BEYOND THE LIMITS by Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows and Jorgen Randers (Chelsea Green Publishing: $19.95; 278 pp.) If I could, I would assign a reading of "Beyond the Limits" as homework to both houses of Congress, the President and the U.N. General Assembly. And you too: Read it. There will be a planetary discussion following.
Do you remember "The Limits to Growth"? Twenty years ago the Club of Rome commissioned a cabal of economic modelers to look at the principal factors that control human welfare and predict their behavior over the next century or so. The model they developed predicted disaster within a century if present accelerating trends of population growth, industrial production and resource consumption continue as they have. Conservatives denounced it, businessmen derided it, liberals were generally embarrassed by its gloomy outlook for the Third World (and everybody else), and politicians did their very best to ignore it. Many scientists, however, quietly observed that while the model was crude, it was basically sound, common sense.