Talking About Systems: looking for systems in the news (and not)
Email this Post Email this Post

Archive for March, 2012

“Limits to Growth” turns 40!

In 1972 a group of MIT scientists wrote The Limits to Growth.  Using sophisticated computer modeling, the authors — Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows and William W. Behrens III — showed the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet.  The book, which became an international best-seller,  shocked the world and generate a mixture of praise, criticism and skepticism.

Today the  Club of Rome and the Smithsonian Institution Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet in Washington DC are hosting a day-long seminar on its legacy.  You can watch it live on the web from 9.00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern US time (It’s recorded too, if you can’t listen in today).   Here’s the link:

I encourage you to pause for even a few moments today to listen in.  Then sit down at dinner tonight with your friends or family. Ask this question:  how can we prosper on a on a finite planet?  What might that look like?

For good reading on the subject, check out:

Alan AtKisson’s Life Beyond Growth

Tim Jackson’s Prosperity without Growth

Personally, I take my continued inspiration from the last chapter of Limits to Growth.  This chapter focuses on the “unscientific tools”  we can use to transition to sustainability:





… and my favorite,