Author(s): Donella H Meadows
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 of some 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.
Review of Limits to Growth: The 30-Year UpdateBy John N. CooperFrom AxisofLogic.comFeb 13, 2005This is a wonderful book. Originally published in 1972 as "Limits to Growth" and refreshed in 1992 in "Beyond the Limits," the authors have now issued a 30-year appraisal [Chelsea Green Publishing, ISBN 1-931498-58-X], in which they examine the progress made both in their understanding of the mechanisms underlying the impact of humanity on the world ecology and of steps taken toward remediating the accelerating approach to trainwreck that is mankind's ill-managed and uncontrolled 'footprint' on this planet's environment.Briefly, humanity has overshot the limits of what is physically and biologically sustainable. That overshoot WILL lead to the collapse of the planetary environment's ability to support not only our species but much of the rest of the biosphere if we do not act rapidly and effectively to reduce our footprint. These conclusions provide reasons for both optimism and alarm: optimi