Is Green Growth Possible?

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

A decade ago, I was feeling pretty pessimistic about climate change. The politics of mitigating global warming just seemed impossible: asking people to make sacrifices, or countries to slow their development, and delay dreams of better, more prosperous lives.

But the world today looks different. The costs of solar and wind power have plummeted. Same for electric batteries. And a new politics is starting to take hold: that maybe we can invest and invent and build our way out of this crisis, without needing people to make sacrifices at all.

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.]

Hannah Ritchie is the deputy editor and lead researcher at Our World in Data and the author of “Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet.” She’s pored over the data on this question and has come away more optimistic than many. “It’s just not true that we’ve had these solutions just sitting there ready to build for decades and decades, and we just haven’t done anything,” she told me. “We’re in a fundamentally different position going forward.”

In this conversation, we discuss whether sustainability without sacrifice is truly possible. How much progress have we made so far? What gives her the most hope? And what are the biggest obstacles?

You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App, Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. View a list of book recommendations from our guests here.

(A full transcript of this episode will be available within 24 hours of publication in the audio player above.)

Credit…Craig Gibson

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Mary Marge Locker and Kate Sinclair. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing by Isaac Jones. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Kristin Lin and Aman Sahota. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.

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