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Nature_and_Environment.114

It's later than you think

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{Nature_and_Environment.114.13}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 24 Dec 2019 04:37:25 CST (51 lines)

Fifty years ago, an international team of researchers was commissioned
by the Club of Rome to build a computer simulation of exponential
economic and population growth on a finite planet.

In 1971, its findings were first released in Moscow and Rio de
Janeiro, and later published in 1972 under the title The Limits To
Growth. The report concluded:

1.*Given business as usual, i.e., no changes to historical growth
trends, the limits to growth on earth would become evident by 2072,
leading to "sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and
industrial capacity". This includes the following:

-- Global Industrial output per capita reaches a peak around 2008,
followed by a rapid decline
-- Global Food per capita reaches a peak around 2020, followed by a
rapid decline
-- Global Services per capita reaches a peak around 2020, followed by
a rapid decline
-- Global population reaches a peak in 2030, followed by a rapid
decline

2.*Growth trends existing in 1972 could be altered so that
sustainable ecological and economic stability could be achieved.

3.*The sooner the world's people start striving for the second
outcome above, the better the chance of achieving it.

Few reports have generated as much debate, discussion and
disagreement. Though it's hard to argue that its forecasts made back
in the early 1970s have proved eerily accurate over the ensuing
decades.

But most of its warnings have been largely ignored by policymakers
hoping (blindly?) for a rosier future.

Decline is now inevitable.

We’re without any question moving into the remainder of a century
which is going to see, by the end of these decades, a much smaller
population, much lower level of energy and material consumption and so
forth.

Whether we retain equity amongst people and avoid the more violent
forms of conflict remains to be seen. But sustainable development is
no longer an option.

One of the original seventeen researchers involved in The Limits To
Growth study, Dennis Meadows, joins us for the podcast this week.
Fifty years later, what does he foresee ahead?
"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBmjIIWPj3w"

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