The Limits to Growth 50 years later: an Indispensable Book

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A Comment by Bernard Paquito on the New Report of the club of Rome, “Limits and Beyond” 

Reproduced with the kind permission of the author

Bardi & Pereira did a great job with this collective book: Limits and Beyond. Authors have different backgrounds, cultures, point of views about the Limits to Growth consequences and perspectives.

For instance, the first chapter is absolutely necessaryBardi presents a brief history of this report, and most importantly a history of critics and misinterpretations (e.g., market vs physical factors in economy).

Other authors highlighted that the original messages of the LtG book were misunderstood: “the message of overshoot caused by decision delays was not picked up by the Limits to Growth readership”. They remind us that the most important variable of Limits to Growth was the well-being of people and not the gross domestic product.

Dennis Meadow’s chapter presents a short answer for the most frequent questions about the Limits to Growth, e.g., How can the world’s population be reduced ? Does World3 take wars into account ?

Also, a chapter (written by Gianfranco Bologna) presents the links between Limits to Growth readership, understanding and the current model of Planetary Boundaries, Safe Operating Space and Doughnut Economics.

Other chapters introduce the authors’ personal experience and reception of Limits to Growth in South Africa, Asian countries or soviet bloc.

According to the Conway’s law, Pezeshki explains the roles of empathy (at different levels in a system) to provoke social changes.

Finally, Gaya Herrington summarize his work about the checking of Limits to Growth with current data and presents a nuanced vision of tested scenarios. She performed an updated World3 modelization with following variables: population, fertility, mortality, pollution, industrial output, food, services, non-renewable natural resources, human welfare and ecological footprint. Her discussion is brilliant.

If we do not change the framing through which we formulate the questions and their responses there is a little chance that the general orientation of our relationships (among humans, with life, with time) could change.” Carlos Alvarez Pereira p259

Originally appeared on The Seneca Effect Read More

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