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on November 1, 2016
The book looks back at the conclusions in the book The Limits To Growth and assesses them based on recent data on energy, resources, the environment, etc. The original "Limits" book warned that continuing growth on the pattern of the past would lead to an "overshoot" and collapse of industrial civilization within a century. This book demonstrates conclusively that the world is now in "overshoot," using resources and producing wastes and environmental impacts in a way that won't be sustainable over the generations just ahead. The analysis is sobering, but it never gives way to gloom and doom. The best parts of the book are its clear, thoughtful recommendations on how to back down our impacts and avoid a collapse.
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on March 30, 2014
The LTG 30-year update is a more rigorous analysis of all the variables affecting the global ecosystem than the original 1972 study. A principal difference, of course, is that advances in computing power have far exceeded probably even the most optimistic expectations in the 1970s, and we can see with greater precision exactly that the effects of our activities are on our tiny planet. Another difference is that many of the trends studied in the initial work can now be confirmed 30 years later.

The authors' conclusion is that we have not done much to ameliorate the damage we are doing to Earth, and implicitly to ourselves, by what we have done in the intervening 30 years. We still produce too many offspring, consume too many finite resources, despoil to much of nature's waste-absorbing capacity, and seem to be stuck in a system that inexorably demands still more of the same.

But all is not lost. Read this in conjunction with Jordan Randers follow-on study entitled "2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years". He uses the same "systems approach" used in this 30-year update. There are solutions, but they will require an informed body politic, thoughtful leadership, and an honest assessment of public policy from all of us.
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on April 23, 2015
It makes so much sense---we are in overshoot on our way to collapse. In such simple and convincing ways, these process engineers lay it out with their updated model and give you a semi-academic vocabulary and analysis that provides a strong critique versus stupid unplanned growth ecomonics. And they show how making substantial yet not impossible changes could change the fortunes and bring us back to a sustainable balance. Do they overly-discount the potential benefits of new technology yet to be discovered to prevent collapse? I hope to hell they do because if there is anything that is clear, it is that human nature has 1) blind faith in new technology to save us (e.g. how else could nuclear power/waste be justified?) and 2) there is no way that humans will make substantial changes prior to collapse--balance will only be achieved afterwards and of course that means it will be less-rational, more-drastic, less-controllable, more-expensive, more-devastating, etc.
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on April 30, 2016
This is an amazing explanation of the present world condition in terms of its coined word, ¨Overshoot¨: population and food supply, resources and climate warming, and political ramifications. Its amazement lies in the balanced development and explanation of each topic. It is a worthy study for anyone interested in understanding our overall situation, but, it is an amazing primer on how to write about something so disgraceful in such controlled language and example.
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on June 9, 2016
An interesting read that offers a great example of a complex model. The explanations of the feedback loops are great for those new to stochastic modeling. The application and analysis paints an unbiased view of what may occur if nothing changes which is hard to hear for some but necessary to hear for all. Overall the authors do a good job building the model in the readers head from a component by component level until the entire system can be realized. A recommended read for those familiar with probabilistic modeling or interested in the ramifications of short sighted actions to the long term welfare of the planet.
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on November 29, 2011
The 30-year update to "Limits to Growth" is possibly the most thought-provoking environmental book I've ever read. I had not read the original, but knew it was heavily criticized as "hysterical" by free-market enthusiasts, especially economist Julian Simon. So, I wasn't expecting the thoughtful, cautious, and considered analysis of the likely scenarios of an ever-expanding human population facing finite resources. The authors make an excellent point that infinite growth (people, food, water, economy, etc.) is simply not possible. Yet, every politician in the world advocates a policy of never-ending growth.

The point of the book is not that we will all die from starvation. The point of the book is that if we do not want to run out of resources and live a miserable existence, we have to start planning now. Excellent book to read for your own education, and in some ways, it serves as an antidote to the popular culture's love affair with growth and consumption at any cost.
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on August 25, 2014
The theories are sound logic to me, but their computer models sound silly. Of course if we use more resources than we make, eventually the planet will run out. Models are only as good as the underlying factors and the margin for error is nothing more than a best guess. Nevertheless, if you look past the fancy model, the book is a great warning about what we have done to our planet. Kind of a scary ending where it looks like our only way to survive is to stop population growth (Can't china teach India how to use birth control)?
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on August 16, 2015
I read the first publication of this incredible study in college way back when we still used pen and paper for notes. This current update is disheartening in its scientific data. Don't get me wrong, the quality of the research and the predictions are beyond reproach, however, what it shows is that we have likely past the tipping point and the current global extinction (which is unique because it is not a natural event, but created by over-population of this planet by human kind), clearly in play.
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on October 7, 2012
Limits to Growth gives an updated version of the original paper/book.
It goes into enough detail to be informative, but does not get bogged down in just one aspect or topic.
Seems to be a wake-up-call for all of us to be more informed, more in touch with everything that we do and
take for granted in our American lifestyle, and gives some concrete suggestions about what to do about it.
Certainly worth the time spent reading it.
If it does nothing more than make us aware of how fragile our life (style) is, it is worth the investment.
Read it, enjoy it, but take it to heart and DO something about it!
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on January 31, 2014
Meadows' update on the original Limits to Growth brings a helpful focus to the modeling used to project resource depletion and all of the other projections provided in this book. Beware, though, that this is an update for 2003. I look forward to seeing the update for 2013. Although Meadows is no longer with us, the pioneering work of Limits to Growth will continue to have an impact, as evidenced by the widespread use of computer modeling today to project anthropogenic influences on the earth overall. It would be good to see that work featured in the next update.
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