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Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0930031626 ISBN-10: 0930031628

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company (August 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0930031628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930031626
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1972 The Limits of Growth , sponsored by the Club of Rome and produced by a research team on a MIT computer programmed with a World3 model, created a stormy sensation. Denounced as eco-gloom and doom, the book also became a keystone of the era's environmentalism. Now on the eve of the June U.N. Earth Summit, three of the researchers give World3 another run. Although many books and reports examine "sustainability," the authors provide unique insights thanks to their background in systems analysis. Society has gone into overshoot, they argue, a state of being beyond limits without knowing it. These limits are more like speed limits than barriers at the end of the road: the rate at which renewable resources can renew themselves, the rate at which we can change from nonrenewable resources to renewable ones, and the rate at which nature can recycle our pollution. Without being a catch-all on the environmental crisis, the book shows how we are overshooting such crucial resources as food and water while overwhelming nature with pollutants like those causing global warming. World3 runs 13 future scenarios and learns that we can only avoid collapse by unplugging the exponential growth in population (two billions people in the past 20 years) and industrial production (doubled in the past 20 years). If the world settles for two children per couple and the per capita income of South Korea, we can avoid collapse and find an equilibrium at 7.7 billion people through 2100. Systems analysis may sound like an academic specialty, but the authors have written for the general reader and provide a compelling challenge to traditional economics and public complacency.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A sequel to the Club of Rome's Limits to Growth (1972. o.p.), Beyond the Limits uses a sophisticated computer modeling program to project into the next century the consequences of current rates of resource consumption and population growth. A number of modified scenarios are then illustrated, showing the impact on the global environment of alternative patterns of allocation and consumption. While its graphs and tables may intimidate some, Beyond the Limits is clearly written, nonpolemical, and rewards the patient reader. Particularly interesting is the discussion of the crisis with the ozone layer as exemplary of the ability of the world's governments to respond to environmental crises. However, it is the fundamental principles underlying this book that set it apart. Beyond the Limits recognizes that the future doesn't lie in tinkering with resource use or simply squelching population growth in developing countries. A sustainable future will require profound social and psychological readjustments in the developed and developing world. Highly recommended.
- Mary Jane Ballou, Ford Fdn. Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Donella H. Meadows was a pioneering environmental scientist, author, teacher, and farmer widely considered ahead of her time. She was one of the world's foremost systems analysts and lead author of the influential Limits to Growth. She was Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, the founder of the Sustainability Institute and co-founder of the International Network of Resource Information Centers.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book contains more common sense, wisdom and compassion than any I've read in many years. It challenges the prevailing paradigm of our society with a perfect balance of head and heart. I borrowed a copy from a friend and I've now come to Amazon to buy my own copy, which I will urge all my friends to read. Another reviewer from Virginia seems to think the book should have been more technical. I think s/he is completely missing the point. This is a book for lay people, which it should be, because if it was full of equations only a handful of geeks would read it and it wouldn't change anything. As it is it's written in beautifully clear prose and you don't need any technical training to follow it.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for anyone seriously interested in global sustainability. It is clearly written and is easily accessible to non-technical readers. Although based on a sophisticated computer model, the authors avoid presenting a dry, scientific explanation of the simulation -- equations and mathematical formulations are deemphasized. Instead, the authors refer the technically-minded to an earlier book (Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World, available at [...]) that contains every equation used in the model. Moreover, Prof. Meadows makes the model itself available to anyone interested (for a nominal fee).
So read this book. Then, if you want more detail, get the model and technical book.
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By Jim Szymaszek on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a companion of "The Limits of Growth" Rome Club Report and an able augmentation of the original report. Once again it is not a book to love but to sadly realize where the human race is actually blindly rushing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, but aside from an explanation of their simulation model, I don't recall seeing a single equation (including actual numerical values) used to justify their claims.
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