Tuesday, November 11, 2008

'Limits to Growth' stages a comeback!

HeraldSun.com.au: The world may be on track to face economic and ecological collapses by the middle of the century, according to CSIRO research. The 1972 bestselling scientific report The Limits to Growth warned of possible doomsday scenarios created by unchecked use of resources. A study by CSIRO physicist Dr Graham Turner found data projections made in The Limits to Growth were correct.

Dr Turner said projections relating to population, food and industrial production, pollution and consumption of non-renewable natural resources between 1970 and 2000 were broadly accurate. "Unless (The Limits of Growth) is invalidated by other scientific research, the data comparison presented here lends support to the conclusion that the global system is on an unsustainable trajectory," he said.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers commissioned by environment group The Club of Rome used computer modelling to develop The Limits to Growth study. The report has been criticised by many economists and scientists over the years.

Under a "business as usual" scenario modelled in the report, the world population and the use of industrial resources would continue to grow. Pollution would increase, harming agricultural production and human life and more energy and resources would be required to access declining levels of non-renewable natural resources. "Eventually those pollution effects cause a big decline in the population," Dr Turner said.

The Limits of Growth said disaster could be averted through technological advances and a reduction in consumption of material goods….

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