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Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update [Paperback]

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Pages   338
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2004
Publisher   Chelsea Green
ISBN  193149858X  
EAN  9781931498586  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

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.

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More About Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers & Dennis Meadows

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A woman whose pioneering work in the 1970s still makes front-page news, Donella Meadows was a scientist, author, teacher, and farmer widely considered ahead of her time. She was one of the world's foremost systems analysts and lead author of the influential Limits to Growth--the 1972 book on global trends in population, economics, and the environment that was translated into 28 languages and became an international bestseller. That book launched a worldwide debate on the earth's capacity to withstand constant human development and expansion. Twenty years later, she and co-authors Dennis Meadows and Jorgen Randers reported on their follow-up study in Beyond the Limits and a final revision of their research, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update, was published in 2004.

Dennis Meadows is Emeritus Professor of Systems Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire, where he was also Director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research. In 2009 he received the Japan Prize for his contributions to world peace and sustainable development. He has authored ten books and numerous educational games, which have been translated into more than 15 languages for use around the world. He earned his Ph.D. in Management from MIT, where he previously served on the faculty, and has received four honorary doctorates for his contributions to environmental education.

Jorgen Randers is professor of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School, where he works on climate issues and scenario analysis. He was previously president of BI and deputy director general of WWF International (World Wildlife Fund) in Switzerland. He lectures internationally on sustainable development and especially climate, and is a nonexecutive member of a number of corporate boards. He sits on the sustainability councils of British Telecom in the UK and the Dow Chemical Company in the United States. In 2006 he chaired the cabinet-appointed Commission on Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which reported on how Norway can cut its climate gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050. Randers has written numerous books and scientific papers, and was coauthor of The Limits to Growth in 1972, Beyond the Limits in 1992, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update in 2004, and 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years in 2011. Randers lives in Oslo, Norway.

Donella H. Meadows died in 2001.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Sad update with death of main author  Sep 23, 2008
Maybe the last version. Not much different from the 20-year update, but interesting to see how reports and outlook has changed since 1970.
this book is a joke, right?  Sep 6, 2008
30 years ago these same people predicted devastation and havoc by today. They got teachers and professors to buy the book in bulk, making the authors wildly successful. But the conclusions proved hilariously wrong.

Now they want another generation of students to be forced to buy this joke of a book to make the authors even wealthier as they predict--yet again!--planetary doom.

This is a disgrace and should give pause to all those well-meaning people who tend to believe 'climate change' alarmists. They lied 30 years ago. Why believe them now?
Supplies of vital resources today are NOT adequate for sustainability  Aug 1, 2008
I read today yet another reassuring news article saying that supplies of crude oil and other vital resources are just fine, no reason to worry. "Limits to Growth" shows that's just not true. Supplies may be adequate for today's needs--but with human population growing all the time, pollution adding up, and soil fertility declining, that can change very fast. In fact, a serious economic collapse is very likely in the next twenty years unless humanity changes course.

Environmental economics has been an interest of mine for years. I didn't bother to read this book when it came out, figuring that it would have little that I didn't already know. Reading it now, I found that "Limits to Growth" is a fantastic book explaining the economics of sustainability. I recommend it to everyone. Mainstream economists in particular--even if you disagree, you owe it to society to read this book. If you think the authors got it wrong, please explain what variables their computer model missed and why. I actually felt that for many of their variables, the authors' assumptions were, if anything, overly optimistic.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"In most World3 runs . . . the world system does not totally run out of land or food or resources or pollution absorption capability. What it runs out of is the ability to cope. . . .[Problem-solving capabilities] can process and handle just so much. when problems arise exponentially and in multiples, problems that could theoretically be dealt with one by one can overwhelm the ability to cope."

"To be materially and energetically sustainable, the economy's throughputs would have to meet Herman Daly's three conditions: Its rates of use of renewable resources do not exceed their rates of regeneration. Its rates of use of nonrenewable resources do not exceed the rate at which sustainable renewable substitues are developed. Its rates of pollution emission do not exceed the assimilative capacity of the environment."

"Because of delays in the feedback from limits, the global economic system is likely to overshoot its sustainable levels. Indeed, for many sources and sinks important to the world economy, overshoot has already occurred. Technology and markets operate only on imperfect information and with delay. Thus, they can enhance the economy's tendency to overshoot."

The book does have a few things I don't agree with. The authors describe nitrogen pollution from fertilizer drainage off agricultural land as too dispersed to be reduced by ordinary pollution controls. This is simply not the case. Fertilizer is as much a point source pollution as any. The point is simply the nozzle filling the fertilizer container at the factory. This is the point at which fertilizer releases must be controlled. Fertilizer releases should be considered under law as if they are released into the environment at the nozzle point, because in effect they are.
Excelent book  Jun 15, 2008
This bool presents a complete and understandable foresight of what will happen with our planet if we don't care about the way we are using it. I really recomend that book for everbody.
Our future depends on understanding rhis book  Mar 29, 2008
I see this book is ranked #31,103 in Books on this site and it only has 15 reviews. This tells me everything I need to know about our future. We are doomed to a future of the worst case scenarios. This can be concisely summarized as overshoot and dieoff. If you haven't read this book go ahead, but it is very unlikely the human race will manage to follow a sustainable course. You will just have a better understanding why things are going haywire.

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