Donella Meadows Obituary

Mike Williams mikesw at
Sat Feb 24 21:00:12 EST 2001

Thank you.  I was not aware of Ms. Meadows but now I want to know more.  Any
links to her writings?  This post stands out amongst the many many
meaningless posts that make up most newsgroups.  Thanks again....
Karl Davies <karl at> wrote in message
news:3A971B32.C5BFACC5 at
> Obituary [Wednesday, February 21, 2001]
> Donella Meadows, Lead Author of The Limits to Growth, Has Died
> Donella H. Meadows, 59, a pioneering environmental scientist and writer,
> died Tuesday in New Hampshire after a brief illness.  She was best known
> to the world as the lead author of the international bestselling book
> The Limits to Growth, published in 1972.  The book, which reported on a
> study of long-term global trends in population, economics, and the
> environment, sold millions of copies and was translated into 28
> languages.  She was also the lead author of the twenty-year follow-up
> study, Beyond the Limits (1992), with original co-authors Dennis Meadows
> and Jørgen Randers.
> Professor Meadows, known as "Dana" to friends and colleagues, was a
> leading voice in what has become known as the "sustainability movement,"
> an international effort to reverse damaging trends in the environment,
> economy, and social systems.  Her work is widely recognized as a
> formative influence on hundreds of other academic studies, government
> policy initiatives, and international agreements.
> Dana Meadows was also a devoted teacher of environmental systems,
> ethics, and journalism to her students at Dartmouth College in Hanover,
> New Hampshire, where she taught for 29 years.  In addition to her many
> original contributions to systems theory and global trend analysis, she
> managed a small farm and was a vibrant member of her local community.
> Genuinely unconcerned with her international fame, she often referred to
> herself simply as "a farmer and a writer."
> Donella Meadows was born March 13, 1941 in Elgin, Illinois, and educated
> in science, earning a B.A. in chemistry from Carleton College in 1963
> and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University in 1968.  As a
> research fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she was a
> protégé of Jay Forrester, the inventor of system dynamics as well as the
> principle of magnetic data storage for computers.
> In 1972 she was on the MIT team that produced the global computer model
> "World3" for the Club of Rome and provided the basis for The Limits to
> Growth.  The book made headlines around the world, and began a debate
> about the limits of the Earth's capacity to support human economic
> expansion, a debate that continues to this day.  Her writing - appearing
> most often in the form of a weekly column called "The Global Citizen,"
> nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1991 -- has been published regularly
> in the international press since that time.
> In 1981, together with her former husband Dennis Meadows, Donella
> Meadows founded the International Network of Resource Information
> Centers (INRIC), also called the Balaton Group (after the lake in
> Hungary where the group meets annually).  The group built early and
> critical avenues of exchange between scientists on both sides of the
> Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War.
> As the Balaton Group's coordinator for eighteen years, she facilitated
> what grew to become an unusually effective global process of information
> sharing and collaboration among hundreds of leading academics,
> researchers, and activists in the broader sustainability movement.
> Professor Meadows also served on many national and international boards
> and scientific committees, and taught and lectured all over the world.
> She was recognized as a 1991 Pew Scholar and as a 1994 MacArthur Fellow
> for her work. In 1992 the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)
> presented her with an honorary doctorate.
> In 1997, Professor Meadows founded the Sustainability Institute, which
> she described as a "think-do-tank." The Institute combines cutting edge
> research in global systems with practical demonstrations of sustainable
> living, including the development of an ecological village and organic
> farm in Hartland Four Corners, Vermont.
> Donella Meadows is survived by her mother, Phoebe Quist of Tahlequah
> Oklahoma; her father, Don Hager of the Chicago area; a brother, Jason
> Hager, of Wisconsin; cousins and nephews; and a large community of
> colleagues and friends, both international and local, in the
> organizations that she founded and assisted.
> ____________________
> Obituary prepared by members of the Balaton Group (INRIC)
> *********************
> Thomas Jefferson and Donella Meadows, Slave-Owners [Excerpt]
> By Donella Meadows
> November 12, 1998
> .If you were a Virginia planter back then, you had slaves. Though you
> despised the very idea, it was an idea that ran the economy. To refuse
> to go along with it would have meant losing your livelihood, your farm,
> your society, your culture.
> I am as passionate a gardener as TJ, and I also have slaves. They are
> not people, they are a tiller, a tractor, a chainsaw, a farm truck. I
> also fly on planes, I drive a car, I heat my house partially with oil.
> If I'm an average American, I consume in fossil fuel the energy
> equivalent of 80 full-time slaves.
> At the same time I believe with all my heart that emitting greenhouse
> gases, exuding toxins, and driving species to extinction is immoral. I
> could say as passionately as Jefferson, "Indeed, I tremble for my
> planet, when I reflect that Nature is inflexible: that her response to
> our abuse cannot sleep forever." I'm sure that future generations,
> coping with the messes we are making, will look back at us with
> revulsion and ask, "how could they LIVE that way?"
> Like Jefferson, I do my best to mitigate my sins, to use my energy
> slaves kindly and efficiently, to reduce my load on the groaning earth.
> But to do that entirely would be to lose my livelihood, my farm, my
> society, my whole culture.

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list