Limits to Growth The 30-Year Update

ISBN-10: 193149858X

ISBN-13: 9781931498586

Edition: 2004

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Description: 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 inThe 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 originalLimits 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 inLimits to Growth: The 30-Year Updateis 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 Updateis a long anticipated revival of some of the original voices in the growing chorus of sustainability.Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Updateis 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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Book details

List price: $22.50
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date: 6/1/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.96" tall
Weight: 1.452
Language: English

Dennis Meadows is Emeritus Professor of Systems Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire, where he was also Director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research. In 2009 he received the Japan Prize for his contributions to world peace and sustainable development. He has authored ten books and numerous educational games, which have been translated into more than 15 languages for use around the world. He earned his Ph.D. in Management from MIT, where he previously served on the faculty, and has received four honorary doctorates for his contributions to environmental education.

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 is 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. Although she remains an academic, her interests have shifted from biophysics toward philosophy. She has lived in a commune, studies Zen Buddhism, and believes that people today are ultimately responsible for a future that holds "unspeakable horrors or undreamed-of wonders."

J�rgen Randers was born in 1945 in Norway. He is the professor of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School, and practitioner in the field of future studies. Randers received an undergraduate degree at the University of Oslo in 1968, and a PhD at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1973. From 1981 to 1989 he served as president of the BI Norwegian Business School, and from 1994 to 1999 as deputy director general of the World Wildlife Fund International in Switzerland. In the year 2005-06 he led the Norwegian Commission on Low Emissions, which "presented a report demonstrating how Norway could reduce her greenhouse gas emissions by 2050". Randers is professor of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School. His research interests are on climate issues, scenario planning and system dynamics, especially on the topics of sustainable development, climate change and global warming mitigation. His titles include The Limits to Growth, Elements of the System Dynamics Methods, and 2052 - A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years.

Authors' Preface
Overshoot
The Driving Force: Exponential Growth
The Limits: Sources and Sinks
World3: The Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World
Back from Beyond the Limits: The Ozone Story
Technology, Markets, and Overshoot
Transitions to a Sustainable System
Tools for the Transition to Sustainability
Appendices
Changes from World3 to World3-03
Indicators of Human Welfare and Ecological Footprint
Endnotes
List of Tables and Figures with Sources
Index
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