THE BLOG
02/09/2015 05:07 pm ET Updated Apr 11, 2015

William R. Catton, Jr. (1926-2015)

William R. Catton, Jr. -- one of the most significant and influential ecological thinkers of the past century -- died last month, just shy of his 89th birthday. Catton was an inspiration to a host of climate change, peak oil, and sustainability-oriented leaders, including many of those who participated in "The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness".

As overstated as this may sound, it's nonetheless true: I have yet to meet anyone who has read Catton's masterful slim volume, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change and not said that it was one of the most important books they'd ever read. I certainly feel that way.

John Michael Greer posted a tribute to William Catton, titled, "As Night Closes In", which I recommend as a wonderful overview of Catton's thinking and why his work is so paradigm shattering.

Richard Heinberg also wrote a sweet tribute, titled, simply, "Thanks, Bill." (My comment beneath Heinberg's post outlines a fascinating and fun chain of events linking a number of luminaries impacted by this great man.)

I'm collecting tribute quotes from those who were influenced by William R. Catton, Jr. If that's true for you, please offer a sentence or two in the comments section below, or email me me at Michael(AT)ThankGodforEvolution.com.

Here are those that were emailed to me this week...

"William Catton was a pioneering world leader in dealing with environmental issues. He was one of the few sociologists who recognized the existential nature of the crisis now facing civilization. We're all going to miss him." ~ Paul R. Ehrlich

"William Catton was prescient enough to see what was coming from a long way off, and responsible enough to spend his life warning us. Peace on his soul, and heaven help our own." ~ Alan Weisman

"William Catton's Overshoot was the most important book of its time, and one of the most important of all times, in pointing out the biological fact that humans have a carrying capacity similar to other animal species, and that exceeding this carrying capacity - as we did long ago - has grave consequences for humanity and for nature. Unfortunately, we have still not heeded Catton's advice." ~ Reed F. Noss

"William Catton's Overshoot was one of the most important books of the 20th century. I wish that everyone would read that book. As well as being a brilliant and articulate advocate for sanity in a culture gone completely insane, Catton was a good and gentle person." ~ Derrick Jensen