Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Limits to Growth Revisited

It was forty years ago today,
Donella Meadows taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years,
Donella Meadows' Limits to Growth.

.... Well, truthfully, it was forty years ago on March 1, but close enough.

This book, which sold over ten million copies in various languages, was one of the earliest scholarly works to recognize that the world was fast approaching its sustainable limits. Forty years later, the planet continues to face many of the same economic, social, and environmental challenges as when the book was first published. Suitably, the event has spawned a number of retrospectives. The most fulsome occurred at the Smithsonian where the Club of Rome sponsored Perspectives on Limits to Growth: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Planet. Among the presentations were the following:
  • Dennis Meadows It is too late for sustainable development
  • Jørgen Randers Lessons of forty years of promoting limits to growth
  • Lester Brown World on the Edge
  • Doug Erwin Biodiversity: past, present and future
  • Richard Alley Climate change and energy; challenges and opportunities
  • Neva Goodwin Labor’s declining share and future quality of life
  • Panel discussion moderated by Eva Pell, Under Secretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution 
The full nine hour program -- including 10 minutes watching the audience mill about before the first presentation -- is archived at the above link.

For those who would like their celebration served up in a more time efficient manner, journey on over to Resilience Science where Garry Peterson has two interesting posts: Forty Years of Limits to Growth and Paul Gilding talks about Limits to Growth which includes Gilding's recent Ted Talk.


  1. Interesting review, we appreciate as fans of LTG. For those willing to have a visual instrument to The Limits to growth, we are an Italian production company and we are producing the documentary LAST CALL The untold reasons of the global crisis, due march 2013. Please visit our website (in progress) www.lastcallthefilm.org to know more. thought it might interest your group. many thanks and will be delighted to have your blog in our mailing list.

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  2. Hi everyone! Here we attach the link to the TRAILER of the documentary film about THE LIMITS TO GROWTH http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jJNPkyj2kw , just to complete the information. We have launched a CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN, on 22 April 2013, which will last until 5 June 2013. Please engage, spread the word and act today, by supporting this project! Together we will turn it into a useful tool for better consciousness of the limits of our planet and the need to develop an affirming respect for it.
    Thanks for visiting our website – www.lastcallthefilm.org – and our Indiegogo page to support us in this endeavor!