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The MIT Study: The Limits to Growth

Updated: Sep 23, 2021


In 1972, a team of 17 researchers from MIT compiled a report on the impact of exponentially growing economies and populations with a finite amount of resources. Ultimately, the report determines that around the year 2040, societies will face a sudden and uncontrollable downturn in population and industrialization.



The Limit to Growth report has raised eyebrows over the past few years as the accuracy is fairly consistent with conditions today, nearly 50 years after its writing.


World3 Model
One of many extremely insightful graphs in Limits to Growth

Since then, numerous sources, including the original authors, have provided updates that compare the forecasted conditions with actual conditions and added elements to refine the original models.


Rather than rewrite the reports, models, and updates, I've aggregated the best content and sources below so that you can easily enjoy them.




The Original Publication of Limits to Growth (Free, PDF link)

http://www.donellameadows.org/wp-content/userfiles/Limits-to-Growth-digital-scan-version.pdf


Limits to Growth: The 30-year update synopsis: https://donellameadows.org/archives/a-synopsis-limits-to-growth-the-30-year-update/


Harvard Thesis: LtG Model vs Modern Day: https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/37364868/BRANDERHORST-DOCUMENT-2020.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y


Wikipedia (The quick and dirty synopsis of Limits to Growth) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth






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