The Limits to Growth Revisited

  • Ugo Bardi

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Energy book series (BRIEFSENERGY)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs in Energy Analysis book sub series (ENERGYANALYS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Ugo Bardi
    Pages 1-3
  3. Ugo Bardi
    Pages 15-21
  4. Ugo Bardi
    Pages 23-29
  5. Ugo Bardi
    Pages 37-47
  6. Ugo Bardi
    Pages 85-94
  7. Ugo Bardi
    Pages 95-100
  8. Ugo Bardi
    Pages 101-104
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 105-119

About this book


“The Limits to Growth” (Meadows, 1972) generated unprecedented controversy with its predictions of the eventual collapse of the world's economies. First hailed as a great advance in science, “The Limits to Growth” was subsequently rejected and demonized. However, with many national economies now at risk and global peak oil apparently a reality, the methods, scenarios, and predictions of “The Limits to Growth” are in great need of reappraisal. In The Limits to Growth Revisited, Ugo Bardi examines both the science and the polemics surrounding this work, and in particular the reactions of economists that marginalized its methods and conclusions for more than 30 years. “The Limits to Growth” was a milestone in attempts to model the future of our society, and it is vital today for both scientists and policy makers to understand its scientific basis, current relevance, and the social and political mechanisms that led to its rejection. Bardi also addresses the all-important question of whether the methods and approaches of “The Limits to Growth” can contribute  to an understanding of what happened to the global economy in the Great Recession and where we are headed from there.

  • Shows how “The Limits to Growth” is a subject more relevant today than when the book was first published
  • Demonstrates how scenario-building using system dynamics models or other methods is an essential tool in understanding possible futures
  • Examines the factors that may lead to the rejection of good science when the conclusions are unpleasant
  • Separates the reality that the future can never be predicted with certainty from the need to prepare for it


Donella Meadows Limits to growth hypothesis Limits to growth methods Limits to growth update Resource depletion System dynamics models climate change World modelling mechanisms World modelling methods

Authors and affiliations

  • Ugo Bardi
    • 1
  1. 1., Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversità di FirenzeFirenzeItaly

Bibliographic information