Book and film reviews


The new report to the Club of Rome

 From Jorgen Randers.
Oekom, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-86581-398-5, 430 pages.

(Published in Grail World 76/2013)

In 1972, 40 years ago, the first report to the Club of Rome appeared under the title: "The Limits to Growth", which wanted to draw attention to the fact that the earth is limited and therefore the limitless growth that economists and politicians strive for is impossible is.

According to Randers, the “limits to growth” was a scenario analysis that wanted to answer the following questions:
"What will happen over the next 130 years if humanity chooses to pursue very specific strategies?" (P. 13).

This analysis "The Limits to Growth" was misunderstood by the majority of critics as a forecast and dismissed as inaccurate. This denial of reality has not yet been overcome; because business and politics still do not want to take note of the fact that the ecosystem of the earth is far overtaxed by us humans and cannot permanently deliver what we believe we need.

Jorgen Randers, Professor of Climatology, was co-author of “The Limits to Growth” (1972), “The New Limits of Growth” (1992) and “The Limits to Growth - The 30-Year Update. Signal to change course ”(2004). After 40 years of experience with prognoses based on system dynamic computer models, he is now investigating in "2052" the likely development of the world in the next 40 years.
“So my forecast for the next 40 years is an educated guess as to what will happen; it is not a scenario analysis and it is certainly not a description of what should happen. The latter has simply been done too often. Global society knows very well what needs to be done to create a better world for our children. We need to eradicate poverty and face the challenge of climate change. We know that this can be achieved with technical means and at comparatively low costs. Unfortunately, I cannot imagine that it will be implemented. Just as I feared, humanity will not be able to cope with the situation, at least not so quickly that unnecessary damage can be avoided. The complex and time-consuming decision-making of democratic nation-states alone will ensure this " (P. 25).

In all likelihood, we will continue to muddle as we have before, without the strength and courage to make a big throw. Necessary decisions will not be made or they will come too late. If the precautionary measures are neglected, much more has to be spent on the subsequent repair of the damage.

The thoroughly researched and highly recommended book gains particular charm from further expert opinions. Randers asked three dozen leading personalities from various disciplines and cultures about their assessment of the next few decades. So his work can provide an interesting and colorful picture of the developments to be expected in the next 40 years, which an individual could hardly work out alone:

From a global perspective, what can we expect in the next four decades?
Scarcity of resources, environmental damage, overpopulation, unemployment, social tensions, etc. are increasing.
"The CO2-Concentration in the atmosphere will certainly increase, but will not trigger self-reinforcing climate change before 2052 " (P. 41).
The US and the western industrialized countries will fall behind; China will become the dominant world power.

“The journey to 2052 will not be an easy one. Inequality, injustice, social tension, revolts will accompany us. Some states will collapse with a roar, others will gradually disintegrate. But in the year 2052 something else will also be recognizable, perhaps only vaguely, but it will be there: a new urban and virtual civilization, growing out of our human nature, out of our humanity. Accompanied by holistic and sustainable ethics. But also accompanied by rising temperatures and dying ecosystems. The world in 2052 will not be an ideal starting point for the onward journey into the second half of the 21st century " (P. 271).

The critical time for mankind is expected to come after 2052. Global warming is likely to have risen by 2.8 degrees by then. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are thus approaching a level that can cause irreversible damage on a large scale (p. 38). This long-feared ecological collapse would have to change the world in a way that nobody can imagine.

Read about it too "How much we are overloading our earth". under "Eco-ecology".