"It is a great piece of work. I give it 5 stars."
Lester Brown - founder of the Worldwatch Institute and president of the Earth Policy Institute
The Great Squeeze” comes down solidly on the side not only of the truth of global warming but of the existing crisis of the environment on many fronts, and it does so in a remarkably anthropological way. (read more)
Eller, Jack David - Anthropology Review Database
"The Great Squeeze is a remarkable film, visually evocative, intellectually stimulating, emotionally engaging. It brings our current crises to life at the same time highlighting a path to a better future. I highly recommend it."
Riane Eisler - Sociologist & Best-selling author
"Individual happiness has not increased along with our wealth and waste, with business as usual leading down the road to advanced environmental collapse. The public performance versions offer a bonus short film and extended interviews with additional experts. This film is an articulate reminder of the urgent need to mandate lifestyle changes to try to save ourselves. Both DVDs are recommended for general audiences interested in environmental and energy issues."
David R. Conn, Surrey - Library Journal
“The film provides a worthwhile summary of the key challenges and the links between them.”
Carol Smith - United Nations University
“Sure to help strengthen awareness of an escalating situation, this is recommended ”
J. Wadland, Video Librarian Magazine - (July-August 2009)
"Largely due to its impressive array of intellectual muscle, the film presents its points in a very balanced and scientific way … Well worth a watch."
Kristin Sponsler - Energy Bulletin
"While many viewers would be fascinated with the scientific research of the film, I was fascinated with their psychology, that is, questions of how it is that humanity has arrived at this place in its history." (read more)
Carolyn Baker - Speaking Truth to Power
"...the film does a great job of crystallizing this message, explaining exactly what we've been doing wrong and how it's affected the planet ...
Julie Littman for Sierra Club - The Green Life (read more)
"The value and candor of this documentary cannot be understated.
Highly recommended ."
Michael J. Coffta, Business Librarian, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
"The better documentaries are expressions of some epiphany by the filmmaker - a Big Deal urgently needing to be conveyed to a larger audience. All too often that central idea is only half-glimpsed. The Great Squeeze comes to us wholly formed. The issues it presents are systemic and existential. They are core to our human self-concept. And yet, what the film is telling us is both unfamiliar and unwelcome. That all of this is carried through cinematically, leaving us still a glimmer of hope at the end, is profound. You will walk away changed."
Albert Bates - instructor in permaculture & natural building
The following article can be published in part or in its entirety as long as the source is quoted as seen below.
A Green Renaissance
By Christophe Fauchere, The Great Squeeze: Surviving the Human Project
March 4th, 2009
We are at a decisive time in human history, poised to fight battles on many fronts. The enemies are not extremists in a foreign country but within us. The economic downturn today is a sad, but logical addition to the shortsighted decision making that has also resulted in the degradation of our environment and mismanagement of our natural resources for the last 150 years.
The world over the past century has been running on steroids, AKA fossil fuels, the double-edged sword of our modern times. These cheap and abundant sources of energy have allowed the world agricultural output to explode along with the population, doubling in just 50 years to more that 6 billion and growing. Economies have expanded dramatically, lifting the world out of the “Stone Age” while slowly crushing any kind of local sustainable economies. We have been over-sizing our infrastructures, expanding suburbia to grotesque sizes and building monuments to ourselves. Basically, our entire civilization is built around those finite and dirty fossil fuels. In the process of rising to these new heights, we’ve damaged our eco-system, altered the earth climate, accelerated species extinction and over-extracted and over-used most of our natural resources, including fossil fuels, the pillars of our industrial society. And if all of that were not enough, the laissez-faire philosophy of shortsighted elected officials and the greedy behavior of influential business leaders have plunged our entire global economy into a deep recession.
The culprits of all those crises are not strangers to us today. They are the same type of leaders that precipitated the collapse of the Anasazi society, the Mayan civilization or the Easter Island people by overshooting the economic and carrying capacity of their environment. For the past 150 years we’ve been behaving like a teenager behind the wheel of a new car too thrilled and oblivious of the danger of the curve ahead. How could we have accepted an economic model, based on infinite growth that doesn’t take into account our environment and is fueled by finite natural resources?
Despite the free falling values of 401Ks and the staggering jump in employment, there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed, we have the opportunity to turn around our industrial, throw away economy and move towards a green sustainable one. This is the perfect time to take bold action and unite behind the idea that the human economy is part of nature and not the other way around.
One doesn’t have to be an expert to see the obvious short-term benefits that a green economy would have on our current dire situation. However harnessing more energy from renewable sources or rebuilding and retrofitting our infrastructure alone won’t be enough to overcome those merging crises. It will alleviate the symptoms. But won’t cure the disease. The world needs to move away from a consumer/manufacture-based economy to a more civic/service-oriented economy that is less wasteful in its use of natural resources and energy.
But above all, we need to be more involved in the democratic process by staying informed and keeping business leaders and elected officials accountable. An educated public could have avoided that big mess in the first place. In the film "The Great Squeeze", anthropologist David Stuart when referring to a past collapsed society says “One of the most surprising things about human society as opposed to human individuals is that groups make decisions that individuals would often not make on a bet. And so an entire society can make a terribly obsessive decision that we are going to pursue our interests as the Chacoan elites probably did that only further does damage.” Humanity is capable of amazing things. We found cures to diseases, landed robots on Mars, and are mapping the human genome. Why can’t we make good viable decisions for ourselves and for future generations?
The Renaissance of the 14th century is described as a time when long-held beliefs of the Dark Ages were obliterated and replace by classical ideas that had long been lost. In some ways we are at a similar place today. Our renaissance should be a social and political upheaval that reconnects humanity with nature and allows us to prosper within its rules. “I think from the breakthrough that we had” says renowned biologist E.O. Wilson “we formulated our early perceptions of the way the world works and also our ethical premises with reference to the rest of the living world. It’s only recently that we’ve learned that that was incorrect.” Author Richard Heinberg adds ”If we’re going to make a transition to a sustainable society,” when talking about the inadequacy of GDP as an indicator of human progress, “we have to get away from using these one dimensional metrics and start looking at the complexity of human life within a living environment and start valuing simple things like human happiness and satisfaction and the viability of our surroundings”