compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
"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.
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 scenarios.
Part 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
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.
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