Limits to Growth

Front Cover
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, Oct 1, 1972
14 Reviews
In 1972, three scientists from MIT created a computer model that analyzed global resource consumption and production. Their results shocked the world and created stirring conversation about global 'overshoot, ' or resource use beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. Now, preeminent environmental scientists Donnella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows have teamed up again to update and expand their original findings in "The Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Global Update,"Meadows, Randers, and Meadows are international environmental leaders recognized for their groundbreaking research into early signs of wear on the planet. Citing climate change as the most tangible example of our current overshoot, the scientists now provide us with an updated scenario and a plan to reduce our needs to meet the carrying capacity of the planet.Over the past three decades, population growth and global warming have forged on with a striking semblance to the scenarios laid out by the World3 computer model in the original "Limits to Growth," While Meadows, Randers, and Meadows do not make a practice of predicting future environmental degradation, they offer an analysis of present and future trends in resource use, and assess a variety of possible outcomes.In many ways, the message contained in "Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update" is a warning. Overshoot cannot be sustained without collapse. But, as the authors are careful to point out, there is reason to believe that humanity can still reverse some of its damage to Earth if it takes appropriate measures to reduce inefficiency and waste.Written in refreshingly accessible prose, "Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update" is a long anticipated revival ofsome of the original voices in the growing chorus of sustainability. "Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update" is a work of stunning intelligence that will expose for humanity the hazy but critical line between human growth and human development.

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Review: The Limits to Growth

User Review  - Sancho - Goodreads

In The Limits to Growth, the authors develop a model to describe the possible outcomes that variables such as population increase, agricultural production, industrial output and pollution generation ... Read full review

Review: The Limits to Growth

User Review  - Jan - Goodreads

I had the opportunity to attend a guest lecture by Dennis Meadows a year back. He pointed out how critics have misrepresented the arguments (eg taking his calculations on the "life expectancy" of ... Read full review

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About the author (1972)

Trained as a biophysicist, American scientist Donella H. Meadows earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Early in her career, Meadows was a member of a joint Harvard-MIT research group that developed a computer simulation model clarifying relationships between growth and finite resources on the earth. Using this model, the Club of Rome sponsored extensive research that resulted in the best-selling book, "The Limits to Growth" (1972), co-authored by Meadows and others. Attention was focused on a doomsday prognosis if growth continued unchecked. Meadows and her associates, however, presented options for achieving a sustainable society if there were a movement away from dependence on growth, equity in wealth, and if technologies were used to enhance efficiency of natural-resource use. "Toward Global Equilibrium" (1973) and "Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World" (1974) are companion technical volumes to "The Limits to Growth." They present reports on the simulation models, examinations of economic, political, and ethical implications of the findings, and a detailed description of the computer model, World3. In addition to her research sponsored by the Club of Rome, Meadows, as one of the editors of "Groping in the Dark" (1982), fully articulates that basic human needs can be met in the future if social and political structures, as well as values, do not hinder efforts for sustainability and equity. Meadows states that equity, rather than individual and national-wealth aggrandizement, is increasingly recognized as a major factor in planetary survival. Twenty years after "The Limits to Growth," Meadows and others in "Beyond the Limits" (1992) find that some options for a sustainable future have narrowed. However, they claim that new technologies can, if employed wisely, contribute to sustainability. The book emphasizes social-policy options rather than models. After working for two years on the Club of Rome research project, Meadows became a member of the faculty at Dartmouth College where she was systems analyst and adjunct professor in the Environmental Studies Program. Meadows has a lifestyle that reflects her views about sustaining finite resources and valuing equity rather than personal economic gain. She has lived in a commune, studied Zen Buddhism, and believed that people today are ultimately responsible for a future that holds "unspeakable horrors or undreamed-of wonders." She died in 2001 from a bacterial infection. Her titles include Limits to Growth-The 30 year Update, The Electronic Oracle: Computer Models and Social Decisions and Thinking in Systems - A Primer.

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