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Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by…

Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update (2004)

by Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Everyone with children or grandchildren should read this book, a thirty year update to the original Limits to Growth, which suggested that the global population was using the planet's resources far faster than they could be replaced. Thirty years ago their first book was largely ignored, and in this edition, published in 2004, they found the situation far more dire. There is plenty of proof to back up their statements, but the science is presented in a very readable manner. Curious about what the authors thought now, ten more years later, I found an interview with one, Dennis Meadows. He has dropped out of the field, discouraged, and now believes there is no hope for recovery at all. If you want to get an idea of what the next forty years are likely to bring to humanity, read this book. ( )
  MegPerry2 | Oct 17, 2018 |
This update is an outstanding reference on both sustainability and an insight on human behavior. The authors suggest we are going into a third revolution, which he calls the sustainability revolution. He summaries the two previous revolutions, agricultural and industrial, then suggests our economic models today are still based on those developed for the industrial revolution. He shows by numerous examples that our economic rules are out of date and require replacing. The new economic models will have to put value on more than just money, more than just income, but also the negative value of resources lost or spent, or pollution generated. he also introduces the "happiness factor" which is more prevalent in European western culture than American western culture. He shows that climate change is just a symptom of the bigger issue, overshoot of human population with the earth's renewable resources, and its ability to absorb pollution.

There are many fine points he discusses, such as balancing exponential human growth with linear food output increases, the time lag between controlling CO2 and the dissipation of CO2 from the atmosphere.

I recommend this book for a reference frame of where global economies and culture will shift over the remainder of this century. ( )
  billsearth | Aug 26, 2017 |
Rosamund McDougall, policy director for the Optimum Population Trust, has chosen to discuss Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update on FiveBooks as one of the top five on her subject -Global Warming:

“…This book was first written in the 1970s and predicts what will happen if the world population keeps rising. Now 30 years on, the updated version looks at how much they got right, such as the projections about carbon emissions. …”

The full interview is available here: http://fivebooks.com/interviews/rosamund-mcdougall-on-global-warming

( )
  FiveBooks | Apr 20, 2010 |
An update to the 1972 edition, which used early computer modeling techniques and methodology called Systems Dynamics.

Many were upset by the forecast was that there would be a global collapse in the mid-21st century.
Others ignored the forecast, figuring new technologies would be developed to "save us".

This edition has an optional CD-ROM that provides the complete World3 model, which you can run on a PC or Macintosh computer to see the results. ( )
  frogman2 | Apr 19, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donella H. Meadowsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Meadows, Dennis L.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Randers, Jørgenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Behrens III, WilliamAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jakobsen, JørgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meadows, DennisAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meadows, Dennis L.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meadows, Donellasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Randers, Jørgensecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Randers, JørgenAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Randers, JorgenAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Please do not combine with The Limits to growth: A report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 193149858X, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

[This book] brings data on overshoot and global ecological collapse to the present moment. It provides a short course in the World3 computer model, types of growth, and the various kinds of over-shoot likely to occur in the current century. While it remains to be seen whether public policy will respond effectively and in time to problems such as climate change, this book makes compellingly clear the vital need for a sustainability revolution.-Dust jacket.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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