1972 book had predicted current global economic collapse

November 12th, 2008 - 11:09 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 12 (IANS) “The Limits to Growth” had predicted the current global economic and ecological collapse, when it was first published in 1972. The book documented the results of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study carried out by Meadows, commissioned by The Club of Rome to analyse world problems using a computer model. It became the best selling environmental book in history, selling more than 30 million copies in 30 languages.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organsation (CSIRO) physicist Graham Turner compared forecasts from the book with global data from the past 30 years.

“The original modelling predicts that if we continue down that track and do not substantially reduce our consumption and increase technological progress, the global economy will collapse by the middle of this century.

“The contemporary issues of peak oil, climate change, and food and water security, resonate strongly with the overshoot and collapse displayed in the business-as-usual scenario of ‘The Limits to Growth’.”

This is the first time anyone has comprehensively tested the predictions of the first, and still one of the most comprehensive, global models linking the world economy to the environment.

Recommendations of the book, which included fundamental changes of policy and behaviour for sustainability, have not been implemented, said a CSIRO release.

“In the years since 1972, ‘The Limits to Growth’ has provoked much criticism but our research indicates that the main claims against the modelling are false,” Turner said.

These findings were published in Global Environmental Change.

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