Economic growth, progress and industry have come in for a sharp critique from the green left and beyond in recent years. Everyone from Starbucks window-smashers to Prince Charles himself seem to be embracing ‘degrowth’ and anti-consumerism. This, Leigh Phillips argues, is a form of ecological austerity.

In this talk, science journalist Leigh Phillips marshals evidence from climate science, ecology, paleoanthropology, agronomy, microbiology, psychology, history, the philosophy of mathematics, and heterodox economics to argue that progressives must rediscover their historic, Promethean ambitions and counter the reactionary neo-Malthusian ideology that not only prevents human flourishing, but won’t save the planet anyway. “We want to take over the machine and run it rationally”, he argues “not turn the machine off”.

Bio: Leigh Phillips is a science and EU affairs journalist who has written for Nature, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the New Statesman, and Jacobin. He is the author of a number of books including Austerity Ecology & the Collapse-Porn Addicts and The People’s Republic of Walmart: How the World’s Biggest Corporations are Laying the Foundation for Socialism.