2052 A global forecast for the next forty years

Jørgen Randers

Book - 2012

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Subjects
Published
White River Junction, Vt. : Chelsea Green Pub c2012.
Language
English
Item Description
"A Report to the Club of Rome Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of The Limits to Growth."
Physical Description
xvi, 392 p. : ill., map ; 23 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781603584210
1603584218
9781603584678
1603584676
Main Author
Jørgen Randers (-)
Review by Choice Reviews

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Limits to Growth (CH, Nov'73), Randers (climate strategy, BI Norwegian Business School) forecasts changes in population, consumption, energy use, emissions, quality of life, and climate over the next 40 years. As one of the original contributors to Limits to Growth, the author's current forecast is based on the "overshoot and collapse" scenario. Regional scenarios highlight the distribution of benefits and costs from climate change across the globe, underscoring the distinct consequences on the developed and developing world. The author emphasizes that shortsighted decision making associated with democracy is ill suited to handle climate change, given its long-term outcomes. A novel feature of this work is the inclusion of predictions from more than two dozen experts working in ecology, political science, industry, and economics. These individual contributions are woven into the larger story to provide comparison with the author's predictions. Overall, this work is accessible to a general audience; however, Randers's limited analysis and justification of model assumption restrict the usefulness of this book as a stand-alone text. It could be useful in conjunction with some formal texts on globalization, economics, and the environment. Summing Up: Optional. General readers and undergraduate students. General Readers; Lower-division Undergraduates; Upper-division Undergraduates. K. S. Evans St. Lawrence University Copyright 2012 American Library Association.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Randers has made it his life's work to caution the world about the dangers of unfettered expansion, and to seek out solutions to current and prospective problems. Beginning with The Limits to Growth in 1972, he has explored possible scenarios for our social, economic, and environmental future. In this global study, Randers presents a forecast for the next 40 years, supported by "statistical data, anecdotal stories, impressions from traveling the world…formal analyses of particular developments," and short essays by a variety of experts. While he discusses his own opinions—such as his belief that the world economy must shift its focus from "fossil-fuelled economic growth" to "sustainable well-being—" the enormous amount of information and speculation here function additionally as an excellent springboard for a timely discourse. And open and informed conversation seems crucial to Randers's project—indeed, he posits that unchecked climate change is not a technological problem, but a political one. Randers and his colleagues present a portrait of the future that is radically different from today, but not entirely bleak: while he believes that the worst of his predictions are possible, he humbly asks his readers to "help make my forecast wrong." (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Randers has made it his life's work to caution the world about the dangers of unfettered expansion, and to seek out solutions to current and prospective problems. Beginning with The Limits to Growth in 1972, he has explored possible scenarios for our social, economic, and environmental future. In this global study, Randers presents a forecast for the next 40 years, supported by "statistical data, anecdotal stories, impressions from traveling the world…formal analyses of particular developments," and short essays by a variety of experts. While he discusses his own opinions—such as his belief that the world economy must shift its focus from "fossil-fuelled economic growth" to "sustainable well-being—" the enormous amount of information and speculation here function additionally as an excellent springboard for a timely discourse. And open and informed conversation seems crucial to Randers's project—indeed, he posits that unchecked climate change is not a technological problem, but a political one. Randers and his colleagues present a portrait of the future that is radically different from today, but not entirely bleak: while he believes that the worst of his predictions are possible, he humbly asks his readers to "help make my forecast wrong." (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Draws on global forecasting tools, the predictions of over thirty experts, and the author's experience in sustainability to speculate on the world's economic future, addressing overpopulation, renewable energy, and China as a superpower.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In The Limits of Growth (1972), coauthor Randers (climate strategy, BI Norwegian Business School) cautioned that unless humanity changed its ways, the planet's future looked unsustainable. In this report to the Club on Rome commemorating the 40th anniversary of this landmark book, he and a new group of prognosticators forecast scenarios about population, consumption, production, energy use, and a counter-globalization trend for the next 40 years for the US, China, and other regions. Supporting figures and maps are drawn from a statistical database, computer models, and other tools. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Forty years ago, The Limits to Growth study addressed the grand question of how humans would adapt to the physical limitations of planet Earth. It predicted that during the first half of the 21st century the ongoing growth in the human ecological footprint would stop-either through catastrophic "overshoot and collapse"-or through well-managed "peak and decline."So, where are we now? And what does our future look like? In the book 2052, Jorgen Randers, one of the coauthors of Limits to Growth, issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next forty years. To do this, he asked dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades. He then synthesized those scenarios into a global forecast of life as we will most likely know it in the years ahead.The good news: we will see impressive advances in resource efficiency, and an increasing focus on human well-being rather than on per capita income growth. But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and GDP, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as result of increased urbanization, productivity decline as a result of social unrest, and continuing poverty among the poorest 2 billion world citizens. Runaway global warming, too, is likely.So, how do we prepare for the years ahead? With heart, fact, and wisdom, Randers guides us along a realistic path into the future and discusses what readers can do to ensure a better life for themselves and their children during the increasing turmoil of the next forty years.