Forty years ago, a group of researchers at MIT ran a study to address the question of how humans would adapt to the physical limitations of a finite planet. That study became the book Limits to Growth.
It should have been a starting point for a critical discussion at the national — or even global — level. It could have led to the birthing of many practical and then-implementable initiatives that mighthave brought our unsustainable demographic, industrial and consumptive behavior under better control. But sadly, the book instead became a lightning rod for controversy. And decades later, the issues it warned of loom larger than ever.
In this interview, Chris discusses our collective failure to act on this book’s message with Jorgen Randers, one of the authors of Limits to Growth and Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update as well as a new book, 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years.
While there are some differences in opinion between Jorgen and Chris, particularly on the acuteness of our resource predicament, both agree that continuing to pursue the status quo will result in a poorer quality of life for most of the world’s denizens. We increasingly appear to be facing a future shaped either by design or disaster, and unless we actively decide to intelligently change our behavior, the latter outcome will prevail.
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