Skip to comments.The Limits of The Limits to Growth: Contemplating 1972 predictions of environmental doom, just in...
Posted on 04/20/2012 10:38:05 AM PDT by neverdem
Contemplating 1972 predictions of environmental doom, just in time for Earth Day
Forty years ago, The Limits to Growth, a report to the Club of Rome, was released with great fanfare at a conference at the Smithsonian Institution. The study was based on a computer model developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and designed to investigate five major trends of global concernaccelerating industrial development, rapid population growth, widespread malnutrition, depletion of nonrenewable resources, and a deteriorating environment. The goal was to use the model to explore the increasingly dire "predicament of mankind." The researchers modestly acknowledged that their model was like every other model, imperfect, oversimplified, and unfinished.
Yet even with this caveat, the MIT researchers concluded, If present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. With considerable understatement, they added, The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity. In other words: a massive population crash in a starving, polluted, depleted world.
The problem, as the MIT researchers saw it, was exponential growth in all five areas of concern that they investigated. Linear growth is additive1, 2, 3, 4, 5whereas exponential growth compounds over time1, 2, 4, 8, 16.
Earlier this month, Smithsonian magazine ran a short item reporting the findings of a 2008 study [PDF] by Australian physicist Graham Turner. According to Turner, an examination of currently available data reveals that that world economy is right on track to collapse by the middle of this century...
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
I’m old enough to remember when the Left said we were all going to die in the HELL of Global Cooling by 1996...
Every few years or so, it’s a new Enviro-Nazi scam, as the last one gets debunked.
I remember reading a Sci-Fi story by Arthur C. Clarke that he wrote during that time. In his story, the future Earth was bursting at the seams with a population of 6 Billion people.......We now have almost 7 billion................
People in wealthy industrialized nations have leisure time to pursue personal interests and self-fulfillment.
People in poor countries do not have such luxuries, so the have sex...............
LOL! I've seen this personally in the third world - most critters are tasty if you are starving.
” Im old enough to remember when the Left said we were all going to die in the HELL of Global Cooling by 1996...”
Cover of Time Magazine circa 1975
” The Coming Ice Age”
We certainly were not MIT, but one of my grad school projects was running one of those computer-aided End of the World programs.
Our advisor well and truly screwed up, though.
Everybody involved had cut their teeth on computers while wearing uniforms and tended to treat the ‘puter as a tool instead of a bloody oracle.
Well, we did the programming, ran the thing and generated the appropriate ten or so pounds of printout.
Our summary: “If you assume that the world is coming to an end, the computer projections will support that assumption and vice versa. Garbage In, Garbage Out still works.”
(And no, it was never published.)
We are still eating the consequences of this propeller headed horse manure to this day.
Norton found that the fertility rate in countries that ranked low on economic freedom averaged 4.27 children per woman while countries with high economic freedom rankings had an average fertility rate of 1.82 children per woman. His results for the rule of law were similar; fertility rates in countries with low respect for the rule of law averaged 4.16 whereas countries with high respect for the rule of law had fertility rates averaging 1.55.
Interesting stuff - thanks for the ping.