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Heading for a Cliff With Thelma & Louise

That’s my line in the opening tease for this recent conversation on Peak Moment TV. If I do say so myself, this is a good metaphor to explain how we’re fiddling around at the margins while we fail to recognize we’re participants in a growth-seeking system that has us locked on a collision course with limits to growth.


Janaia Donaldson interviews Dave Gardner on Peak Moment

I’m happy to share this interview produced by Janaia Donaldson and Robin Mallgren of Peak Moment TV. They gave me an outstanding opportunity to explain the what and why of my upcoming documentary, Hooked on Growth. If you want to understand what the non-profit GrowthBusters film project is all about, watch this interview.

Back to my Thelma and Louise metaphor: To elaborate, it’s as if we’re in a convertible roaring toward a cliff. The cliff is far enough in the distance we can’t make it out clearly. It doesn’t seem like an immediate danger. But as we get closer and begin to realize where we’re heading, what do we do?

ThelmaAndLouise

Instead of stopping or turning the car, we fiddle with the radio – change the volume, tune to a different station. We roll down the windows, dust off the dash, clean the mirror. But we don’t slam on the brakes or do a James Bond J-turn to quickly head in another direction. Heck, we don’t even gently change course.

Of course, I’m referring to modern society’s irrational, growth-addicted response to mounting evidence we have hit the limits of Earth’s ability to meet our needs and wants. We’re experiencing peak oil, peak water and peak food. We’ve passed peak soil, peak fish, peak biodiversity, and optimum climate. You get the picture.

NO, you don’t! None of us do. We are not behaving as if facing an emergency. I count myself among the irrational here. Trust me, I’m working on it, but I’m still navigating, living and working within the system that all evidence demands we leave behind. I still get in a car and drive several times each week. I still board a jet airliner from time to time. I confess! I even enjoy the occasional cheeseburger! At our best, mainstream environmentalists give away compact flourescent light bulbs, fight sprawl, and promote composting, carpooling and permaculture. While these are all good moves, at this stage of the game they will make about as much difference to the outcome as cleaning the mirror of Thelma & Louise’s convertible. They are not enough if we don’t change course. Why do so few of us address the systemic problems? As I explain to Janaia in this episode of Peak Moment, my documentary Hooked on Growth attempts to answer that question.

A growing grassroots support network is helping produce, fund and distribute the film. With their help, and yours, Hooked on Growth will hit screens the first half of 2011. Check out the complete interview, and explore other episodes of Peak Moment. I love what Janaia and Robin are doing. And join us at GrowthBusters. Become part of a groundbreaking film project that will deliver a much-needed wake-up call. It was sad to see Thelma and Louise drive off that cliff. Let’s not join them.

Dave Gardner is producing the non-profit documentary, Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity.

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