Donella Meadows

Donella H. Meadows (1941-2001) was an adjunct professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College and director of the Sustainability Institute in Hartland, Vt.

Living

The state of the planet is grim. Should we give up hope?

Note: Donella Meadows died on 20 Feb. 2001. The following is excerpted from her story about writing The Limits to Growth in 1972. Limits was translated into 26 languages and sold more than 9 million copies.   COMPUTER PREDICTS WORLD …

Climate & Energy

Climate change is threatening Arctic critters

The place to watch for global warming — the sensitive point, the canary in the coal mine — is the Arctic. If the planet as a whole warms by one degree, the poles will warm by about three degrees. Which …

Food

Are we losing touch with good, simple things?

Years ago, when I went out to my new chicken house and found the very first freshly laid egg, I stared at it in awe. “How did that hen do that?” I wondered. She takes in grain and bugs and …

Business & Technology

Deregulation in California didn't help consumers, or the environment

As blackouts roll through California, the New Hampshire Supreme Court cleared the way for electrical restructuring, while a Vermont utility assured legislators that what is happening out West can’t happen here. Why not? The powers that don’t have to be. …

Politics

Let's hope campaign finance reform saves the day

I will never believe he won. I’ll always think he got a minority of both the popular and the electoral vote. To me he’ll always be President-Under-False-Pretense. The president-elect prepares to step up to the plate. Well, but you know, …

Climate & Energy

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

What do you do when you want to move fast but the way ahead is dark, possibly dangerous, and almost entirely unknown? Accelerate? Proceed with moderation? Slow way down? Stop? Don’t spray it. That question underlies most environmental regulations. We …

Sea lions escape with protections for now

The drama of the presidential election, they say, has awakened the interest of the public, and especially of young people, in the democratic process. So welcome, young people, to the entertainment that never ends. Once the question “who won?” is …

Sweden takes big steps to ban chemicals

However environmentally permissive a Republican-controlled U.S. may be, other parts of the world are pioneering attitudes, technologies, and laws that could carry us safely through the 21st century. As this week’s happy example, I offer the new global agreement on …

Politics

Will election 2000 lead to reform or not?

The crowds demonstrating outside Florida courtrooms and counting rooms have been reminding me of the historical opera “Boris Godounov.” It opens with peasants milling about, waiting to find out who will be their next czar. Every now and then a …