"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.