Hooked on Growth – Meet the Filmmaker (177)

pm177_556Dave Gardner’s upcoming documentary looks at modern society and asks, why are we behaving irrationally? There’s overwhelming evidence we’ve reached the limits to growth, yet we continue in our addiction. In searching for a cure, Dave starts with the need to tell different stories and shares examples from several folks he’s interviewed. He highlights an amusing segment which depicts a family’s impacts remaining in their yard! This “crowd-produced” film will also show activities at the community level which could make a huge positive difference. Episode 177. [www.growthbusters.org].

Watch videoAudio | iTunes | Review: Are We Hooked on Growth? Dispatches from the Edge of a Cliff | Janaia’s journal: Dave Gardner – a Conversation Destined to Happen


  1. Stuart M. says:

    Hello Iselin Celestine,

    I noticed your comment and then discovered my old comment from August 2010. A lot has happened since last August! The tsunami and nuclear reactor disaster has opened a lot of eyes here in Japan. People who used to laugh at me when I talked about increasing our resilience for Peak Oil by encouraging community and small scale farming are now actively searching for garden plots. I guess their motivation is more to grow radiation-free vegetables, but I’ll take any kind of resilience I can get! Well, I am now the proud “user” of a free garden plot close by in our neighborhood. People who use to guffaw at my “the sky is falling” predictions are now all full of advice: “Don’t over-till that soil, you’ll kill all the earthworms!” and “Leave me a corner so I can grow something too!” and “Can I use some of that compost you’ve been making all these months [when I was snickering at you]?” AAhhhh yes, vindication is sweet!

  2. Iselin Celestine says:

    Oh how I relate to Dave’s mention of the perception of much/most of the populace (“pariah”). Even measured in my communication, in the effort (and it truly has been this) to meet a potential partner, I sense that the majority of the latter think of me as unbalanced, extreme, and/or suspect in my viewpoints and choice/desire to live a particularly low-consumption lifestyle.

    I read Stuart’s remarks about the Japanese experience. After more recent events, I was reflecting upon this today. The catastrophe involving nuclear power, the prevalence of plastic-wrapped and highly-processed foods, a decades-long emphasis on technology…
    Suddenly disaster strikes, and with what does this population have to sustain itself? To me, this is a graphic example for all nations and peoples with regard to the folly of relying upon our current industrialized and globalized way of living.

  3. Stuart M. says:

    I do think the Japanese experience can tell us a lot about the future of the USA. The Japanese have tried everything to jumpstart their economy since they had their own asset bubble back in 1991. Any meager growth they’ve achieved has been in the export sector which is now coming under intense pressure from the Chinese. The Japanese population is aging and deaths have been outpacing births recently, meaning negative population growth. Although Japan’s urban culture with its skyscrapers and manga comics is the one most seen in foreign news broadcasts, I think I see some good trends. There seems to be a growing emphasis on reviving the Japanese countryside. Vegetable growing and farming get a lot of attention on the TV. Although there are some big problems, some may turn out to be opportunities. While the average age of Japanese farmers is also well over 60 years old, young urban unemployed are increasingly willing to move to the countryside to take up jobs in agriculture. One prediction that urban retirees would flock to the countryside to live in abandoned farm towns hasn’t panned out though.

    I live in Hokkaido, Japan’s industrial agricultural heartland, and see every day unsustainable farming practices like “poly-vinyl farming” where greenhouses are wrapped in plastic and even entire farm fields are covered in plastic to discourage weeds. However, I just joined an organic farm CSA program (kind of a weekly vegetable subscription service) set up by an American-Japanese farming couple. “Back to the land” is a frequent theme in many magazines and TV shows. Tourism is still heavily dependent on the automobile, but small restaurants featuring locally grown organic food are popping up throughout the countryside. I think the popular mood in Japan is swinging in the right direction– away from high consumption, high overtime and high stress lifestyles to more sustainable downsizing of expectations.

    Or maybe I am just imagining all this in a state of DENIAL!

  4. Ed Adamthwaite says:

    Hi Janaia,
    Another conversation that’s right on the money. I can’t wait to see Dave’s documentary, although for me it will be like preaching to the converted.
    The tragedy is that the western world is so focused on growth that apart from a few, cannot see that we are currently in the middle of collapse and that the final throes must come sooner or later.
    Dave the messenger is providing a service that many don’t want to hear, so hopefully his approach gets under their guard and manages to open their eyes.
    Well done.


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