In 1972, the Club of Rome released a report called The Limits to Growth that laid out the damage to the planet and to human beings of unrestrained increases in economic production and population. It was a straightforward extrapolation from then-current trends that took into account limited resources like water, fertile soil, and fossil fuels.
That same year, the United Nations held its first environment conference, which led to the creation of the UN Environment Program. Climate change was barely on the conference agenda, but it would increasingly focus the attention of scientists and policymakers over the next two decades with the introduction of the term “global warming” in 1975, the Montreal Protocol in 1987 that restricted ozone-destroying chemicals, and the creation in 1988 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
For half a century, in other words, the international community has issued warnings about the linked hazards of economic growth and climate change. Despite these warnings across five decades, very little has been done to engineer an alternate to unrestrained growth that can safeguard the planet and yet still secure a measure of prosperity fall all humans.
Current doomsday scenarios of a future dominated by environmental disasters and economic deprivation are not …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies