Monday, March 10, 2008

Even the whole planet... still a closed, finite system, as I have said many times. Here is an interesting discussion on that very topic at the Oil Drum. The discussion is just as interesting as the article, if not more so.

Cassandra's curse: how "The Limits to Growth" was demonized
Posted by Ugo Bardi on March 9, 2008

...The first book of the "The Limits to Growth" series was published in 1972 by a group of researchers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Dennis Meadows, Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William Behrens III. The book reported the results of a study commissioned by a group of intellectuals who had formed the "Club of Rome" a few years before. It examined the evolution of the whole world's economy by means of a mathematical model based on "system dynamics", a method that had been developed earlier on by Jay W. Forrester. Using computers, a novelty for the time, the LTG world model could keep track of a large number of variables and of their interactions as the system changed with time. The authors developed a number of scenarios for the world's future in various assumptions. They found that, unless specific measures were taken, the world's economy tended to collapse at some time in 21st century. The collapse was caused by a combination of resource depletion, overpopulation, and growing pollution (this last element we would see today as related to global warming)...

Those "specific measures" are changes we need to make to anticipate peak oil and the end of affordable gasoline and the end of availability of cheap imports - things we have apparently been unwilling to do, either as individuals or as a community, or even as a nation. We are completely unprepared and our communities are anything but self-sufficient. In fact, cheredi communities will be worse off faster than regular secular communities - at least they have a practical education, a work ethic and job skills. Our young men by and large have none of these.

How did our supposedly "knowledgeable" gedolim lead us into this dead end? By pretending what's going on out there in the world has nothing to do with us and our communities - that geology and economics and other real world issues somehow ignore us. They pretended this while stripping our communities of any possible ability to sustain ourselves without inputs from that outside world they claim we aren't part of - when in fact we're very much part of it, parasites off of it, to be exact.

The window of opportunity for us to make those "specific measures" is fast closing. I hope UOJ will publish the article I wrote for him soon - not that I really believe it will make any difference, but at least I'll be able to say, "See, I told you so, and you knew what was coming." In general, it won't be very satisfying. But hopefully, some few will listen and act. Isn't it true that if I save even one family from destitution, that it is as if I have saved a whole world? If just one family acts and positions themselves to anticipate reality then I have done a mitzvah. And if none do, well, intentions count with Hashem. That will have to be enough.


Garnel Ironheart said...

The Club of Rome is one of the biggest jokes of the second half of the 20th century. I recall reading their propaganda in undergrad, about how we would run out of pretty much everything essential by the end of the 20th century. Not one of their predictions ever came true but that hasn't stopped their followers from simply moving the target years for disaster down each time the previous target passes uneventfully.

Ahavah said...

BEEEEEEEEEP! Sorry, Limits of Growth didn't say any of those things, didn't "predict" anything would run out by any such-and-such year, and if you had read it OR THE ARTICLE I LINKED then you would know that.