The Limits to Growth–Now Available to Read Online!

Published: June 6th, 2013

By Sarah Parkinson

The complete text of the original Limits to Growth study is now accessible for free online, thanks to a partnership between the Dartmouth College Library and the Donella Meadows Institute.

Limits to Growth coverThe Limits to Growth, originally published in 1972, was a groundbreaking study that modeled the dynamics of our human presence on the planet. The team behind it, led by Donella Meadows, found that continuing with a “business as usual” growth model would likely lead to environmental and economic collapse within a century. At the time, their discoveries sparked huge controversy among scientists, scholars, and the general public. In the decades since, those discoveries have been supported by patterns of growth, environmental health, and resource use.

Today, forty years after its release, The Limits to Growth remains an important resource for anyone hoping to understand more about the complex system that is our planet. We are honored and excited to make it freely available online. Each page of the publication has been carefully scanned and optimized for digital viewing, and all the original figures are included. The digital work has been assigned a Creative Commons BY-NC license, so we encourage you to download it and pass it along to your friends!

Visit the Issuu page turner app to read The Limits to Growth online

Download a PDF copy of The Limits to Growth

An HTML version of the study is also available, complete with in-line figures from the original study. The HTML document makes it easy to download individual graphs and charts and to quickly search the text of the document for keywords and phrases.

Thanks so much to the Dartmouth Library for their hard work making this amazing resource available to our online community! Even more information about the study, its authors, and the digitization project can be found at the Dartmouth College website.

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About DMI

Since its founding in 1996 by environmental leader Donella Meadows, our Institute has been at the forefront of sustainability thinking and training. Our initiatives have addressed economic, environmental, and social challenges from a range of angles and at many levels. In everything we do, the disciplines of systems thinking and organizational learning inform and shape our work. It is this focus on whole-system analysis, combined with careful listening, truth telling, and visioning, that make the Donella Meadows Institute unique among sustainability organizations.  Read More

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