The Stalking Horse
Part 2

In Part One of the Stalking Horse, excerpts that were pulled from the Energy Timeline on the Earth Portal website stopped at 1943.  The following is a continuation of those excerpts beginning in 1955 when W. Fred Cottrell applied a holistic approach to the analysis of energy and economic and social development - crossing the boundaries between science and social (pseudo) science.












W. Fred Cottrell, a sociologist at Miami (Ohio) University, is the first to comprehensively apply the concept of net energy and energy surplus to the analysis of economic and social development.

U.S. geologist Marion King Hubbert predicts that oil production in the lower 48 states will peak around 1970, which in fact it does. Hubbert’s work becomes a lightning rod for debate about oil supplies for decades to come.

Roger Revelle of the U.S. and Hans Suess of Austria demonstrate that carbon dioxide has increased in the atmosphere as a result of the use of fossil fuels. Revelle concludes that “Human beings are now carrying out a large scale geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past nor be reproduced in the future.”

U.S. economist Kenneth Boulding publishes The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth, the first explicit application of the law of conservation of matter to describe the physical limits to economic growth.

Earth Day is celebrated for the first time in the U.S. as a nationwide demonstration advocating environmental protection and preservation. This demonstration is conceived by Gaylord Nelson, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, and organized by Denis Hayes.

Chamber of Commerce director warns of the potential "collapse of entire industries" from pollution regulation, especially oil and automotive. Later the speech is seen as a classic example of industry exaggeration about pollution controls.

The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE), is begins in Stockholm, Sweden, with 113 countries represented; this is the first global environmental summit. Treatment of energy is largely limited to the environmental effects of energy extraction, processing, and consumption.

The Club of Rome publishes The Neo-Malthusian Limits to Growth, warning that if the world’s consumption patterns and population growth continue at the same high rates of the time, various calamities will befall the Earth and mankind.


Club of Rome and the Statistics Hoax

Probably most people are familiar with the book 'Limits to Growth' and if not, they would be familiar with the concepts which can be fairly summed up by saying that resources are limited but our capacity to deplete them is unlimited therefore we must manage the use of resources (including population) or we're all going to die.

The statistics used in 'Limits to Growth' to make the case for what has become hysterical fear in some,  high profit / theft opportunity for some, and justification for totalitarian dictatorship in others were produced by Jay W. Forrester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Forrester was a pioneer in the use of computers for system modeling.  A pretty good history of Forrester and the progression that led him to become involved with the Club of Rome can be found on the System Dynamics Society website so I don't want to repeat it.  It would be better to go to their website to read it:   System Dynamic Society:  Origin of System Dynamics

A system is any process that has dependent processes.  The interdependence of the processes is what creates "the system".   For example, the following diagram was found in a paper titled, "The Origin of Petroleum".


It doesn't take a lot of examination or much thinking to see that there is a lot of detail missing from the diagram.  For example, birds, worms, rain, time, etc.  It's a simplistic view of a complex system of interdependent processes. 

What systems modelers do is to assume that they know all of the variables in a system - which is actually a subset of a system, and they multiply out their variables to make projections and that's what systems dynamics is about.  If you have fixed variables and known values, modeling works extremely well.  For example, in a manufacturing process, figuring out what would be the lead time required to deliver an order of widgets on a given date in the future including the requirements for component parts of the widget and their lead times for ordering, assembly time, etc.  

Another thing that can be done with models is to adjust the variables.  Using the above diagram, you could look at it and say.. nothing we can do about the sun, but we can plant more trees and we can "deposit" more consumers to get more oil.  Voila!  Peak oil problem solved - at least according to the model.  (And don't let the duality of that method of obtaining more oil escape you.)  But obviously, the more unknowns there are in a model, the less reliable the models are. 

In the Aurelio Peccei biography, it says that Forrester's World Dynamics project was proposed by Forrester: 

The Club of Rome’s MIT project originated from a proposal made by Jay Forrester. Forrester who, for a number of years had been working on dynamic systems at MIT, outlined a mathematical model for the World which contained the by now wellknown interdependent parameters of population, depletion of non-renewable resources, industrialization, food production, and environmental degradation. Forrester entrusted the project to Dennis Meadows, who at that time was a young researcher in his group. This was how ‘The Limits to Growth’, the first Report to the Club of Rome, was born. This report was presented publicly at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington on 12 March 1972. ‘The Limits to Growth’ was translated into 30 languages and 10 million copies of the book were sold, helping the Club of Rome gain the world stage.

Two years to do a world model is laughable.  It was just a demonstration of the technique of using computers to model.  It wasn't a serious model of global systems.  He simply didn't have the data nor the computing power, nor the time to do what the title implies.  And why Forrester allowed this work to be misconstrued as it was is not known but a good guess would be that either he was completely mad - drunk with cyberpower or he derived some benefit that meant more to him than integrity (money). 

In 2004, Ronald Bailey wrote an article for Reason Magazine regarding his testimony to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.  Mr. Bailey is the author of many books on the environmental crisis statistics hoax - one of which is titled, "Eco-Scam: The False Prophets of the Ecological Apocalypse".  In the article, Bailey writes:

First, let us look at concerns over depleting so-called nonrenewable resources. This thesis was most famously propounded in the 1972 Limits to Growth report to the Club of Rome and later in President Jimmy Carter's Global 2000 report. The Limits to Growth thesis got a big boost when the Arab countries unleashed their oil embargo in 1973. It didn't hurt that the Limits to Growth report was also featured on the front page of The New York Times when it was released. Ultimately, the report sold 10 million copies worldwide.

The Limits to Growth report includes a table listing all the resources that were supposedly going to run out. The report's authors projected that, at the exponential growth rates they expected to occur, known world supplies of zinc, gold, tin, copper, oil, and natural gas would be completely exhausted in 1992.

...."I did a series of reports when I was at Forbes magazine in 1990. I went up to MIT to interview Professor Jay Forrester and asked him, "I re-read The Limits to Growth report; what happened?" Basically, Professor Forrester, who was the godfather of this project, looked at me and said, "I think we stressed the physical resources side a little too much." Of course, the report would not have made it to the front page of The New York Times had they not stressed the imminent depletion of nonrenewable resources."

In 1976, TIME Magazine published an article about the Club of Rome partial retraction of the conclusion of 'Limits to Growth'. They said they didn't mean "no growth", they meant "managed growth".   Emphasis added to the excerpts from the article:



TIME Magazine

Theory:  Club of Rome Revisited
April 26, 1976

Coming from almost any other organization, a call for economic growth to alleviate world poverty would produce only yawns. From the Club of Rome, it is an intellectual bombshell. The Club —really an informal organization of some 100 top International businessmen, scientists and thinkers—has been synonymous with advocacy of a no-growth world ever since it produced its explosive little book, The Limits to Growth, in 1972. Using a complicated computer model of the world, the book argued that because the earth's resources were finite, mankind might starve or suffocate in pollution if runaway population and economic growth were not stopped cold. True, the computer model was flawed and the no-growth notion faulty (TIME, Aug. 14,1972). But the basic message became famous; 3 million copies of Limits have been sold worldwide.

Last week the Club reversed its position. At a three-day meeting in Philadelphia sponsored mainly by the First Pennsylvania Corp., a leading bank, speaker after speaker came out for more growth. Why? The Club's founder, Italian Industrialist Aurelio Peccei, says that Limits was intended to jolt people from the comfortable idea that present growth trends could continue indefinitely. That done, he says, the Club could then seek ways to close the widening gap between rich and poor nations—inequities that, if they continue, could all too easily lead to famine, pollution and war. The Club's startling shift, Peccei says, is thus not so much a turnabout as part of an evolving strategy.

What the Club of Rome prescribes now is selective growth. This concept, which promises to be every bit as difficult to put into operation as no-growth, requires nations to take voluntary actions aimed at speeding the development of the poorer countries while slowing that of their industrialized brethren. The desired result would be a much more equal division of the world's riches and productive capacities, which could lead to global peace and prosperity through economic interdependence.

To promote this one-worldism, the Club is developing what Peccei calls "a trilogy of efforts," starting with a report titled "Reshaping the International Order."



As it turns out, a couple of years ago, I found the United Nations resolutions to 'Reshape the International Order' and wrote about it in piece titled, "New World Order Made Easy".  That page contains a link to the following: 

In May of 1974, the United Nations adopted the following resolutions (Pg. 7):

Resolution 3201 (S-VI)  Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order

Resolution 3202 (S-VI) Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order

Other Decisions:  Study the problems of raw materials and development

So who were these people - Aurelio Peccei of Italy and Alexander King of Scotland that founded the Club of Rome? And where did they derive the power they obviously had?  At least some of the answers to those questions can be found in a Club of Rome publication titled, "Dossiers" that was prepared as a history for the 1984 conference in Helsinki.  Excerpts: 






(Pg. 60 Aurelio Peccei) An industrialist in the vanguard of humanism, source and soul of the Club of Rome. It is a paradoxical idea that is understandable only in the context of his unique and individual life. Aurelio Peccei was born in Turin, Italy in 1908. His parents belonged to the lower-middle class, but with a social and cultural awareness, and he himself rose to the summit of large multinational companies. Before having taken his doctorate in economics at Turin University in 1930 (his thesis was on Lenin's New Economic Policy), he had been already employed by Fiat for Soviet trade. From this he moved with his wife to China, handling Fiat production and business there until 1938.

(Pg. 55) In 1962, American senator, Javits and Vice-President Hubert Humphries seeking means to alleviate the appalling economic conditions in Latin America, took the initiative of persuading a number of prominent Americans including David Rockefeller to create a mechanism to make available industrial venture capital to innovative industrialists in the sub-continent. Peccei was obviously interested and cooperated with the new Investment Company ADELA Atlantic Development of Latin America. His, by now extensive knowledge of industry throughout Latin America was immensely useful to the American financiers. ADELA organised a meeting of Latin American bankers and businessmen in Buenos Ayres in September 1965 and invited Peccei to deliver the keynote speech that he was able to do in fluent Spanish. The speech, The Challenge of the 1970s for the World of Today was very far ranging and raised issues of population explosion, environmental degradation, the North/South divide, the importance of the "New Industrial Revolution" of electronics and the need for a long-term global perspective. Apparently a transcription in English was passed to the Department of State in Washington and reached the eyes of the Secretary, Dean Atchison who was impressed by it and is said to have remarked that it was much more useful by not having been presented by a Yanki. Some copies of the transcript were placed on the side tables on some United Nations occasions together with some other papers and pamphlets as is common practice. These include meetings of ECOSOC and ACAST (the Advisory Council of Applied Science and Technology).

At the end of an ACAST the meeting, one of the participants, the Soviet delegate, Academician
Jermen Gvishiani
picked up a copy of this particular document and read it during his flight
back to Moscow. Gvishiani was very excited by Peccei's ideas and determined to invite him to the
Soviet Union for talks. But who and where was this Aurelio Peccei? The document itself gave no
clue; it had no heading and concluded with "Aurelio Peccei, the Military Academy, Buenos Aires"
and the date. How could such a forward-looking message have emerged from a Latin American
military academy? Gvishiani therefore sent a copy of the paper to his American colleague of
ACAST, my old friend Carrol Wilson, asking him to find out who this man Peccei was and put
them in touch. Carol had not heard of Peccei either, so he sent the material on to me in Pads with a
request that I should do my best to locate the Italian and put him in touch with Gvishiani. I too had
no idea who Aurelio Peccei was, but I quickly found out and made the contact.

The invitation to visit Russia soon followed and it is interesting to note that the two men met at
Akademgorsk near Novosibirsk, just about as far as possible from the political intrigues of Moscow
and where it was relatively safe for Gvishiani to talk and listen. When I visited Akademgorsk nearly
thirty years later I met a couple of scientists who still remembered Aurelio's visit and the excitement
it caused. Their talks were very fruitful and led to Gvishiani's long association with the Club of Rome.

[Side Note:  Peccei met King via Gvishiani.  In a book called, "Memoirs of a Boffin, Chapter 13 on the Club of Rome, it said that Gvishiani was Kosygin's son-in-law and Vice Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of the USSR ]

(Pg. 56) By this time we were ready to share and enrich our thinking by including others in the discussions. A convenient approach might be to invite a few eminent Europeans of broad outlook to meet with us and then extend the group gradually by bringing in others from different parts of the world. So we sat down in my office in OECD and drew up a list of personalities who might be invited.
Aurelio thought that he could persuade the Agnelli Foundation to fund the meeting, while I would
ask my consultant Erich Jantsch, a brilliant systems scientist to write a keynote paper to set the tone of the meeting. It took place in Rome in April 1968 in the beautiful Villa Farnesina in Rome, seat of the Academia dei Lincei, the oldest academy of sciences still extant, the academy of Gallileo. Some 30 distinguished personalities attended, including the futurists, Bertrand de Juvenel and Dennis Gabor (the Nobel Prize physicist), bankers Guido Carlo and Jean Saint-Geours, Pierre Massay, head of the French planning organisation, Conrad Waddington the biologist and Hugo Thiemann, Director of the Batelle institute of Geneva.

The meeting turned out to be a complete flop. The background paper by Jantsch was a scholarly
plea for long term planning leading to proposals for action partly based on the methodology and
recent experience of some of the Californian think-tanks. While his paper was academically exciting, it failed to secure the undivided interest of many of the invitees. It was too technical, too dense in the expression of ideas that were partly concealed in half-understood verbiage.
The very title of the Jantsch paper, a tentative Framework for initiating systems-wide Planning on a world Scale was formidable enough to frighten off some of the participants from the outset. Discussion was distinctly irritable and often irrelevant.





To Be Continued                                                                                                          [ 1 ]  [ 2 ]  [ 3 ]

Vicky Davis
May 3, 2010