Limits to Growth

I thought for a long time, that the result of the study “The Limits to Growth” by the “Club of Rome” are clearly disproved. But then I investigated a little bit and found that it doesn’t seem to be the case. This worries me a lot, as the model (World3) they use predicts a collapse of society around 2030-2050.

Serious critisism to the study seems to be:

  • The model is very sensitive to initial starting values. No sensitivity analysis of the model has been done.
  • The model only includes a single limited natural resource. This does not incorporate the possibility that a limited resource like oil can be substituted by another less limited resource.

However I found studies investigating the sensitivity of the model (see links below), so point one is clearly not true. What I’m missing is a similar thing like in weather forecast there they show the temperature mean and the variance. So instead o showing only the mean value in all the plots, the investigators of the world3 model sould also show the variance of the outcome .