Thoughts of some of the scenarios shown in "Limits to Growth"

Scenario 0: The Earth is flat

Scenario 0

This is what they sell you, Merkel, Hollande, all economists are right. The earth is flat. We can achieve infinite growth economically, technologically, etc. Good news. By 2040-2050 about the food and industrial output tend to infinite as a result of our exponential growth. People weight 500kilos (1100lb) and it rains iphones. We will have a truck, a tank, a plane, and 10 cars each one. You'll go fishing with your nephews in your nuclear aircraft carrier, paid with a mortgage in 1000 years. These economists were right, we are dumb-ass, as we dare to defy the logic of infinite growth and exponential. We know we will have some kinks in about 1400 years when need 100% of the sun's energy, and 1000 years later the entire galaxy. But all these problems are far away, like now, we have always been doomers.

Scenarios 1 and 2: BAU (Business as Usual)

BAU Scenarios

Two models with acknowledging physical limits, without taking action, the current course. On the left, the famous scenario 1, conservative on the abundance of non-renewable resources. Is the stage that is observed today, since we are doing nothing to change the course of events. Scenario 2 is the same but with plenty on nonrenewable resources.

Scenario 4: "Sustainable Growth" / BAU-Green / Bright Green / Green Economy / you name it


We continue growing the economy. In the medium term this scenario is better, since the improvement in the productivity of agricultural land, pollution control, etc., allows us to grow even more than with the usual BAU. The growth of industrial production and population continues to pace. "The earth is flat." It's not likely going to happen. The result is a catabolic collapse. Much of the population is lost very quickly. Similar scenarios give same results with variations. The more the economy had grown, the harder the collapse.

Scenarios 9 y 10: The steady state

Steady state

The first stage "9" results of applying corrective policies. The second stage 10 would had been if this policies started in 1982, to appreciate what it costs us each day by not making decisions. The steady state is achieved by applying population control policies (maximum 2 children per couple in the world), improvements in food production (eg organic food), stabilization of industrial production per capita, control policies for pollution, soil erosion and depletion protocol of nonrenewable resources. This is the degrowth achieving the steady state in a graph.

More info:

Usual mistakes:

  • The limits to growth are not predictions. The system is too complex to be predicted. But if you can study their tendencies. And how they affect the choices we make.
  • It is not a political book.

Quick translation of the original in spanish