The “limits to growth” concept refers to the idea that there are finite limits to Earth’s resources and capacity to sustain human population and economic growth.
The phrase was coined in 1972 by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT) who published a book called The Limits To Growth, in which they used a bunch of computer models to determine whether or not Earth is overpopulated (or soon will be).
It’s basically the same as Malthusian climate change predictions, which are consistently wrong.
Thomas Malthus was an English economist who lived in the 18th century, known for writing An Essay on the Principle of Population which was about the relationship between population growth and resources. He proposed that population growth needed to be limited through preventive measures such as late marriage and sexual abstinence, as well as disease, war, and famine.
The book argues that if human population and economic activity continued to grow at an exponential rate, it would eventually lead to a collapse of the global system due to resource shortages, environmental degradation, and other factors.
Unfortunately, the book has had a significant influence on environmental movements, policymakers, scientists, and activists around the world.
As Cynthia Chung said to me in the following conversation, their computer models completely ignored human innovation, ingenuity, and creativity.
People have a remarkable capacity to find solutions to problems. The book underestimated the the connection between economic growth and market forces driving efficiency and resource allocation.
Plus, there is no evidence to suggest that the Earth is overpopulated.
Take a listen to Cynthia breaking apart all of the above and showing why Earth is not overpopulated and why resources are not running out. She also chatted a bit about the benefits of nuclear power.
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