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 "Confirming many of the trends outlined in The Limits to Growth 

  three decades ago, we are now 20 percent above the Earth's carrying

  capacity, and on a collision course with unsupportable population 

  growth, biodiversity loss, runaway climate change and global food

  and water shortages. With even the Pentagon warning that global

  warming could pose more of a threat than terrorism, it's time we

  paid serious attention to the sustainable prescriptions outlined in -

  Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Global Update." — Jim Motavalli




Last Call examines the predictions and impact of one of the

most important and controversial environmental books of all time -

The Limits to Growth, published four decades ago.

In 1972, the publication of the book shook the world, selling 30 million copies

in 30 languages, and marked a turning point in thinking about the environment.

Prepared for the Club of Rome, the book was based on the work of a team of

young scientists from MIT who created the first computer model to analyze the

interaction over time of exponential growth with finite natural resources.

Their primary message was that the human footprint, if unchecked, would grow

beyond the carrying capacity of the planet on a sustainable basis. They

concluded that humanity must adapt to the planet’s limits or risk overshoot,

which could result in the collapse of global support systems and human decline.

Their conclusions stimulated broad interest and significant debate, but not

much action on their scenario for avoiding overshoot.



Limits to Growth is a study about the future of our planet.


On behalf of the Club of Rome - Donnella Meadows, Dennis Meadows,   Jorgen Randers and their team worked on systems analysis at Jay W. Forrester’s institute at MIT. They created a computing model which took into account the relations between various global developments and produced computer simulations for alternative scenariosPart of the modelling were different amounts of possibly available resources, different levels of agricultural productivity, birth control or environmental protection.  


Most scenarios resulted in an ongoing growth of population and of the economy until to a turning point around 2030. Only drastic measures for environmental protection proved to be suitable to change this systems behaviour, and only under these circumstances, scenarios could be calculated in which both world population and wealth could remain at a constant level.


However, so far the necessary political measures were not taken.




The necessity of taking the industrial world to its next stage of evolution

is not a disasterit is an amazing opportunity.  How to seize the

opportunity, how to bring into being a world that is not only sustainable,

functional, and equitable but also deeply desirable is a question of

leadership and ethics and vision and courage, properties not of

computer models but of the human heart and soul









Views: 142

Comment by Michael Grove on June 16, 2013 at 9:40

In 1972, the now-classic book Limits to Growth explored the consequences for Earth’s ecosystems of exponential growth in population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and    resource depletion. That book, which still stands as the best-selling environmental title ever published, reported on the first attempts to use computers to model the likely interactions between trends in resources, consumption, and population. It summarized the first major scientific study to question the assumption that economic growth can and will continue more or less uninterrupted into the foreseeable future - Richard Heinberg / Post Carbon Institute 

Comment by Michael Grove on June 16, 2013 at 9:59

As Richard Heinberg has said -

Limits to Growth foresaw this inflection point nearly forty years ago. But the world failed to heed the warning; as a result, adaptation now will be much more difficult than would have been the case if growth had been proactively curtailed decades ago. Global leaders now face the need to accomplish four enormous tasks simultaneously:

1. Rapidly reduce dependence on fossil fuels. 

2. Adapt to the end of economic growth.  

3. Design and provide a sustainable way of life for 7 billion people.

4. Deal with the environmental consequences of the past 100 years

    of fossil-fueled growth.  

Each of these four tasks represents an enormous challenge whose difficulty is multiplied by the simultaneous need to address the other three. The convergence of so many civilization-threatening

planetary crises is unique in our history as a species.



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