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The Club of Rome at 50 years old

By Dalwhinnie | December 11, 2022

I used to believe the following tenets of the Club of Rome. I did so for about four years (from the age of 22 to 26) until I woke up from ecodoomism. It is apparent that millions have been sucked into this cult and have never found a way out. Yet. Indeed, eco-doomism is the world’s leading cause of depression, suicide, sexual ambiguity,  non-replacement and cultural anomie. It is immediately the cause of policies designed to immiserate the population (viz. Dutch government putting farms out of business to control world atmospheric nitrogen levels).

Here are the doctrines of the Club of Rome, circa 1972. Look familiar?

“The Limits to Growth” contains six main messages:

  1. Firstly, that the environmental impact of human society had become heavier between 1900 and 1972 due to both an increase in the number of humans and the amount of resources consumed and pollution generated per person per year.
  2. That our planet is physically limited, and that humanity cannot continue to use more physical resources and generate more emissions than nature is capable of supplying in a sustainable manner. In addition, it will not be possible to rely on technology alone to solve the problem as this would only delay reaching the carrying capacity of the planet by a few years.
  3. The authors cautioned that it is possible, and even likely, that the human ecological footprint will overshoot the carrying capacity of the planet, further explaining that this would likely occur due to significant delays in global decision making while growth continued, bringing the human footprint into unsustainable territory.
  4. Once humanity has entered this unsustainable territory, we will have to move back into sustainable territory, either through “managed decline” of activity, or we will be forced to move back through “collapse” caused by the brutal inherent processes of nature or the market.
  5. The fifth message is one of hope. The authors state that: “The challenge of overshoot from decision delay is real, but easily solvable if human society decided to “act”, meaning that forward looking policy could prevent humanity from overshooting the aforementioned planetary limits.
  6. Lastly, the authors advocated for an early start – in 1972 that was 1975 – to achieve a smooth transition to a sustainable world without needing to pass through the overshoot and contraction phases.

The World Economic Forum and Klaus Schwab have followed as night follows day. They key assumptions are that the current population/ resource consumption mix is unsustainable, and the second is that a process of managed decline can smooth the transition to sustainability. I am about to say something at once paradoxical and true:

Humans have more to fear from the managers of population reduction than we do of civilizational collapse.

Because the population reduction is being planned by people who think they are doing good  and the old adage of C. S. Lewis applies, that the robber barons might have their greed satiated, and stop, but the person who tortures for you own good does so with a clean conscience and will not stop. Hence Stalin. Hence Klaus Schwab, and his minions and acolytes.

Collapses are random and bring their own correctives. They are chaotic. If the Roman Empire has to fall, it is better that it occur without central planning, administered by mad tyrants. I realize this is offensive to those who believe that civilizational change can be planned, but it cannot.

The  assumption that needs to be challenged the most is that collapse is somehow inevitable because we have gone beyond limits set by Gaia, that this unsustainability is somehow new, and that we can plan our way out of it.

We went beyond the limits set by Gaia since we domesticated animals, invented agriculture and mined metals. I would not wish to say there are no limits, but I would say that the collective intelligence of mankind has continually found solutions to the problems we have ourselves created. We went into the realm of the “unsustainable” tens of thousands of years ago. We are still in “unsustainablity”. There is no stable state.

The Club of Rome published its manifesto in 1972. It had a tremendous negative effect over time. It resuscitated the idea of a centrally planned economy when the central conceit of Marxism had collapsed: that a planned economy could prevail over the chaotic forces of the market, or of nature.

The close relationship between the idea of sustainability and the tyranny of all-wise central planners needs to be made clear.

The population bomb is diffusing itself anyway…

Regarding solutions that appear without planning, population growth is collapsing through the very process of wealth generation that has come from burning fossil fuels. Women reach a level of prosperity where their kids will survive until adulthood, and – bingo! – they produce at most two children. It is enough to make the most hardened eco-doomist pause and reconsider.

See Bricker and Ibbetson’s Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline, or more brutal yet, try David Goldman’s (known as Spengler) How Civilizations Die.


About the author

Dalwhinnie

Retired, sometime civil servant, sometime consultant, active intellectual, former lawyer, active property manager, and on rare occasions in the past a political activist. He has recovered from the experience.

December 12, 2022 - Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular

1 Comment »

  1. While you survived the assault on your sensibilities inflicted on you by Alexander King and his “Club of Malthusians” you must have missed reading the rebuttal to Forester and Meadows’s “Limits to Growth” supplied by Lyndon LaRouche in his scientific work, “There Are No Limits to Growth.”

    I encourage you to purchase a copy and study it. We must strengthen the intellectual stamina of as many citizens in as many nations as possible to meet the catastrophic disintegration of the transAtlantic region now underway. Solutions exist but we must build support for them.

    I refer you to THE FOUR NEW LAWS TO SAVE THE USA NOW. Not an Option but an absolute necessity by Lynn LaRouche. https://laroucheorganization.com/campaigns/four-laws#:~:text=The%20Four%20New,An%20Immediate%20Necessity

    The Anglo-American ruling elites have overplayed their hand with Climate Change, sustainable this and sustainable that. Physical economies need to grow. But they can’t grow without modern infrastructure and that is what China’s Belt and Road is providing. What’s more, India has stabilized its relationship with China and Russia is playing a key role in creating a new financial architecture of credit and long term development.
    They are looking at a basket of currencies pegged to commodities, using the Indian rupee, Chinese Yuan, and Russian ruble. This development is occurring now in discussions between Putin, Xi Jinping, Modi, and to a certain degree Turkey’s Erdogan.

    The combined hubris of the UK and US rules-based order, has caused errors of judgment that have brought Western European economies to a state not seen since the end of WWII. While in the Global South nations are responding to the beat of another drummer.

    International banking institutions in the City of London and Wall Street, are drowning in trillions of unpayable debt they refuse to right off. They have been existing on free money for twenty years but now the chickens have come home to roost. Central banks will try to print away the problem but it will only make matters worse causing hyperinflation that destroys values faster than a New York minute. I refer you to LaRouche’s Triple Curve Function in EIR’s publications: “LaRouche Points to His 1995 ‘Triple
    Curve’ Forecast of Today’s Collapse” which is free and available at larouchepub.com.

    Like

    Comment by Thomas Simpson | December 12, 2022 | Reply


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