Meadows Report


In 1972, a private association called Club Roma, which is made up of businessmen, scientists and politicians, decided to request the services of a group of researchers, so that they would prepare a study on the economic propensities and difficulties that are threatening the the world society. The results of these studies were released in 1972, under the name of the Meadows report.

In this analysis, various methodologies for studying the dynamics of systems that are currently most developed were carried out. To begin, data was collected on the growth that had had a series of variants during the first years of the 20th century, variables such as pollution, industrial and agricultural production. Formulas were also created that associated these variables with each other. For example, industrial production was related to the subsistence of renewable resources, agricultural production was linked to pollution, etc. And in this way they were able to corroborate that all these formulas served to explain exactly the links between the data that were already known.

This report was written by Donella Meadows, an environmental scientist and biophysicist with a background in system dynamics.

The conclusions reached by the investigations and which were reflected in the report were the following: “if the increase in the world population, pollution, industrialization, exploitation of natural environments and food production continue to be maintained, without any kind of variation, it is likely that the total limit of growth on earth will be reached, at least during the next century.

The Meadows report was based on the computer simulation of the World 3 program. This program was created by the authors of the report, with the aim of being able to recreate the economic evolution and the growth of the population and the development of the ecological footprint of humanity during the next centuries.

In 2012, during the Rio+20 summit and where the latest edition of this report was published. In this edition, reliable data is shown in various areas, especially in everything related to the biosphere and climate. According to this information, it would already be at the physical limits. The report also highlights the importance of financing, which will allow a greater commitment regarding the need for a transition towards a society that runs out of sustainable resources.