This assignment is designed to stimulate thinking on the growth of human population and resource limitations.

Carrying Capacity

This assignment is designed to stimulate thinking on the growth of human population and resource limitations.

·       In 1972 an organization called the Club of Rome published a controversial book called “The Limits to Growth.”  It described the results of a computer modeling study done at MIT that looked at the world’s growing human population and projected resource shortages that could affect human population levels.  In 2004, scientists issued a “30-Year Update” to the original report, and noted that “nothing that has happened in the last 30 years has invalidated the book’s warnings.”  They confirmed the predictions of the original study.   To see a summary, go to http://donellameadows.org/archives/a-synopsis-limits-to-growth-the-30-year-update/ or click here.  In 2008 Graham Turner compared the original report and the 30-year Update and concluded that the original predictions were on track; read a summary of the article at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse  or click here. Or you may prefer to listen to a video (about 16 minutes long) of Graham Turner describing his research at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU-QfpckA88 or click

Play Video

Then post a Graded Discussion Board thread and respond to at least one other post on whether you think the Earth has a finite carrying capacity for humans and if that capacity is determined by population level, lifestyle, or both.  Is the Earth’s human population, now over 7 billion, approaching levels that can’t be sustained with the resources we have, and if so, why?  Explain your rationale; include specific quotations from the reports or podcast to support your posts.  Refer to the criteria for graded discussion boards posted separately under Lessons.