An unexpected post (in more way then one. Glad he’s back) by Haunting the Library: “Limits to Growth” – Here’s What You Never Hear About It – And The Truth. It is a post about the report known colloquial as the ‘Club of Rome report’, in which, it is said, the demise of humanity is predicted unless we embrace a no-growth economy. But as is often the case, the truth is quite different. And rarely heard.
Limits to Growth, according to these people, proves that humanity is heading for a crisis. The computer models prove it. It may not have happened yet, but it will happen. Except Limits to Growth was never even intended to prove anything of the sort.
In fact, that (in)famous report commissioned by the Club of Rome left the members of that self-same club quite unconvinced.
King stresses that the study was not by the Club of Rome, but for the Club of Rome who commissioned it. And what did they think of their own study?
When the Club had the opportunity to discuss Limits it was clear that many of the members were unconvinced by its conclusions on matters that they had never before discussed. Indeed, I felt that a majority did not accept it. Limits had a distinctly neo-Malthusian flavour clearly unpalatable to those amongst us who were technological optimists and we all regretted that the work had paid insufficient attention to the great human and social issues (p. 338).
That’s right – even the Club that commissioned the study did not accept its findings, in particular its gloomy, Malthusian tone. King happily agrees that “criticism concerning lack of appreciation of technological change, the power of the market and the degree of aggregation were, of course, valid”
Also featured in the post, a something less then complimentary, is Sicco Mansholt, the Dutch ex-minister of agriculture, who almost single-handedly set about to (and seems to be succeeding in) destroying the agricultural back-bone of Holland and Europe at large.
Go and read the post. And slap your eco-friendly neighbor/friend/family-member silly with it as soon as he/she brings up the Club of Rome or the “Limits to Growth” report.