Interview met Dennis Meadows

Dennis Meadows visited the Netherlands last year on invitation by the Club of Rome Dutch Association. We Love Earth was present during the event “Holistic Leadership in times of Climate Change” in which Dennis Meadows played an important role, and found the time to interview and film Dennis Meadows. The four films in which Mr. Meadows shares his ideas are highly insightful.

About Dennis Meadows – co-author of the Limits to Growth report

Dennis Meadows is an American scientist and together with his spouse Donella Meadows (who sadly deceased in 2001) is part of the original group of four authors who published the first edition of ‘The Limits to Growth’ in 1972 – a book that really quite literally shook the world and that was hugely influential in the rise of the global environmental movement (leading for instance to the formation of a large number of today well-known environmental NGOs within 2 or 3 years).

Dennis Meadows is now 75 years old, but still working and impressively so. What struck us most when talking to him was his no-nonsense attitude. No compliments, no trivia, as if to emphasize there really is no time for that – giving the state that we’re in. “If this isn’t collapse, then what is” – are the words that still echo in our heads after his interview and lecture (for images see: at Nyenrode Business University earlier that same day. Why? Because no one else in this world is better equipped to make that point.

Together with his co-authors Meadows is the founding father of ‘systems thinking’ – viewing our planet and the global society as one intricate system, one that includes everything: ecology, demography, resources – and of course the economic system. The main take away message: this system is physically finite. Yet 45 years later, the world is equally in denial – delusional might be a better description – and if you look at the graphs from the initial book, well, we’re extremely well on track of exactly the lines that were drawn using the very first global system models by these very four scientists in the early seventies – lines that will irrevocably lead to full-system collapse.

Meadows does not show any pride for a man who history has shown to be so extremely right. His main concern is education. People need to know – people need to be equipped to think, and also to care.

We Love Earth shares the videos freely in order to help spread this message. You can help too: by using this material in your own organization or community and entering into a conversation about its meaning.

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