I then emailed Dennis Meadows, one of the key authors, and asked if he could supplement my review with a few words intended to encourage my generation, who are left with a future that is as uncertain as it is daunting. He joked at the outset that even if he knew the answer, he could unlikely condense it into one short email, however, he did send a few paragraphs that I am pleased to be sharing below:

Humanity now faces an existential crisis:

Old patterns of thought and action used to produce improved welfare; now they do not.

Some alternative paths of development could be attractive in comparison with the current one; but our culture is so focused on growth that any suggestion of alternatives is automatically understood to be a counsel of doom.

We have moved into a period of crisis that will last decades. The larger the crisis, the more pressure there is to think short-term. But fundamental solutions to problems like climate change or the growing gap between rich and poor require long-term thinking and the capacity to sacrifice now for gains later. Our political systems are quite inadequate for this.

It is no longer realistically possible to entertain the notion of indefinite progress. Rather than give up their fantasies and search for alternatives, people tend just to ignore the problems, or view them only through the lens of self interest.

All the above not withstanding, there are options for action now that will give us better outcomes than we will get otherwise. Finding those options and motivating people to pursue them is the challenge.

It means the problem is not essentially one of technology. No doubt new technologies will be developed and some of them could be helpful. But the main issue is to develop cultures, norms, institutions that are more compatible with a steady state. I hope your work might help achieve that. I worked on it for 40 years, and now I am passing the baton.


Dennis Meadows

Trailer for the documentary 'Last Call':

More posts by Nick Breeze

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is the first of the big global conferences of 2020 that will lead us to COP26 in Glasgow where governments will be under enormous pressure to agree safe and realistic action for the future. With Extinction Rebellion (XR) and other protest groups converging in the Swiss alpine town of Davos, I asked their leading spokesperson, Rupert Read, whether the tone being set here is encouraging:


The UK is readying itself for the presidency of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), to be held in Glasgow in November 2020. In the wake of the failure of COP25, a British presidency must bring to bear its accumulated powers in diplomacy, persuasion, purpose, and determination, to recreate trust in the Paris accord, kickstarting a new decade of meaningful achievements on safeguarding our collective future. 


Seeing the extent of environmental destruction in 2015, Jackie Bond started volunteering for the Green Party in Southwark, SE London. In the last year, aside for standing for the Greens in Vauxhall and doubled their share of the vote, she has worked extensively with Extinction Rebellion, organising civil actions in pursuit of radical climate action. In this interview with Nick Breeze, Jackie discusses how she got involved in XR, why we need to put the climate crisis at the centre of policymaking, and her strategy for creating change in the UK.


Longstanding climate change siren, Professor James Hansen talks to Nick Breeze about negative emissions technologies NET's, accelerating emissions, the need for international and intergenerational cooperations. Is he optimistic?


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A three day hearing at the High Court is in process that will decide whether an injunction be granted, effectively preventing any campaigning that might negatively impact the economic interests of UKOG and their associated companies.