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Author Archive

Copenhagen: Business-as-Usual or the Vision and Backbone to Act?

Climate change is getting a lot of attention this week as the U.N. Climate Change Conference heats to a climax in Copenhagen. Climate disruption due to increasing concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere joins the growing evidence of an unsustainable human footprint on the planet.

I’m following the Copenhagen talks with interest, wondering whether we’ll see a rational response or business-as-usual: more evidence we just can’t believe we’re at the eleventh hour. How our society reacts to climate change is a likely indicator of how we’ll respond to early warning signs of peak energy, peak water and peak food.

I’ve arranged for us to get video reports from Copenhagen during this last week of the summit.  Zoe Cormier, a London-based science reporter and photographer, has graciously agreed to be our eyes and ears in Copenhagen. She has just launched a new environmental news service,, an impressive online news source for original environmental reporting. Zoe’s credits include a regular column on environmental issues for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper, and stories published in The Toronto Star, The Ecologist and Plenty magazine. She is the current alternative science blogger for The New Internationalist. She also writes and photographs for Guerilla Science. . . .

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Copenhagen Needs Daylight: Overpopulation & Addiction to Economic Growth

All eyes are on Copenhagen today as the Climate Summit begins its two-week sprint to set the planet on a survival course. Here’s the official Climate Change Conference website, for you to see schedules and get more information.

While I encourage world leaders to get very serious about reducing emissions as seriously and quickly as possible, I’d like to share some perspectives that are pretty critical of what’s taking place in Copenhagen. I offer these in the spirit of pushing for a better outcome from the talks.

Too Little, Too Late: Clearly many are worried or already disappointed that the bar has been set too low. It appears the best one can hope for is that the world agrees to agree on emission reduction targets that are too little, too late. In fact, the word “reduction” shouldn’t even be included. Leading climate scientist James Hansen pretty clearly articulated this shortcoming in an interview with the UK’s Guardian: Copenhagen climate change talks must fail, says top scientist. . . .

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Cast a vote for GrowthBusters

Our documentary project has a great opportunity to recieve $15,000 worth of web/creative services from Free Range Studios, the wonderful folks behind Annie Leonard’s remarkable internet sensation/film, Story of Stuff. Your votes will ultimately choose who wins this grant. Please visit the grant/voting site and consider casting your votes for GrowthBusters. The deadline is December 1, but don’t wait; top vote-getters have higher visibility throughout the voting process.

Here’s a walk-through the voting process in case you get stumped:

1. Visit the voting site and register.
2. Find Sustainable Living in the list of categories on the right.
3. You should find Help GrowthBusters Help Us Embrace the End of Growth in the list and cast up to 3 votes for us! . . .

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Why Joining our e-mail list is crucial

A large support network is critical to distributing the film.

Every day I hear from people around the world who’ve discovered this film project and want to encourage me. Yet frequently I find they have not joined our e-mail list. Why would they skip such a quick and easy way to support this project?

I suspect it’s because I haven’t communicated our distribution strategy very well. While Michael Moore, Al Gore and Morgan Spurlock have made it so documentaries can sometimes get theatrical distribution, for every film like Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, there are a hundred documentaries that never get a theatrical run.

While we’re not ruling it out, we simply cannot count on Hooked on Growth being picked up by a Hollywood distributor. So our distribution strategy depends on an army of supporters around the world arranging community screenings and viewing parties. By joining our e-mail list you’re not committing to do anything, but I need to be able to give you the opportunity to help when the film is released. . . .

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