The Computer that Printed Out W*O*L*F*

Courtesy Reuters

"The Limits to Growth" is a brief, forceful, easily read polemic which has already generated many times its own weight in enthusiastic encomia and equally strong condemnations.[i] It advances a familiar, indeed fashionable, thesis. The goals and institutions of our present world society stimulate population growth and production increase at a rate that cannot be sustained. Further, and perhaps less familiarly, we are now about a generation from the point of no return, after which the world must suffer a catastrophic drop in numbers and wealth, no matter what is then done to restrain further growth. The argument is presented with a sufficient panoply of graphs, flow diagrams, references to the World Model and the new discipline of System Dynamics, and invocations of the computer to produce an aura of scientific authority for the conclusions. They have the additional weight of the endorsement of a prestigious private international group

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