Dennis Meadows, author of The Limits to Growth gave a bit of wake-up call of an interview to der Spiegel as the Copenhagen conference kicked off. It featured this gem of an exchange:

"SPIEGEL ONLINE: How do you deal with the fact that your analyses have failed to bring about any real changes?

Meadows: A long time ago I thought we would have to achieve a total utopia in order to avoid total collapse. Today I am somewhat more balanced. For me personally it is enough if I make the world a little better than it would have been without me. Everyone should rethink their own lifestyle, their carbon footprint and try to think one step ahead into the future.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What has the reaction been to this kind of advice?

Meadows: A fashion editor once asked me about lifestyle changes. I asked her how many pairs of shoes she had. It was 18. I advised her that three pairs would be enough. Unfortunately the article was never published. Many habits are deeply rooted and it takes practice to get rid of them."

A far meatier presentation of Mr Meadow's views comes in this speech he gave last November at the Central European University in Budapest. Uncomfortable stuff.

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  1. Anonymous // 12/23/2009 07:41:00 AM

    ...ONLY eighteen pairs??!?! She obviously wasn't counting house slippers, hiking boots, wellies, yoga shoes, running shoes, and the canvas Converse All-Stars in several colours which no one in their right-mind would call "shoes"......


  2. Anonymous // 12/23/2009 09:35:00 PM

    oh yeah, and Uggg's are NOT shoes either (according to my daughter)


  3. Admin // 12/23/2009 10:00:00 PM

    Meadows: How many pairs of shoes do you have, my dear?

    Fashion hack: [Great question. He means, like, non-couture] That'd be 18, Dennis.

    In truth, pretty rare things, shoes.


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