Need for Social Change Is Seen by Club of Rome
By Ann Crittenden;Special to The New York Times
- April 15, 1976
Credit…The New York Times Archives
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PHILADELPHIA, April 14—The world can avoid a catastrophe only by substantially changing its social and political institutions as well as its growth patterns, according to a concensus of the latest studies by the Club of Rome, a private group of about 100 businessmen and scholars concerned with the future of man.
All of the club’s current projects, discussed during three‐day conference that ended today in Philadelphia, concur that the following actions must be taken quickly if global problems are to he solved in democratic fashion;
Underdeveloped nations must act cooperatively and independently of developed countries to correct the world’s economic imbalances, essentially by using 19th‐century trade union tactics to form their own artels and new trading and monetary systems.
¶Future economic growth must be strongly differentiated, with conservation ‐ oriented growth based on recycling in the developed countries, and an emphasis on industrial growth in developing countries.
¶International institutions must be adjusted or created to manage such common problems as the uses of the oceans and of space and the development of new energy sources.
Summarizing the conference’s conclusions, Prof. Hell Jaguaribe, a Brazilian political scientist, said the danger to civilization if corrective measures were not taken was not that man would perish from a lack of food or raw materials, but that, long before that happened, democratic and humanistic institutions would he destroyed.
“In the conditions of the coming times, the necessity of reestablishing a viable world balance between population and resources—if the present generation is not able to timely adopt the necessary corrective measures—will inevitably tend to bring about a technocratic version of oriental despotism, of which Stalinism and Nazism have already given us an anticipated view,” Professor Jaguaribe said.
Thus, in its most recent analyses, the Club of Rome contInues to hold forth the possibility of disaster if today’s patterns of growth and development are not modified.
But the thrust of these warnings has shifted since the organization’s first study, published in 1972, emphasized the physical limits to growth, determined by the finitude of the earth’s resources.
That hypothesis has now been substantially modified by subsequent studies, some of which demonstrate that it is technically possible to produce enough food and energy to sustain large world populations in affluence without undue pollution.
But the latest studies indicate that such solutions will probably not be found under existing sociopolitical conditions and constraints. Unless these systems are modified, some studies conclude, catastrophic outcomes will result in the not‐too distant future.
This is the scenario foreseen in a sophisticated mathematical model dividing the world into 10 regions and developed by Mihajlo Mesarovic of Case University and Eduard Pestel of the Technical University of Hanover, West Germany, and of a model developed under the direction of Amilcar Herrera of the Bariloche Foundation in Argentina.
Brethren, many have speculated through years that the Bariloche Foundation in Argentina was made up primarily of Nazis who were secretly transported to Argentina after WWII.