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Author Archive

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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No Impact Man – The year of living less dangerously

Today I’d like to draw your attention to a modern superhero – No Impact Man. I first learned about this un-caped crusader two years ago when mild-mannered Colin Beavan was in the midst of his year of living less dangerously for the Earth. He and his family were attempting to live for one year with zero net impact on the planet. This was the No Impact Man experiment.

Make no mistake, the experiment was extreme. One New York Times story dubbed it, The Year Without Toilet Paper. In the New Yorker Elizabeth Kolbert described the family’s life as climbing the stairs to eat cabbage slaw in the dark. Stephen Colbert had a much tighter grasp on reality when he described it as “like ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ only completely implausible.” . . .

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World Population Day: let overpopulation topic out of closet

July 11 is World Population Day, as declared by the United Nations in 1989 to raise awareness of global population issues. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of awareness out there. Of the 6.77 billion people on the planet, too few have either the courage or the awareness to weigh in or do something about the subject. Overpopulation is the proverbial elephant in the room, and it is a big one.

There is widespread agreement among scientists that we are in overshoot. According to Global Footprint Network, 1.3 planet Earths would be required to sustainably meet the needs of our current population at present levels of consumption and waste. If we continue current upward trends in consumption and population, by 2035 we’ll need 2 Earths. This means we are not acting sustainably. We are using up stuff that we, and/or future generations, are going to need. . . .

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Holy Grail of Economic Growth

In a classic scene from the film City Slickers, Jack Palance holds up one gloved finger as he counsels Billy Crystal that the secret of life is just “one thing” that is all-important. “You stick to that and everything else don’t mean shit.” Eventually Billy Crystal figures out that “one thing,” the key to life.

I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure that “one thing” must have been economic growth. I’ll hazard a guess the phrase “economic growth” is mentioned, on national TV and cable networks alone, over 200 times daily. President Barack Obama probably emits the phrase 20 times a day on his own, and that’s not counting talking in his sleep. Restoring economic growth is right up there with putting a man on the moon, ending terrorism, and putting cheese in a spray can. Who would argue with that? Never one to shy away from controversy, allow me to take a stab at it. . . .

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Bon voyage to a super-volunteer

Today we sadly bid a fond farewell to Ursula Sommer, our incredible volunteer assistant editor for the past two months. Ursula is a recent Colorado College graduate who became excited about my documentary, Hooked on Growth (in production). She wanted to work on this film. In this era of tight finances, we were unable to raise the funds to pay Ursula for even a summer internship. But because she believes in the cause, she donated her time. She even had to acquire a better bike to navigate the hills that dot her five-mile commute every day.

Assistant editor Ursula Sommer sips coffee and logs an interview

Assistant editor Ursula Sommer sips coffee and logs an interview

Ursula has been a joy to have around and a tremendous help in the edit suite, helping us catch up on getting all our interviews logged and onto our hard drives so they can be transcribed and edited. This weekend Ursula is off to New York City, where she will begin work on the for-profit side of the film and television business. She’s been a joy to have around the office. We wish her well and hope this is not goodbye, but just “see you later!” . . .

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