Dennis Meadows

Dennis Meadows is regarded as the “father” of the team of authors who wrote the ground-breaking book Die Grenzen des Wachstums (The Limits to Growth). That was in 1972, exactly 50 years ago.
Since then, the man has been travelling as a tireless admonisher. His voice carries weight. Die Grenzen des Wachstums (The Limits to Growth) has been translated into 30 languages, and Meadows has reached an audience of millions with his numerous lectures and interviews. Below you will find a personal selection of Dennis Meadows’ 20 best interviews. The last one is from February 17, 2022 and was given to SZ Magazin. Title: “The Western lifestyle will not last much longer”.

Dennis Meadows 2007 in Moskau Quelle:

It is remarkable that at the age of 80 and after such a long time, Meadows is still committed and continues to try to warn our society about the problems of the future. Nobody would have blamed him if he had finally thrown in the towel after his other books “The New Limits to Growth” (1992) and “The 30-Year Update” (2004).

I was always fascinated by his clear line and the message in his publications, which was not aimed solely at scientists. His logical insights were plausible for everyone, interesting and instructive.

I was lucky enough to meet Dennis Meadows in person on February 4, 2012. He spoke at the Amerikahaus in Munich on the subject of “The Limits to Growth and the Future of Humanity”. Through the mediation of Joan Davis, a good friend of Meadows, I had the opportunity of having a longer personal conversation with him after the lecture.

Josef Braun, an organic farmer known for his report “The Farmer with the Earthworms”, introduced me to Joan Davis.
The Swiss biochemist, who sadly passed away in 2016, was very committed to issues of sustainability and the limits of growth in addition to “classical” science.

What I remember most, apart from the conversation with Dennis Meadows, is his funny but very poignant example with the “crossed arms”:

The realisation: anything is possible if you just rethink and are prepared to make a paradigm shift.

The connection with Dennis Meadows and Joan Davis never broke off. I also told him about the plans to film the Maeva trilogy in order to bring the idea to the widest possible audience in the shortest possible time. Dennis Meadows then wrote us the following:
“I am happy to learn that you are still involved in finding ways for people to imagine alternatives to the current disastrous course. I hope you will manage to make the film. I wish you success in that.” And he added that we can of course use this quote when we approach the producers. It’s nice to have such supporters.

It’s amazing how close the ideas of Equilibrism and those of Dennis Meadows are.
One example that illustrates this is his famous quote, which perfectly and succinctly expresses one of the core ideas of Equilibrism:
“The main reason we see for the collapse of the industrialised system is that we have not yet fulfilled the basic intellectual prerequisite that is important for reversal: the abandonment of anthropocentric thinking. We humans are a complex subsystem in a multitude of complex systems that have developed over long periods of time, in interdependencies and in a dynamic network of relationships. Just as today we can only mock the geocentric view of the world before Copernicus and Galileo, we will hopefully soon arrive at a holistic view of the world in which humans are given their place in the whole and look back with amazement at the time when they saw themselves as detached from ‘the rest of creation’.”

It is highly regrettable that we as humanity have learnt very little from the warnings of this impressive man. However, it is unconscionable that we have not even made the slightest attempt to radically question our way of life. We have allowed half a century to pass unused.

Eric Bihl

24.11.2005 – Wir haben dreißig Jahre geschlafen

24.01.2008 – Kein fundamentaler Wechsel

22.06.2008 – Warum unser Planet auf total Chaos zusteuert

01.11.2008 – Die Produktion der Industrie wird massiv sinken

06.11.2008 – Und, hilft Ihnen das?

23.11.2008 – Es wäre besser, wir ändern uns freiwillig

24.04.2009 – Der böse Samurai ist schon tot, ohne es zu merken

02.07.2009 – Wir haben 30 Jahre verloren

09.12.2009 – Klimadebatte Kopenhagen

17.05.2010 – Es geht darum, weniger zu konsumieren

17.05.2010 – Der Systemkritiker

01.02.2011 – Die Energiepreise werden steigen

29.10.2011 – Für eine “nachhaltige Entwicklung” zu spät

03.03.2012 – Wir haben die Welt nicht gerettet

31.05.2012 – Nachhaltige Entwicklung ist Nonsens

03.06.2012 – Da ist nichts, was wir tun könnten

04.12.2012 – Grüne Industrie ist reine Phantasie

04.12.2012 – Für eine globale Mobilmachung ist es zu spät

01.09.2020 – Dem Wachstum die Grenzen aufzeigen

2012 – Die Demokratie wird alt und senil

17.02.2022 – Der westliche Lebensstil wird nicht mehr lange fortbestehen