I Fear This Will Be the Most Important News of 2012

By James Fallows

No, not Wisconsin recall, European austerity-meltdown, Iranian nukes, or the next 50 items on the list.

I fear it's this report, from a scientists' group at UC Berkeley, headlined as follows on the Berkeley site:

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Here's discussion on the NYT 'Green' site; you can easily find more. Original article, for pay, at the Nature site.

Forty-plus years ago, a group called the Club of Rome issued its widely-publicized "Limits to Growth" findings. These proved not to allow for or anticipate the range of ingenuity and adaptations with which individuals, businesses, and societies could work around many of the material constraints that the report emphasized.

I hope that will be the verdict forty-plus years from now about this new warning. But since its main topic is not the limit on resources for human activity but the absorptive capacity of the Earth's natural systems overall, it is harder to imagine exactly how that could take place. This is very much worth spending time with. Below, a video from Anthony Barnosky, one of the scientists involved.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/06/i-fear-this-will-be-the-most-important-news-of-2012/258232/