RESEARCH PAPERS: Other Technical Papers

Technology and the Limits to Growth

[+] Author and Article Information
J. M. Anderson

Department of Chemistry, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

J. Eng. Ind 95(1), 365-369 (Feb 01, 1973) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3438137 History: Received June 19, 1972; Online July 15, 2010


Simulation studies performed over the past two years by a team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicate that there, are physical limits to the growth of population and of capital. Technology affects the simulation of global events by raising the productivity of labor and capital. In the past, technology has pushed back the limits of growth, but technology cannot alter the physical or social delays which become increasingly important in the face of continued exponential growth. In a growth mode, technology is used to meet short-term needs, thereby deferring problems for future solution. In a steady-state mode, technology is used to select between alternatives which afford a sustainably higher standard of living.

Copyright © 1973 by ASME
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