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
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.