Límites al Crecimiento

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EL CLUB DE ROMA PUBLICA LOS LÍMITES AL CRECIMIENTO (LIMITS TO GROWTH)

http://www.clubofrome.org
Este informe genera gran controversia al anunciar consecuencias extremas si no se disminuye el crecimiento. Los países del Norte criticaron el informe por no considerar las soluciones tecnológicas en tanto que los del Sur se indignan ante la propuesta de abandonar el desarrollo económico.

El primer informe de trabajo del Club de Roma, será editado en los EE.UU. durante 1972 y tendrá amplia difusión. Las repercusiones del informe presentado por Dennis Meadows con el título de 'Los límites del crecimiento' despertarán preocupación y polémicas poniendo en un inesperado primer plano la labor encarada por el Club de Roma.
Sus críticos le adjudicarán a la organización, infundadamente, una visión alarmista y determinista del futuro, opinión que en mayor o menor medida seguirá prevaleciendo aún 30 años más tarde. La visibilidad pública de la organización se mantendrá reducida durante las próximas décadas pero su dedicación al estudio de los efectos previsibles de los complejos y acelerados cambios en medio ambiente global perdurará.
Entretanto la conciencia social parecerá despertar dando paso al surgimiento de un vasto movimiento ambientalista en la mayor parte del mundo aunque en líneas generales concentrando su atención exclusivamente en el medioambiente físico.
Referencias:
(English) - http://www.clubofrome.org/
www.iespana.es/natureduca/cienc_debate_crecim.htm

En 1972, el debate sobre el "crecimiento cero" tuvo especial resonancia, debido a la publicación de dos obras significativas: el informe del Club de Roma, denominado Los límites al crecimiento y la carta Mansholt, edición de la que Sicco Leendert Mansholt envió, con fecha 9 de febrero, al presidente de la Comunidad Económica Europea, Franco María Malfatti.
Los límites al crecimiento recoge el primer volumen de los trabajos realizados en el System Dynamics Laboratory del Instituto de Tecnología de Massachusetts (Massachusetts Institute of Technolgy: MIT), bajo la dirección de Dennis L. Meadows, por encargo del Club de Roma, presidido por Aurelio Peccei. El trabajo se basa en la teoría de la dinámica de los sistemas de Jay W. Forrester, que preconiza, incluso para mejor comprender y prever las estructuras sociales, la elaboración de adecuados modelos capaces de ser tratados por computadoras. Después de varios trabajos preparatorios sobre dinámicas industrial (1961) y urbana (1969), Forrester publicó el modelo World-2 en su obra Dinámica mundial (1971). El modelo World-2 trataba de definir y prever la realidad mundial basándose en un sistema de 45 ecuaciones básicas relacionando seis sectores fundamentales: población, inversión de capital, espacio geográfico, recursos naturales, contaminación y producción de alimentos.
Siguiendo la misma metodología de Forrester, el equipo de Dennis L. Meadows preparó un nuevo modelo, World-3, con 77 ecuaciones básicas que relacionan cinco variables fundamentales: población, producción agrícola, recursos naturales, producción industrial y contaminación. World-3 demostraba que la actual tendencia del mundo llevaba inevitablemente a un colapso que debería producirse antes de un siglo, provocado principalmente por el agotamiento de los recursos naturales. Para remediarlo, proponía siete medidas correctoras a iniciar desde el año 1975, basadas fundamentalmente en la reducción de la producción industrial, la reorientación de las actividades humanas hacia los servicios educativos y sanitarios, la mejora en la producción de alimentos básicos y el fomento de una política de reciclado de los residuos.
La Carta Mansholt es el primer comentario autorizado del informe del Club de Roma. Además de las variables analizadas por el MIT, Mansholt incluye nuevos sectores "políticos", tales como la democratización de la sociedad, las relaciones entre los países más o menos desarrollados económicamente, la igualdad de oportunidades y el sentido humano del trabajo. Las estrategias preconizadas por Mansholt corresponden a las propuestas por el equipo de Meadows, aunque incluyen acciones políticas que los investigadores del MIT eludieron deliberadamente, como, por ejemplo, instaurar una reforma aduanera en favor de los productos no contaminantes y reciclables y la necesidad de un Parlamento supranacional con plenos poderes (como mínimo, a escala europea). Mansholt insiste también en la necesidad de sustituir el culto al producto nacional bruto, como máximo exponente del desarrollo, por lo que él llama la "felicidad nacional bruta", siguiendo ideas que ya fueron anteriormente expuestas por economistas como Paul A. Samuelson y Jan Tinbergen.
El primer informe del Club de Roma provocó numerosas críticas, entre las que destaca la del equipo interdisciplinario de la Universidad de Sussex, constituido por H. S. D. Cole, C. Freeman, M. Jahora y K. L. R. Pavitt, que discutió la validez del modelo World-3, precisamente debido al criterio de selección de las variables escogidas. También reconocían que en el informe del MIT adivinaban una intencionalidad política, a pesar de las declaraciones de sus autores, que convertía dicho estudio en un instrumento al servicio de los poderosos, preocupados por la progresiva congestión de las infraestructuras por la generalización del consumo a niveles masificados.
Otra crítica que reconoció el propio Mansholt en su Carta ya citada, era la de no considerar suficientemente las disparidades regionales existentes en el mundo. Sin embargo, no hay que olvidar que el estudio Los límites al crecimiento era el primero de los que confió el Club de Roma a distintos equipos de expertos internacionales. En 1974, Mihahjlo Mesarovic y Eduard Pestel publicaron La humanidad en la encrucijada, nuevo informe que intenta analizar de modo más específico las diferencias de zona, dividiendo el mundo en diez regiones, según criterios políticos, económicos y culturales. Desgraciadamente, el trabajo no parece poseer el rigor científico que el tema requería.
A pesar de sus indudables lagunas, los informes del Club de Roma han aportado nuevos datos incuestionables sobre el progresivo deterioro ecológico, contribuyendo a acrecentar el interés por el uso de la informática en la investigación de los sistemas sociales. Por otro lado, el debate sobre el crecimiento cero está mejor centrado al plantearse de modo indiscutible el carácter finito de nuestro planeta, independientemente de la injusta distribución de recursos que pueda sufrir la humanidad.

http://www.clubofrome.org/about/index.php

The Club of Rome’s mission is to act as a global catalyst of change that is free of any political, ideological or business interest.

The Club of Rome contributes to the solution of what it calls the world problematique, the complex set of the most crucial problems – political, social, economic, technological, environmental, psychological and cultural - facing humanity.
It does so taking a global, long term and interdisciplinary perspective aware of the increasing interdependence of nations and the globalisation of problems that pose predicaments beyond the capacity of individual countries.

The Club of Rome’s essential mission is to act as an independent, global, non official catalyst of change. Thus it aims at the following:
The identification of the most crucial problems facing humanity, their analysis in the global context of the world-wide problematique, the research of future alternative solutions and the elaboration of scenarios for the future.
The communication of such problems to the most important public and private decision-makers as well as to the general public.
The Club of Rome is governed by three complementary principles:
A global perspective in examining issues with the awareness that the increasing interdependence of nations and the globalisation of problems pose predicaments beyond the capacity of individual countries.
Holistic thinking and the seeking of a deeper understanding of complexity within the contemporary problems – political, social, economic, technological, environmental, psychological and cultural –which the Club of Rome terms ‚the world problematique‘.
An interdisciplinary and long-term perspective focussing on the choices and policies determining the destiny of future generations, because this perspective is too often neglected by governments and other decision-makers on account of short term interests.

The approach of the Club of Rome to the solution of the world problematique is the identification of problems, their analysis in a global, interdisciplinary and long term perspective, the research of future alternative solutions and the elaboration of scenarios for the future.
The results of this work is communicated to public and private decision-makers and to the general public. The methods for such communications are conferences, reports, and the internet.

The Reports to the Club of Rome
And here are all the reports that have been published since 1968. The first report The Club of Rome commissioned and published was "The Limits to Growth", a book which produced a world-wide impact (more than 12 million copies have been sold in 27 languages).

[Click here to download a short version in rtf-format]
http://www.clubofrome.org/docs/limits.rtf

Its thesis was interpreted in many different ways. It stressed above all, for the first time, the importance of the environment, and the essential links with population and energy. This was a particularly striking illustration of what is meant by the world problematique.

This Report, a seminal one for the Club, has been followed by 27 other reports, on problems ranging from education, energy, the impact of micro-electronics on society, to governance, the role of NGOs in development and the environment. Others are now being prepared.

It is important to emphasise that, in addition to their role as information, the preparation and publication of these Reports must also meet two essential functions. First, they represent the starting point of a process and not its culmination. Their publication allows the Club, which has no claim to possessing the truth, to launch wide-ranging debates to discuss the conclusions and so share with a variety of audiences, from governments to universities and the media, its thinking and suggestions for the problems affecting the world. Secondly, they are the starting point for certain initiatives implemented at the highest levels of decision-making, both public and private, with a view to fostering changes to strategic factors.

Meetings
Every year, the Club of Rome holds its Annual Conference in a different region of the world. In addition to the working sessions reserved for members of the Club, these meetings bring together personalities from the region or the world who are invited to take part in discussions on a particular aspect of the world problematique. These meetings have established fruitful inter-personal relations with leaders and activists in the region, enabled a better understanding of the region's specific problems and its perception of global issues and the role it would like to play in them.
Beside these annual meetings, the Club of Rome organises irregularly regional meetings on regional aspects of the world problematique.
However, the Club itself tends normally to adopt a low profile, and the passionate debate sparked by "The Limits to Growth", updated by the authors under the title "Beyond the Limits of Growth", has been the only and unexpected exception to this desire to operate discreetly. We believe that we are sometimes more effective when we work behind the scenes.

In a world whose predicaments are far beyond the capacity of individual countries to solve, The Club of Rome has decided to adopt a global perspective, to seek a deeper understanding of interactions within the tangle of contemporary problems, to suggest effective solutions and to take a longer term perspective in studies than governments do. How? With the contributions of its members about main Global Issues and - as we hope - your texts and proposals.
Environment is one of the main concerns of the Club of Rome expressed in its first Report "Limits to Growth" in 1972, one of its main focuses.

Mostly man-made damage to nature has expanded to such an extent that it might put at stake the very survival of Humankind. Despite the fact that we still know very little about many environmental issues such as the greenhouse effect and the holes in the ozone layer, it is the responsibility of each government, but also of each individual, to act in order to eradicate the macro-pollutions which are affecting water, air and earth and endangering the health of human beings. Environment is an important facet of the global issues we have to face, interlinked with energy, population explosion in some countries, poverty and underdevelopment. Our concern is to increase general awareness as much as prevention.
The population explosion has been spectacular for the last century: the world population has more than trebled since 1900 and doubled since 1950. The impact of this demographic growth has had tremendous consequences on environment, employment, health, food and water availibility... here are contradictory trends: in some countries an increasing ageing population as in Europe, or Japan; while in the poorest countries, such as in Africa, there is a population explosion, which means providing education, housing, jobs, etc. For all the young people arriving on the market.
This theme, Demography, was one ot the main issues of Limits to Growth
rapport.

After 40 years of development policies, starvation, malnutrition and poverty still exist in a number of developing countries or in large parts of them. Moreover poverty is now expanding in the so-called rich countries of the North. Why? It is unacceptable and the Club f Rome has made a number of proposals to put an end to this intolerable situation which is the source of suffering, immigration, riminality, drug trafficking. It is also acting in liaison with Non Gouvernemental Organizations (NGOs), Governments, International Institutions of both the North and the South to contribute to improving the present situation.
During the last decades, we have observed a strong rejection of traditional values and points of reference. Man cannot live by bread alone. There is an increasing need to look for a system of values, common or compatible, respecting the different cultures and ethos. This should constitute a global basis which will allow the various people of the world to coexist together in the emerging global society.
Is this world ungovernable ? Why are governments not able to solve the most important issues such as unemployement, environmental pollution, corruption, criminality, terrorism?

Work in the Future
New technologies have created a real revolution in reducing the amount of human work thanks to robots, computers, telecommunication and now the combination of these different items which we call Multimedia. Another aspect of this new situation is due to the globalization of the economy and the effect of delocalization. The Club of Rome is studying what is the future of work, how the amount of available work will be distributed. Therefore how human life, so long based on work, will be organised in the future, what will be the activities of human beings, in terms of work, occupations, services for the community, training, leisure, etc.

Information Society
Communication has many different meanings. Real communication means dialogue, negotiations far removed from any manipulation. In the information society it is essential to give communication its full significance. It is both an important facet of the world problematique and an instrument which can contribute to a better awareness of the public and a better functionning of democracy
The speed of development of new technologies in the field of computers and telecommunications, biotechnologies, new materials, space, is almost unbelievable. The Club of Rome has been doing a lot of research to understand the new situation so created. These technologies represent significant progress for the good of humankind, but the negative impact of these technologies in some cases should not be neglected. What will be the consequences on Governance, the management of corporations, values, education, but also on the individual psychology and behaviour and on societies?
Systems of education are less and less adapted to the new issues, to the new emerging global society we are presently involved in. New priorities force us to redefine the role of education, which should be conceived as a permanent learning process. Transmission of knowledge is no longer sufficient, and new objectives such as developing one's own potential and creativity, or the capacity of adaptation to change are becoming essential in a rapidly changing world.
The Club of Rome considers that education is both part of the global problematique and also an essential tool to become an effective actor in control of one's own life and within society. If there are "Limits to Growth", there are "No Limits to Learning" (titles of two Reports to the Club of Rome).

The New Global Society
The world is changing rapidly. The globalization of the economy, the fact that we live from now on in an information society, the complexity and the uncertainty which are the common trademarks of the present world lead us to take into consideration a number of these new factors. We have to understand these new data in order to have a better understanding of other cultures, other languages, other modes of reasoning.
The Club of Rome, taking advantage of its hundred members coming from 52 countries on the five continents - and its 30 National Associations -, with different professional backgrounds, different philosophies and experiences is particularly ready to discuss this new gobal society and to encourage individuals to be actors and not victims of this new world.

World Economic and Financial Order
The globalization of the economy and of the information has changed the general picture we were accustomed to. There are no regulations, no ethics, and we have to learn how we wish to live with this globalization, which favours the rich over the poor and affects so many facets of individual and collective existence.
The Club of Rome is discussing a number of the issues that provoke this international disorder, such as in international finance, so as to contribute to creating greater harmony and to place man in the center of these global issues.

World Problematique’ is a concept created by the Club of Rome to describe the set of the crucial problems – political, social, economic, technological, environmental, psychological and cultural - facing humanity.
The complexity of the world problematique lies in the high level of mutual interdependence of all these problems on the one hand, and in the long time it often takes until the impact of action and reaction in this complex system becomes visible.