A Comparison of the Limits to Growth with Thirty Years of Reality
In 1972, the Club of Rome’s infamous report “The Limits to Growth” (Meadows et al., 1972) presented some challenging scenarios for global sustainability, based on a system dynamics computer model to simulate the interactions of five global economic subsystems, namely: population, food production, industrial production, pollution, and consumption of non-renewable natural resources. Contrary to popular belief, The Limits to Growth scenarios by the team of analysts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology did not predict world collapse by the end of the 20th Century. This paper focuses on a comparison of recently collated historical data for 1970–2000 with scenarios presented in the Limits to Growth. The analysis shows that 30 years of historical data compares favorably with key features of a business-as-usual scenario called the “standard run” scenario, which results in collapse of the global system midway through the 21st Century. The data does not compare well with other scenarios involving comprehensive use of technology or stabilizing behaviour and policies. The results indicate the particular importance of understanding and controlling global pollution.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (02) 6242 1600
Fax: (02) 6242 1555
Web page: http://www.csiro.au/org/cse
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Ross Garnaut & Stephen Howes & Frank Jotzo & Peter Sheehan, 2008. "Emissions in the Platinum Age: the implications of rapid development for climate-change mitigation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 377-401, Summer.
- Wackernagel, Mathis & Rees, William E., 1997. "Perceptual and structural barriers to investing in natural capital: Economics from an ecological footprint perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cse:wpaper:2008-09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CSE-Webrequest)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.