Download Future Worlds by John Gribbin (auth.) PDF

By John Gribbin (auth.)

During the center and overdue Sixties, obstacle concerning the means the area should be going started to circulation out of the world of educational debate among experts, and have become an issue of virtually daily curiosity to thousands of individuals. crisis approximately mankind's disruption of the average stability of 'the setting' introduced the time period 'ecology' into frequent use, although now not regularly with the aspiring to be present in the dictionary, and fears that global inhabitants will be turning out to be so quickly that very quickly we might run out of nutrition, leading to mass hunger and a disastrous cave in of civilisation, helped to make books corresponding to the bounds to progress most sensible within the early Seventies. this present day, fairly rightly, judgements on long term coverage with frequent repercussions - such a lot particularly, these referring to nuclear power making plans - are an issue of both frequent public dialogue. yet all too frequently such debate makes a speciality of particular concerns with no the prob­ lems ever being comparable successfully to an total imaginative and prescient of the place the realm goes and the way it will get there. on the technology coverage Res~arch Unit, collage of Sussex, a gaggle engaged on reviews of social and tech­ nological choices for the long run has been contributing to 'the futures debate' for numerous years, carefully (perhaps, in a feeling, virtually too cautiously!) constructing a safe origin for forecasting the way in which the realm may perhaps develop.

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II:' . ~-_;::;~~ "',. _-_... _.. __ ........ I ..... ~~2 .. :: .. •... : II1II ........ : 1900 11170 Veer 2200 Figure 7a: World 3 with changed resource costs The shift in position of Meadows's team, mentioned before, seems to highlight their realization of this. I'] The Limits to Growth itself, readers were told that all of the conclusions were borne out by detailed work which would be made available later as a Technical Report. Unambiguous statements such as 'the limits to growth on this planet will be reached in the next hundred years' and 'the basic behaviour mode of the world system [is the same] even if we assume any number of technological changes in the system' provided the cornerstone of their disciples' faith in the furore which followed publication of The Limits of Growth.

Notes (Figure 9) • The lethality index is obtained by multiplying together several values, calculated from known or estimated performance, assigned to each of the following factors: - Effective sustained rate of fire: largest feasible number of strikes per hour ,but ignoring logistical constraints (such as ammunition supply). - Number of potential targets per strike; a target is taken to be one man, and for comparability it is assumed that the men against whom the weapon is used are standing unprotected in the open in massed formation each man occupying 4 square feet of ground.

More lethal weapons haven't yet rendered war im- 59 Figure 9: A comparison of the lethalities of successive major weapons Lethality index· Weapon Sword Javelin Bow and arrow Longbow Crossbow Arquebus. 16th century Musket. 17th century Flintlock. 18th century Rifle. Mini6 bullet. mid-19th century Rifle. breechloading. late 19th century Rifle. magazine. World War I Machine gun (MG). World War I Machine gun (MG). World War II 20 18 20 34 32 10 19 47 150 230 780 13000 18000 Tank. WWI (Armament: two machine guns) Tank.

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