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The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
Synopses & 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 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.
'If you only read one book ... make this it ' L. Hunter Lovins, co-author of Natural Capitalism 'It is time for the world to re-read Limits to Growth The message of 1972 is more real and relevant in 2004, and we wasted 30 valuable years of action by misreading the message of the first book' Matthew R. Simmons, founder, Simmons & Company International, the world's largest energy investment banking firm 'If you want to understand what's going on Earth, read it.' Patrick Whitefield, Permaculture In 1972, Limits to Growth shocked the world and forever changed the global agenda by demonstrating that unchecked growth on our finite planet was leading the Earth towards ecological 'overshoot' and pending disaster. The book went on to sell millions of copies and ignited a firestorm of controversy that burns hotter than ever in these days of soaring oil prices, wars for resources and human-induced climate change. This substantially revised, expanded and updated edition follows on from Limits to Growth and its sequel Beyond the Limits, which raised the alarm that we have already overshot the planet's carrying capacity. Marshalling a vast array of new, hard data, more powerful computer modelling and incorporating the latest thinking on sustainability, ecological footprinting and limits, this new book presents future overshoot scenarios and makes an even more urgent case for a rapid readjustment of the global economy toward a sustainable path. This is compelling, essential and, indeed, essential reading for all concerned with our common future.
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