IPS’ New Economy Working Group, The Democracy Collaborative, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Center for International Environmental Law host this reception for Angels by the River that follows Gus Speth’s unlikely path from a Southern boyhood to his career as an influential mainstream environmentalist to his current activism calling for more radical system change.
In this compelling memoir, Speth explores the issues, and realities, that have shaped the nation since the 1950s, and that turned an ultimate insider into someone willing to be arrested in front of the White House.
Speth reflects on how the civil rights movement and the South’s agrarian roots influenced his academic career at Yale and later work in the heyday of the environmental movement, when he helped launch two influential environmental groups— the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Resources Institute— advised the White House on climate and other emerging issues, and led the UN’s development efforts around the globe.
Speth believes a new environmentalism is needed to confront today’s challenges. The advancing climate crisis cannot be addressed, he warns, as long as we remain fixated on endless growth and consumption, corporate profits, increasing the incomes of the well-to-do, neglecting those just getting by, and helping abroad only modestly. Speth is a longtime partner of the Institute for Policy Studies and The Democracy Collaborative and is a member of the steering committee of the New Economy Working Group, convened by IPS.
James Gustave “Gus” Speth is a member of the steering committee of the New Economy Working Group convened by the Institute for Policy Studies and Co-Chair of the Next System Project at the Democracy Collaborative. Among many other positions, he was previously Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, and White House advisor to Presidents Carter and Clinton.