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Scientists Vindicate 'Limits to Growth' – Urge Investment in 'Circular Economy'

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Any article that opens with, “According to a new peer-reviewed scientific report…” has my undivided attention. This isn’t the first time Dr. Nafeez Ahmed has been honored on our Wall of Fame, and we sure do love a returning champion. (You may remember a post from March where he was famed). His latest piece for the Guardian, Scientists Vindicate ‘Limits to Growth’ – Urge Investment in ‘Circular Economy’, is a spot-on, refreshing bit of journalism.

The study he is referring to is “the 33rd report to the Club of Rome…and includes contributions from a wide range of senior scientists across relevant disciplines.” We all remember the first report, The Limits to Growth, it’s predictions about depleting resources, and all the controversy that created. BUT, as Dr. Ahmed notes, “Although widely ridiculed, recent scientific reviews confirm that the original report’s projections in is ‘base scenario’ remain robust.” With all the fear surrounding the end of growth, this is a perspective often ignored or mocked. So glad someone is taking it seriously and calling attention to it.

“Australia’s federal government scientific research agency CSIRO concluded that The Limits to Growth forecast of potential ‘global ecological and economic collapse coming up in the middle of the 21st Century’ due to convergence of ‘peak oil, climate change, and food and water scarcity’, is on-track.” Hey, Julian Simon, why don’t you put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Dr. Ahmad goes on to explain that ‘business as usual’ in regards to fossil fuels, natural resources, and the imminent global warming will permanently destroy the planet as we know it. We absolutely need a paradigm shift that includes drastically reducing our consumption. “Limits to economic growth, or even ‘degrowth’, the report says, do not need to imply an end to prosperity, but rather require a conscious decision by societies to lower their environmental impacts, reduce wasteful consumption, and increase efficiency – changes which could in fact increase quality of life while lowering inequality.” While I completely agree with and praise this statement, I would take it a step further. “Prosperity” doesn’t need to end, but the definition does need to change. Feeling prosperous needs to come from within, from life experiences, from personal relationships, from breakthroughs, from educating ourselves, and generally living happy, conscientious, and fulfilling lives.  I also wish he’d brought up something about population but beggars can’t be choosers. Next time maybe. What do ya say, Dr. Ahmed?

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How much fame or shame?:


  • Dave Gardner
    Dave Gardner Thursday, 05 June 2014

    "Feeling prosperous needs to come from within, from life experiences, from personal relationships, from breakthroughs, from educating ourselves, and generally living happy, conscientious, and fulfilling lives." Bravo! I think we need to put Lynsey Jones herself on the Wall of Fame. Good stuff, Lynsey!

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Guest Friday, 12 February 2016

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