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Forty years ago,The Limits to Growthstudy addressed the grand question of how humans would adapt to the physical limitations of planet Earth. It predicted that during the first half of the 21st century the ongoing growth in the human ecological footprint would stop-either through catastrophic "overshoot and collapse"-or through well-managed "peak and decline. "So, where are we now? And what does our future look like? In the book2052, Jorgen Randers, one of the co-authors ofLimits to Growth, issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next forty years. To do this, he asked dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades. He then synthesized those scenarios into a global forecast of life as we will most likely know it in the years ahead. The good news: we will see impressive advances in resource efficiency, and an increasing focus on human well-being rather than on per capita income growth. But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and GDP, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as result of increased urbanization, productivity decline as a result of social unrest, and continuing poverty among the poorest 2 billion world citizens. Runaway global warming, too, is likely. So, how do we prepare for the years ahead? With heart, fact, and wisdom, Randers guides us along a realistic path into the future and discusses what readers can do to ensure a better life for themselves and their children during the increasing turmoil of the next forty years.
As we dig, drill, and excavate to unearth the planet's mineral bounty, the resources we exploit from ores, veins, seams, and wells are gradually becoming exhausted. Mineral treasures that took millions, or even billions, of years to form are now being squandered in just centuries-or sometimes just decades. Will there come a time when we actually run out of minerals? Debates already soar over how we are going to obtain energy without oil, coal, and gas. But what about the other mineral losses we face? Without metals, and semiconductors, how are we going to keep our industrial system running? Without mineral fertilizers and fuels, how are we going to produce the food we need?Ugo Bardi delivers a sweeping history of the mining industry, starting with its humble beginning when our early ancestors started digging underground to find the stones they needed for their tools. He traces the links between mineral riches and empires, wars, and civilizations, and shows how mining in its various forms came to be one of the largest global industries. He also illustrates how the gigantic mining machine is now starting to show signs of difficulties. The easy mineral resources, the least expensive to extract and process, have been mostly exploited and depleted. There are plenty of minerals left to extract, but at higher costs and with increasing difficulties.The effects of depletion take different forms and one may be the economic crisis that is gripping the world system. And depletion is not the only problem. Mining has a dark side-pollution-that takes many forms and delivers many consequences, including climate change. The world we have been accustomed to, so far, was based on cheap mineral resources and on the ability of the ecosystem to absorb pollution without generating damage to human beings. Both conditions are rapidly disappearing. Having thoroughly plundered planet Earth, we are entering a new world. Bardi draws upon the world's leading minerals experts to offer a compelling glimpse into that new world ahead.
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 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. 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.
Just over 30 years ago a path-breaking book was published called "The Limits to Growth." It posited the then controversial idea that unlimited growth on a finite planet would inevitably lead to ecological collapse. The book was translated into more than a dozen languages. Now "Limits to Growth: The 30 year Update" takes the analysis into the first decade of the 21st century to show that while the situation remains precarious, there is still time to bring the Earth back from the brink of ecological collapse.
A report from The Club of Rome, an informal organization that has been aptly described as an "invisible college." Its purposes are to foster understanding of the varied but interdependent components-- economic, political, natural, and social-- that make up the global system in which we all live; to bring that new understanding to the attention of policy-makers and the public worldwide; and in this way to promote new policy initiatives and action. This report caused much controversy when it was published.