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  • ”On the one hand, it’s politically impossible to stop growth. On the other hand, it’s biophysically impossible to continue it ad infinitum. So, which impossibility is fundamentally impossible?”
    – Herman Daly
    former World Bank senior economist
  • ”The inescapable failure of a society built upon growth and its destruction of the Earth’s living systems are the overwhelming facts of our existence.”
    – George Monbiot
    Guardian columnist
  • ”At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.”
    – Paul Hawken
  • ”I have – over the last five years – quite rapidly become a Malthusian. I have been won over by the data, and I have been won over by the logic of the math.”
    – Jeremy Grantham
    investment strategist
  • ”You don’t have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy.”
    – Paul Ehrlich
    author: The Population Bomb
  • ”A growing nation is the greatest ponzi game ever contrived.”
    – Paul Samuelson
    economist
  • ”In the short term, we must realize that we have better ways to create jobs and build the economy than holding an everything must go sale on our precious resources.”
    – Dr. David Suzuki
  • ”We can’t frack our way back to economic prosperity; nor can we unplug a coal plant, plug in a solar panel, and go on expanding population and consumption.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”I have – over the last five years – quite rapidly become a Malthusian. I have been won over by the data, and I have been won over by the logic of the math.”
    – Jeremy Grantham
    investment strategist
  • ”There will inevitably come a time that the society drastically needs to change the way it interacts with the environment, or it will lose its coherence.”
    – Sander van der Leeuw
  • ”We can’t frack our way back to economic prosperity; nor can we unplug a coal plant, plug in a solar panel, and go on expanding population and consumption.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”A growing nation is the greatest ponzi game ever contrived.”
    – Paul Samuelson
    economist
  • ”Long-term sustainability requires a materially smaller economy (the pie) shared more equitably (not equally) by a smaller population.”
    – William Rees
    Co-originator of Ecological Footprint Analysis
  • ”We can share the earth and take care of it together, rather than trying to possess it, destroying the beauty of life in the process.”
    – Dalai Lama
  • ”The free-market fundamentalists will tell you that more growth, more stuff and 9 billion people going shopping is the best we can do. They’re wrong. We can be more. We can be much more.”
    – Paul Gilding
    author: The Great Disruption
  • ”Our economic activity is at war with the planet.”
    – Naomi Klein
  • ”Continual increases in population and consumption cannot continue forever on a finite planet.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”Population is the multiplier of everything we do wrong.”
    – Dr. Martha M. Campbell
  • ”We’re going to need some kind of radical break with our past behavior if we’re to engineer a viable future.”
    – Mark Buchanan
    Bloomberg columnist
  • ”We’ve globalized an utterly untenable economic model of hyperconsumerism. It’s now successfully spreading across the world, and it’s killing us.”
    – Naomi Klein
  • ”You don’t have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy.”
    – Paul Ehrlich
    author: The Population Bomb
  • ”In today’s full world, resources are not only scarce but have become the limiting factor”
    – Herman Daly
    former World Bank senior economist
  • ”We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children.”
    – Joe Romm
    physicist
  • ”If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, people with a new vision. It will not be saved by people with the old vision but new programs.”
    – Daniel Quinn
    author: Ishmael and The Story of B
  • ”There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.”
    – Mahatma Ghandhi
  • ”The truth is this: the Earth cannot provide enough food and fresh water for 10 billion people, never mind homes, never mind roads, hospitals and schools.”
    – Richard Branson
  • ”Our economic activity is at war with the planet.”
    – Naomi Klein
  • ”As I see it, humanity needs to reduce its impact on the Earth urgently and there are three ways to achieve this: we can stop consuming so many resources, we can change our technology and we can reduce the growth of our population.”
    – Sir David Attenborough
  • ”We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it.”
    – Paul Hawken
  • ”Because of this civilization’s obsession with growth, its demise is 100 percent predictable. We simply cannot go on living this way.”
    – Adam Sacks
  • ”If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, people with a new vision. It will not be saved by people with the old vision but new programs.”
    – Daniel Quinn
    author: Ishmael and The Story of B
  • ”Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
    – Kenneth Boulding
    economist
  • ”Who’s gonna stand up and save the Earth? Who’s gonna say that she’s had enough?”
    – Neil Young
  • ”Continual increases in population and consumption cannot continue forever on a finite planet.”
    – Richard Heinberg
  • ”This is not about whales anymore. It’s about us.”
    – Thomas Friedman
  • ”Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
    – Edward Abbey
  • ”Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
    – E.F. Schumacher
    author: Small is Beautiful

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, AxisOfEco.com, 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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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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