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.

Ethnic Cleansing in the Chicken Coop

I didn’t plan it this way, but I have birds of three different sizes in my chicken coop, which is a bad idea. The coop has a floor-to-ceiling chicken-wire divider down the middle. On one …

A Climate Scientist Takes His Computer Model Seriously

At the University of Wisconsin’s program on Climate, People, and Environment, Dr. Jonathan Foley makes computer models to study what might happen if the human economy continues to emit greenhouse gases. Like hundreds of other …

Clustering — Good Idea, Hard to Do

“Our city is considering cluster zoning. Is this a good idea or isn’t it?” came a question from a friend the other day. I think clustering is a good idea. I’m about to live in …

There's Farming and Then There's Farming

A while ago, Beth Sawin and Phil Rice, researchers at the Sustainability Institute, put together a graph that I can’t get out of my mind. It shows Midwest corn yields doubling from about 60 bushels …

What's the President Worth? For Doing What?

Driving home the other night, I heard a snatch of radio discussion about whether we’re paying the president enough. If I understood the argument while dodging traffic, it seems that corporate executive salaries have soared …

Never Mind Paper Vs. Plastic Bags. How Did You Get to the Grocery Store?

Finally! A sensible list of things we can do to save the planet! Discussion on this topic has been muddled since the 50 Simple Things book came out years ago. It was a well-meant list …

A Tale of Two Fisheries

At the beginning of this millennium, the Norse began to fish what is now called the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland. In 1501, the Company of Adventurers to the New Found Lands was …

Amory Lovins Sees the Future and It Is Hydrogen

For 25 years, energy guru Amory Lovins has been seeing farther and farther into the energy future. He has been labeled a dreamer, but by now he’s accumulated enough of a record to qualify as …

The Great North American Carbon Sink — Maybe

“Aha! We knew it!” a number of conservative columnists have been crowing lately. “Greenhouse, schmeenhouse, go right on driving those sports utility vehicles.” The cause of their excitement is an article published in Science magazine, …

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