?

The Hope at the Heart of the Apocalyptic Climate Change Report

Why Growth Can’t Be Green

Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can

The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

Tons of videos

Why you should recycle less

Bea Johnson’s TEDx talk

National Geographic: 91% of plastic isn’t recycled

Canadian Broadcasting’s Marketplace:

PBS: The Plastic Problem

Human behavior promotes pandemics

Human behavior promotes pandemics

Low Tech Solutions

Low Tech Magazine, one of my favorite sites. Exiting the current system doesn’t mean the stone age. Black and white thinking like that comes from inexperience

Examples where improving efficiency creates greater pollution and waste

The simple way this Japanese town has become nearly zero-waste (video version)

Slow food, Slow life, Minimalism

Slow Food International

Slow Food US

Find a Community Supported Agriculture program near you (What’s a CSA and why should I do one?)

Mark Boyle‘s Life Without Technology series in the Guardian

The Day the World Stopped Shopping, by J. B. Mackinnon on consumerism and disconnecting from it

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, by Joshua Becker

Flying less

Flying Less: Reducing Academia’s Carbon Footprint

Calculate Your Impact

A pollution calculator for flying and driving

Find your global footprint (here’s mine)


The True Cost movie

A video showing the disaster of where our “donated” clothes go

Tons of related videos


Nutritionfacts.org, Dr. Gregor’s newsletter is one of the few I subscribe to and I watch many of his videos

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead trailer

Me showing the results of avoiding packaged food and food with fiber removed

Angus Barbieri fasted for 382 days

How I Saved My Kids From Sugar

Carbon offsets are scam

An Even More Inconvenient Truth: Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing (Propublica)

Why Carbon Credits and Offsets Will Not Work (Forest Ecology Network)

Our stance on carbon offsetting: A distracting justification (Responsible Travel)

Is a Popular Carbon-Offset Method Just a Lot of Hot Air? (Scientific American)

A complete guide to carbon offsetting (The Guardian, excerpting The Rough Guide to Green Living)


Industrial Strength Denial

Fish and Water

Coming soon.


Why Our Food is So Dependent on Oil

Interview with author Raj Patel about the Green Revolution’s social consequences

Interview with Food Tank co-founder Danielle Nierenberg about the Green Revolution’s environmental impact

Conversation with former Oxfam America president Ray Offenheiser about the historical context of Norman Borlaug’s work

The Pollinators (on Kanopy)


Public Trust Feature Film | The Fight for America’s Public Lands



Read my weekly newsletter

On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter