Danny Dorling: Why an Economic Slowdown is Good for the Planet


The coronavirus pandemic is dramatically disrupting not only our daily lives but society itself. This show features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the deeper economic, political, and technological consequences of the pandemic. It’s our new daily podcast trying to make longterm sense out of the chaos of today’s global crisis.

On today’s episode, Danny Dorling, professor and author of Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration—And Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives, discusses whether there is still a case for Donald Trump.

From the episode:

Danny Dorling: Panic actually is quite a good word as well for the current situation. It helps us appreciate what a slowdown is because it’s so sudden. We’re not very good at seeing changes that take longer, changes that take years or decades. We are incredibly good at seeing changes which are subtle. So this slowdown kind of illustrates to us the speed at which we were going, but also that things do not have to be the same and that they can change.

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Of course, they have been changing. That’s the whole point of my book. It took me six years to write it and I finished the last correction in January before this pandemic. What I’ve done is look at changes over decades and decades and the speed of change and noted that it is slowing. I didn’t mean to do it as I was expecting half of things I looked at to be speeding up enough to be slowing down. So it’s a book about the discovery. It’s a book about actually finding something other than what we thought was true appears to be going on.

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Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. His previous books include Inequality and the 1% and The Equality Effect. With others, he created the website worldmapper.org, a digital collection of demographic maps.

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