The Limits to Growth, 50 years later: an indispensable book

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 necessary. Bardi 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 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 and not gross domestic product growth.

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 (wrote by 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, Herrington summarize his work about the checking of Limits to Growth with current data and presents a nuanced vision of tested scenarios. He 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. His 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.” Alvarez Pereira p259

I add an excellent podcast with D.Meadows:

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