“The most sacred tenet of capitalism is that you do not consume capital to pay for current expenses, yet, unwittingly, perhaps witlessly, the captains of industry and the free market entrepreneurs have been depleting the nation’s capital resource base for so long that they are unaware that they are sowing the seeds that will destroy the system. Every business enterprise in history that consumed its capital and called it profit, went bankrupt – sovereign nations are no different…it will just take them longer to get there.”
- Gaylord Nelson in 'An Introduction to Ecological Economics'
“It makes me see the little seeds of the vision, the little experiments in that vision already on the ground happening all over the world, and it makes me see that those are the places to be watered and nourished.”
- Donella Meadows in 'Costa Rica Counts the Future'
“In the face of incredulity and ridicule, the visionary economists, ecologists, scientists, and politicians presented in this series were among the first to formally propose a new operating system for the earth. Arguing for balanced biophysical budgets, demanding social and environmental justice, and putting restorative economic prosperity at the top of their strategic goals, these folks deliver! They are generous, brilliant and prophetic...our natural capital assets have never had better friends.”

- Paul Hawken, author, 'Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World
Came into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming'

Featuring four historic videos
"An Introduction to Ecological Economics"
"Investing in Natural Capital"
"Conversation for a Sustainable Society"
"Costa Rica Counts the Future"

in one DVD

Gaylord Nelson, Herman Daly, John Cobb Jr., Ann Kapuscinski, Martin Evers and others emphatically demonstrate that the human economy is a smaller, open sub-system of a finite, non-growing and materially closed ecosystem. The stunning liquidation of the forests in Siberia and the Pacific Northwest; the looming collapse of the global fishery; humanity’s preemption of the Net Primary Product of Photosynthesis; and Daly and Cobb’s ‘Index for Sustainable Economic Welfare’ are put into an exciting, revolutionary perspective. Video excerpts from ‘The Ancient Forest’ provided by Light Hawk, the ‘Environmental Air Force’. Video finalist, World Congress, Eco-Ed ’92, Toronto, Canada
INVESTING IN NATURAL CAPITAL, 42 minutes, 1993, Stockholm, Sweden
Herman Daly, Robert Costanza, Paul Ehrlich, William Rees, Cutler Cleveland, AnnMari Jansson, Paul Ekins and others explore the earth's carrying capacity as it relates to agriculture, international trade, property rights, and over-population. Filmed on the shores of the Baltic Sea, it is argued that we must shift investment from man-made capital to natural capital in order to adapt to a world with a new pattern of scarcity. The precautionary principle, per-capita resource consumption, ecological tariffs and more are discussed. Featuring the video map ‘World Population, 0000-2020’ by Zero Population Growth.
Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, David Orr, Dennis Meadows, Claudine Schneider and others bring humor and joviality to the serious business of energy efficiency and resource productivity. Promoting market-based end/use, least/cost solutions that include energy efficient technologies; lighting/heating/cooling retrofits in commercial leasing markets, utility reform; regulatory/accounting innovations; and system analyses by students of their college resource flows, the video provides a glimpse of the heady early days of the clean-tech revolution.
COSTA RICA COUNTS THE FUTURE, 45 minutes, 1996, San José, Costa Rica
Costa Rican President José Maria Figueres, Juan Martinez-Alier, Donella Meadows, Paul Ekins, Dr. Rodrigo Gámez, Dr. Alvaro Umaña and three rural Costa Rican Southern Zone cooperatives appear in this elegant, bilingual documentary (with Spanish/English subtitles) that presents Costa Rica’s adoption of ecological economics as official policy. CO2 mitigation services; secondary forest protection; commercial exploration and preservation of biodiversity; botanical medicine; eco-tourism; organic agriculture; economic opportunity for women; and sustainable yield mangrove charcoal production are included in this richly illustrated video.

In a series produced from 1991 to 1996, four provocative 45 minute documentary videos cover the historic emergence of the young science of ecological economics – in one easy to navigate DVD. Providing unprecedented access to the inspirational analyses and prescient warnings of some of the world’s most renowned ecologists, economists, scientists and politicians, Natural Capital Speaks! captures the fascinating, early days of an economics that counts the earth.


With special thanks to the International Society for Ecological Economics (www.ecoeco.org) for their support in the creation of this series; to the Madison Institute (www.themadisoninstitute.org), (in cooperation with the Madison Campus Ministry, partially funded by the Wisconsin Humanities Committee on behalf of the National Endowment for the Humanities), for their cooperation and assistance in the production of 'An Introduction to Ecological Economics'; and to the Rocky Mountain Institute (www.rmi.org) for the invitation to document their 10th Anniversary Celebration.
Production and Sound Assistance by Joanne E. Griesinger;
Sound, Lighting, Technical Coordination and Editing by Robert L. Campbell;
Produced, Directed, Designed and Filmed by Peter R. Griesinger.
In memory of my mother and father – vital, healthy, energetic people – who were prematurely struck down by ALS and Alzheimers; my close friend and compatriot, Ed ‘Citizen’ Hauser, who had what it took to defend and celebrate the singular health and beauty of the public realm; AnnMari Jansson, one of the cofounders of ecological economics and a believer in humanity's ability to self-organize; Gaylord Nelson, whose monumental achievements in public policy set a standard unmatched since that remarkable first Earth Day in 1970; and Donella Meadows, who helped unleash a great and limitless movement to envision and create a sustainable world. - PRG
For more background information on the production of each video, please click "FROM THE ORIGINAL VIDEOS"