Difference between revisions of "Limits to Growth"

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Because of the dynamic nature of exponential growth, it is somehow involved with a positive feedback loop in dynamic modelling theory. Simultaneously, while positive feedback loops generate growth, negative feedback loops regulate growth and stabilize the system. For instance, negative feedback loop controlling population is described as average mortality. Another example is stands for economic growth or industrial output.
 
Because of the dynamic nature of exponential growth, it is somehow involved with a positive feedback loop in dynamic modelling theory. Simultaneously, while positive feedback loops generate growth, negative feedback loops regulate growth and stabilize the system. For instance, negative feedback loop controlling population is described as average mortality. Another example is stands for economic growth or industrial output.
  
[[File:LG1.png|250px|thumb|right|The feedback loop for dynamic behavior of population growth]]
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[[File:LG1.png|350px|thumb|right|The feedback loop for dynamic behavior of population growth]]
 
 
  
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However, we should also consider many other factors in the world that interacts with population-capital system. The first of them is indeed, physical necessities that support industrial activities – raw materials, fossil, food etc. Secondly, it is about social requirements, like peace, stability, education and etc. This second category of factors are more difficult to analyze.
  
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[[File:Lg2.png|350px|thumb|left|The feedback loop for industrial capital]]
  
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Significant resources for the industrial processes was analyzed during research project. Availability and reserves of each resource with the current rate of usage was described in the “The Limits to Growth” book.
  
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[[File:Quote.png|150px|thumb|right|Given present resource consumption rates and the projected increase in the consumption rates, the great majority of the currently important nonrenewable resources will be extremely costly 100 years from now… ]]
  
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From a dynamic and global perspective, it is very difficult to understand and control the future state of our ecological systems. Unfortunately, because of unavailability of information on some types of pollution, on their global distribution and limits. Some pollutants are obviously directly related to population growth. Others are more closely related to the growth of industry and advances in technology. We can describe pollutants, like carbon dioxide, nuclear or radioactive wastes and etc., using time and exponential growth consideration.  However, ability of earth to recover, natural delays in the ecological processes and upper limits of pollution should be considered as well. (For additional details please check “Chapter 2. The Limits to Exponential Growth”)
  
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== WORLD BEHAVIOR ==
  
  

Revision as of 23:05, 14 January 2020

Historical Background

In April 1968, scientists, economists, educators and other individual professionals discussed “the present and future predicament of man” in the meeting organized by the Giovanni Agnelli Foundation and the National Academy of Lincei. As an outcome of the meeting an international organization named “The Club of Rome” was established.

Aurelio Peccei (1908-1984)Italian industrialist, co-founder of Club of Rome and first president of the organization

The Club of Rome was incorporated on March 1970 in Geneva as a non-profit private association under the Swiss Civil Code [4]. The Club of Rome is an informal organization aimed to stimulate understanding and share knowledge on economic, politic, natural and social components of the real live, as well as, attract attention of policy makers and public globally [3].

Alexander King (1909-2007) British / Scottish scientist, co-founder of Club of Rome

A series of early meetings of The Club of Rome culminated in the decision to initiate a remarkably ambitious undertaking -the Project on the Predicament of Mankind. The intent of the project is to examine the complex of problems troubling men of all nations: poverty in the midst of plenty; degradation of the environment; loss of faith in institutions; uncontrolled urban spread; insecurity of employment; alienation of youth; rejection of traditional values; and inflation and other monetary and economic disruptions [1, p.12].

The Limits to Growth, which concludes the main features and findings of the project, was published by Potomac Associates, The Club of Rome and MIT research team. Group of professionals from several countries participated in the research work. Different possible scenarios showing different outcomes of future development (from 1900 to 2100) of world was researched and introduced in the book. System dynamics theory and WORLD 3 computer model was used in the research project.

The Club of Rome

In 1992, on the 20th anniversary of the publication of Limits to Growth, the team updated Limits in a book called Beyond the Limits. Ten years later in a new study, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update, the authors have produced a comprehensive update to the original Limits, in which they came to conclusion that mankind is dangerously in a state of overshoot [2, p.4].


PROBLEMS & MODELS

The prototype model on which research is based was designed by Professor Jay W. Forrester from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [1, p.21]. This written model of the world was established and used to understand global problems and reasons behind. Five significant interconnected global issues was selected: 1) accelerating industrialization, 2) rapid population growth, 3) widespread malnutrition, 4) depletion of nonrenewable resources, 5) a deteriorating environment.

Jay Wright Forrester (1918-2016) Computer engineer and systems scientist

On the other hand, time horizon of the model is longer than 30 years, and that includes important variables such as population, food production, and pollution, not as independent entities, but as dynamically interacting elements, as they are in the real world.

For constructing model following steps were implemented by authors:

  1. Important relationships among five main levels (associated with the 5 significant problems) and the feedback loop structure was listed
  2. Each relationship was quantified as precise as possible using available global data
  3. In order to find most critical factors impact of numerical changes in the assumptions were tested and relationship changes over time was analyzed
  4. The effect on the existing global system of the various policies was tested

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH

The problems described in the previous section, establish five main elements of the study, which are population, food production, industrialization, pollution and consumption of nonrenewable natural resources.The amount of their annual increase follows a trend that called exponential growth. A quantity exhibits exponential growth when it increases by a constant percentage of the whole in a constant time period.

It is useful to think of exponential growth in terms of doubling or the time it takes a growing quantity double in size.

Exponential growth involves elements that change over time. On the other hand, if elements are interrelated with each other, it becomes very difficult to analyze. Because of the dynamic nature of exponential growth, it is somehow involved with a positive feedback loop in dynamic modelling theory. Simultaneously, while positive feedback loops generate growth, negative feedback loops regulate growth and stabilize the system. For instance, negative feedback loop controlling population is described as average mortality. Another example is stands for economic growth or industrial output.

The feedback loop for dynamic behavior of population growth

However, we should also consider many other factors in the world that interacts with population-capital system. The first of them is indeed, physical necessities that support industrial activities – raw materials, fossil, food etc. Secondly, it is about social requirements, like peace, stability, education and etc. This second category of factors are more difficult to analyze.

The feedback loop for industrial capital

Significant resources for the industrial processes was analyzed during research project. Availability and reserves of each resource with the current rate of usage was described in the “The Limits to Growth” book.

Given present resource consumption rates and the projected increase in the consumption rates, the great majority of the currently important nonrenewable resources will be extremely costly 100 years from now…

From a dynamic and global perspective, it is very difficult to understand and control the future state of our ecological systems. Unfortunately, because of unavailability of information on some types of pollution, on their global distribution and limits. Some pollutants are obviously directly related to population growth. Others are more closely related to the growth of industry and advances in technology. We can describe pollutants, like carbon dioxide, nuclear or radioactive wastes and etc., using time and exponential growth consideration. However, ability of earth to recover, natural delays in the ecological processes and upper limits of pollution should be considered as well. (For additional details please check “Chapter 2. The Limits to Exponential Growth”)

WORLD BEHAVIOR

References

  1. Meadows, D.H., Meadows, D.L., Randers, J. & Behrens, W.W. (1972). The Limits to Growth: A report for the Club of Rome's project on the predicament of mankind, New York: Universe Books.
  2. Meadows, D., Randers, J. & Meadows, D.L. (2004). A Synopsis Limits to Growth: The 30-year Update, White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing Company.
  3. The Club of Rome, https://www.clubofrome.org/
  4. The Club of Rome. (1970). The Predicament of Mankind: Quest for Structured Responses to Growing World-wide Complexities and Uncertainties. Proposal.