Monday, August 21, 2023

Limits to Growth


If I had to point to a single source for my interest in mankind and the planet, it would have to go back to the very first book, Limits to growth". It was published in 1972, although I don't think I got a copy until about 1974.

It was available for free download as a pdf, long after I realized I could not buy the original. Ebay is full of later versions, but this one... This was the one that set me on my path foreward.

It took a look at the problems of the day sand offered some solutions or at least outlines of them about, pollution, population, peak oil, and carbon dioxide / global warming.  In fact, the image below is their worry / discussion about carbon growth in the atmosphere. 

The Club of Rome postulated that by the year 2000, the Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere would hit 380 ppm concentration. Instead it only hit 368, but that is damn close. We are now at 418 ppm. The warning bells were all set to 350 a couple of decades ago. So yeah, this has been a problem coming at us in slo-mo for a long time.

Pretty Spot On for 1972


Sure they made some mistakes about population growth - it slowed down, and food production increased. And they did not figure that new extraction models would make "peak oil" prediction wrong. But a few mistakes, many by only a little bit, should not let us ignore everything else. We did ignore it, but we shouldn't have.

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