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Of course future forecasts cannot claim to be "accurate" future realities, but Randers is convincing when he says his forecasts are the most likely outcomes based on his analysis of available data combined with his stated assumptions - the main one of which is that re climate change, governments will eventually act strongly but too slowly to generate the future outcome that we may prefer. His outcomes are the most likely according to his models because he thinks his data and methodology is solid and his assumptions are considered, peer-reviewed and finalised after ensuring no single assumption clashes with any other, by using an iterative process.

The good news is that generally things are not so bad in Yes a more crowded world but not by big multiples. Population will stabilise after adding a mere billion or 2 or 3? The global footprint will be huge but isn't it already? A big prediction that Randers comes to is that while China and others will grow their middle class hugely as we all know, this will be partly balanced by the west levelling off both in population and consumption per person by So overall a footprint that grows but around stabilises.

How the west will cope in a future no-growth era is an open question, given that economies need growth according to politics and mainstream economists. Climate change effects will be worse than they need to be and the planet somewhat damaged, but not as bad as the worst scenarios of others if the assumption is correct that when effects start impacting, strong action to reduce emissions will be inevitable. Numerical results are given in graphs which are simple in layout but quite powerful when you think that in a black line on white paper - there is our future - how crowded, how wealthy, how hot The author's commentary is valuably added to by his inclusion of subject experts' snapshots of aspects of life in As well as the quantitative forecasts, Randers has a go at rendering qualitative aspects of life for example how enjoyable tourism to lots of places will not be possible because of crowds plus that virtual tourism will be so good - if you want to see the world actually, go now!

Randers is a bit gloomy about the future world of larger cities with more technology, a couple of degrees hotter. Read the book and see what you think. The author was part of the team behind the ground breaking classic The Limits to Growth , which I am greatly impressed with. This is his personal forecast of the near future to , an update of LTG of sorts based solely on his own assumptions framed by experience over the last few decades.


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While Meadows, lead author of the original work continues to believe in the predictions in the LTG model, that we will face collapse in almost all scenarios by mid 21st century, Randers takes a more sanguine v The author was part of the team behind the ground breaking classic The Limits to Growth , which I am greatly impressed with. While Meadows, lead author of the original work continues to believe in the predictions in the LTG model, that we will face collapse in almost all scenarios by mid 21st century, Randers takes a more sanguine view. By tweaking the original models to increase availability of fossil fuels, making biocapacity of our planet last a little longer and ignoring the potential for runaway global warming for now, he manages to push the inflection point for us to post , which is his cut-off date.

Rather a little too conveniently in my opinion. Instead, his forecast is in effect more of a business-as-usual continuation of existing trends of economic growth, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, environmental destruction, urbanization etc. Which is to say he mainly extrapolates from current trends, resulting in an Earth that becomes a progressively worse place to live in as this century progresses, but without any calamitous outcome or real disasters. Being a firm believer in Peak Oil, I cannot agree with his rather quick dismissal of oil scarcity due to his faith in unconventional oil as substitute, without any consideration of vastly lower and decreasing net energy from such sources.

There is also mounting evidence of exponential melting of ice that makes a strong case for runaway climate change that would also derail his neat straight line projections. So although this book contains much postulation and analysis of current world trends in politics, culture and technology that is interesting, it fails to present a convincing view of what is in store in the next 40 odd years for humanity. And by the way, his projection of world population peaking at 8. This alone surely throws a spanner in his model. Jun 30, Aden Date rated it liked it.

This book fills a valuable niche in the raft of books on climate change and dynamic systems in that it tries to offer a predictive account, rather than one that includes comforting ideas of what our "collective humanity," can "choose. The qualitative data is manifest in short essays by various authors, and go from the obvious to the almost fanciful such as robots fighting replacing human combatants. These exerpts have the effect of muddying the book's message, somewhat, and the author seems to pick and choose bits from them that support his case.

I think the book offers a good general scope of the playing field. Some good messages shine through - environmental catastrophe is unlikely by , our rich world standard of living will generally not plummet, and technological developments will continue to improve our standard of life. Other, more difficult things are made known - poverty will become a worsening issue, urbanisation and the decline of agrarian living are inevitable, and we will generally be unsuccessful in taking required action on climate change.

My main criticism with the book is its real failure to account for "black swan," events which are covered only briefly at the end of the book. That isn't to say these thing will happen, just that they may.


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All in all, it's a good read and offers some capacity to situate yourself in the future. In my view, however, it does not change that the next half-century will be riddled with uncertainty. It is not our challenge to obtain a "precise description of the future," and then accept it, but to "cope with the uncertainties of a changing world," and both accept it and realise our capacity for influence within those uncertainties.

Apr 30, Muhammad al-Khwarizmi rated it liked it Shelves: economics , environment. I had been looking forward to reading this title for a long time but when I finally got around to it I had rather mixed feelings. One can certain laud Randers' attempt to use computational models to build a rigorous, internally consistent approach to building his forecast.

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On top of that, this material is essentially "open source" and can be found here: Nonetheless, I could not help but think that a number of things missed the mark widely. The possibility of permafrost thawing and rot I had been looking forward to reading this title for a long time but when I finally got around to it I had rather mixed feelings.

The possibility of permafrost thawing and rotting, releasing methane in the process, is mentioned in passing here and there. But that is most likely underway, and, if so, will really throw a spanner into the works. Even more strangely, nuclear war is mentioned as something that could throw off his predictions, though he said it wouldn't be by much.

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No mention of the specter of nuclear winter is made. From someone who is writing a book largely about the effects of climate change, and co-wrote the first Limits to Growth report, this oversight is astounding. The magnitude of the plunge in temperature from a full-fledged nuclear winter would make present and future climate change from greenhouse gases pale in comparison. Finally, and perhaps this is only a minor gripe, some of the material written in shaded boxes by other authors recruited to round out Randers' work were a bit daffy.

Did we really need the following sentence? All told, I saw much that was worth taking to heart in this volume, but not quite as much as I had hoped. Feb 10, Olavo Soares rated it liked it. I must confess that I've read this book in a rather superficial way. That been said, I feel this huge bulk of information has a strong left-wing bias.

Expressions like a "benevolent dictator" is there such a thing? One of the main points of this book is that problems created by climate change will play a key role in I must confess that I've read this book in a rather superficial way. One of the main points of this book is that problems created by climate change will play a key role in the history of mankind during the next decades, and specially during the second half of the 21st century.

That's right, but I wouldn't pay the price of living in a dictatorship in order to solve this problem. Another questionable point is that the author believes that China will be the hegemon in a matter of few decades, replacing the US by the year Chinese government and strategy, by the way, are praised throughout the text. I humbly doubt this is going to happen. Mr Randers values physical factors like climate and natural resources much more strongly than political and social factors.

Political factors in the whole world, and specially in China should not be undervalued this way. Apart from these problems, the book provides us with very interesting "glimpses" about the future, and is also a source for further readings on many subjects. His personal pieces of advice about how to live until are also very interesting.

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But this review is already becoming too long, and, mostly because of its strong leftist taste, the book deserves three stars. Sep 28, Ptrav rated it did not like it Shelves: peak-oil. Type any number you want, and get any answer you want. Coal production at 5 btoe per year? No probs.

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Limit population growth to 8. Food production at 5. Yeah, right. Most important, the prediction graphs are conveniently cropped at Who cares about burning 14 btoe of fossil fuels in ! Who cares about our grandchildren. The power of the former "LtG" was in verifiable mathematical assumptions presented in code. The power of this book?

The population, unfortunately, already overtook the book's projections by nearly mln.

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