In 1972 a group of MIT scientists wrote The Limits to Growth. Using sophisticated computer modeling, the authors — Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows and William W. Behrens III — showed the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet. The book, which became an international best-seller, shocked the world and generate a mixture of praise, criticism and skepticism.
Today the Club of Rome and the Smithsonian Institution Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet in Washington DC are hosting a day-long seminar on its legacy. You can watch it live on the web from 9.00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern US time (It’s recorded too, if you can’t listen in today). Here’s the link: http://www.si.edu/consortia/limitstogrowth2012
I encourage you to pause for even a few moments today to listen in. Then sit down at dinner tonight with your friends or family. Ask this question: how can we prosper on a on a finite planet? What might that look like?
For good reading on the subject, check out:
Personally, I take my continued inspiration from the last chapter of Limits to Growth. This chapter focuses on the “unscientific tools” we can use to transition to sustainability:
… and my favorite,