When the Club of Rome’s first book was published in 1972 it caused quite a stir. A report on the state of humanity, “The Limits to Growth” was penned by Donella and Dennis Meadows, two scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT in the U.S. Even back then, the two authors were able to demonstrate that each person’s individual, localized behavior not only has an impact locally but has global repercussions and that these repercussions extend beyond an individual person’s time frame and sphere of activity. Since then it’s become clear that the excuse of “what I do here doesn’t bother anyone” no longer stands up to scrutiny.
This subject is taken up by Ernst Ullrich von Weizsäcker and Anders Wijkman in their English-language book entitled “Come on!”. It explains in striking terms that virtually nothing has been done in the last fifty years despite all the necessary information being available and widely known. Using scientific yet readily understandable arguments, they put forward that population growth, food production, industrial production, resource depletion and environmental pollution still remain the five most important problem areas and that further challenges have come along since, such as species extinction and climate change.
In collaboration with their colleagues from the Club of Rome, the two authors have compiled a study with countless valuable and well-researched facts without drifting too far into the science. They set out the many challenges that today’s society has to face but avoid whitewashing the subject or falling into fatalism. Instead, they use a wide range of good examples and requests to appeal to the good in human beings and to show that there is still hope. However, Wijkman and von Weizsäcker concede that achieving the Paris climate targets is becoming harder with every passing day. But in their view, a change in philosophy could still make this possible.
A definite must-read, this book sets out to persuade all readers that a wait-and-see approach and a business-as-usual strategy are no longer an option.