We face a new situation as the earth is now overpopulated and damaged. In a long career, John faced that situation and developed the integrated science, but has seen the subject and its warnings crushed. A collapse is now inevitable.
Culture is the total collective experience of a people. Each individual needs to, and wants to, belong. Yet the existing culture must now change fundamentally, in a considerable paradigm shift. That desire to conform to the past pattern has dominated at a time when change was urgently needed.
The concept of sustainability is considered critically. The possibility of sustaining a wild nature is long gone, as is the opportunity to provide a universal high standard of prosperity. The sustainability debate must now consider the number of people that might exist on this planet before collapse becomes probable. Sadly, so-called ‘concerned’ organisations fail to comprehend the magnitude of the challenge.
The recognition of limits has grown from early warnings in the 1960s to the many reports and studies of the 1970s until a comprehensive picture emerged.
The Club of Rome and The limits to growth
One key report was the 1972 “Limits to growth”. The growing concern and formation of the Club of Rome is described, and the major messages of that report, along with the subsequent gradual turn of the Club of Rome away from the concept of physical limits to growth as the idea was too challenging to their way of life. John was a founding member of the New Zealand branch and attended many Club of Rome discussions in Paris and Rome.