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Donald Worster to Speak in Vienna

At the 42. Mini-Symposium of the Center for Environmental History on 31 March 2011


Donald Worster is scheduled speak at the 42nd Minisymposium of Center for Environmental History in Vienna on 31 March 2011.

His talk, "Abundance or Scarcity? The Limits to Growth Debate Revisited," will reconsider the groundbreaking 1972 book The Limits to Growthby Donella and Dennis Meadows et al. The book touched off a firestorm of protests and rebuttals, for it called into question assumptions about the earth that had been made since Columbus discovered for Europe the New World. It seemed at the time that the economists and business interests effectively answered the book and that economic growth could continue without restraint. But with the vantage of nearly forty years it is now possible to see that the book‘s main argument has, if anything, survived and strengthened and that the book marked a critical turning point in modern history. Increasingly, the natural sciences have demonstrated the vulnerability of global systems to disturbance, so that now even many economists have begun to acknowledge the seriousness of environmental problems. Have we reached a new era—as called for in the book—a time for a "new Copernican revolution?"