.SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

Information

This model implements Dennis (and Dana) Meadows' WORLD3 model as described in their 1972 book Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind. The book has seen two later editions, one published in 1992 (20-year edition), and the most recent one published in 2004 (30-year edition). Each of these new editions was accompanied by an updated model. The model contained in this library is the newest model discussed in the 2004 edition Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update.

Whereas Jay Forrester listed his entire model in his book "World Dynamics," Dennis Meadows only talked in "Limits to Growth" about the results obtained using his model. The model itself is not listed.

This was partly done because the WORLD3 model is considerably more complex than the WORLD2 model, and consequently, a thorough discussion of all facets of the model would have eaten up much more space in the book, but there is another reason as well.

Stephen Hawking wrote in the introduction to one of his more popular books (A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes) that he had asked his publisher whether he could include some equations with the book. The publisher answered that he would print anything that Stephen Hawking cared to submit for publication, but that the number of books sold would shrink by a facter of two for every added equation. Hence Hawking decided to refrain from placing any equations in his book.

Meadows is an educator even more than a scientist. He believes strongly in his message, and he wanted to reach as many people with it as he possibly could. Leaving the model equations out was the best way of accomplishing this goal.

Yet, Meadows never tried to hide his model from public scrutiny. In fact, he wrote an internal report of 637 pages that describes all facets of his model. He published that internal report as a separate book in 1974: Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World. The book is still available if anyone cares to buy it. However, whereas Meadows sold millions of copies of his (popular) Limits to Growth book, he probably sold no more than a few hundred copies of his (technical) Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World report.

Since the WORLD3 model is fairly complex, it won't fit on a single screen. For this reason, I subdivided the model into 13 different sectors (i.e., sub-models) describing some aspects of:

  1. arable land dynamics,
  2. food production,
  3. Mathis Wackernagel's human ecological footprint,
  4. human fertility,
  5. human welfare index,
  6. industrial investment,
  7. labor utilization,
  8. land fertility,
  9. life expectancy,
  10. non-recoverable resource utilization,
  11. pollution dynamics,
  12. population dynamics, and
  13. service-sector investment.

The sub-models use green icons. In the main model (yellow icon), I simply dropped one sub-model of each type onto the screen, and connected these models appropriately.

Whereas the WORLD2 model lumped the entire population into a single state variable, the WORLD3 model offers a demographic population dynamics model that distinguishes between children and adolescents, young adults of child-bearing age, older adults who are still integrated into the work force, and the retired population.

The capital investment is subdivided into investments in the military/industrial complex, in the service sector, and in agriculture.

Both the natural resources and pollution models have been upgraded by including changes in technology as factors influencing the depletion of resources and the release of pollutants. This is meaningful as improved technology may enable us to use the available resources more efficiently, and may also make it possible to produce goods in a cleaner fashion.

The over-all (compiled) WORLD3 model contains 41 state variables and 245 algebraic variables.

At this time, all that remains is to thank Prof. Meadows for his support of my efforts. Dennis was kind enough to send me his complete WORLD3 model (2004 edition, coded in STELLA) on a CD. All that I had to do was to translate the model, equation by equation, from STELLA to Modelica.

Unfortunately, STELLA doesn't offer means for documenting models in an explicit way. There was not a single line of comments in the entire model. Meadows compensated for this lack of documentability by choosing very long variable names. These helped tremendously in deciphering the meaning of the model. I hope I didn't goof up too badly in doing so.

In order to make it as easy as possible to compare the Modelica version of the WORLD3 model with the STELLA-coded original, I decided to keep the same variable names in my model that Dennis had chosen for his version.

I also wish to acknowledge Prof. J�rgen Randers who provided me with the information necessary to reproduce the 10 scenarios proposed in the book Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update.


References:

  1. Meadows, D.H., D.L. Meadows, J. Randers, and W.W. Behrens III (1972), Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind, Universe Books, New York, 205p.
  2. Meadows, D.L., W.W. Behrens III, D.H. Meadows, R.F. Naill, J. Randers, and E.K.O. Zahn (1974), Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World, Wright-Allen Press, 637p.
  3. Meadows, D.H., D.L. Meadows, and J. Randers (1992), Beyond the Limits, Chelsea Green, 300p.
  4. Meadows, D.H., J. Randers, and D.L. Meadows (2004), Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update, Chelsea Green, 368p.

Contents

Name Description
 Arable_Land_Dynamics Arable land dynamics
 Food_Production Food production
 Human_Ecological_Footprint Ecological footprint
 Human_Fertility Human fertility
 Human_Welfare_Index Human welfare index
 Industrial_Investment Investments in the military/industrial sector
 Labor_Utilization Utilization of the labor force
 Land_Fertility Land fertility
 Life_Expectancy Life expectancy
 NR_Resource_Utilization Utilization of non-recoverable natural resources
 Pollution_Dynamics Pollution dynamics
 Population_Dynamics Population dynamics
 Service_Sector_Investment Investments in the service sector
 Scenario_1 Original WORLD3 model
 Scenario_2 More abundant non-recoverable natural resources
 Scenario_3 More accessible non-recoverable natural resources and pollution control
 Scenario_4 More accessible non-recoverable natural resources, pollution control, and land yield enhancement
 Scenario_5 More accessible non-recoverable natural resources, pollution control, land yield enhancement, and erosion protection
 Scenario_6 More accessible non-recoverable natural resources, pollution control, land yield enhancement, erosion protection, and resource efficiency
 Scenario_7 More abundant non-recoverable natural resources and birth control
 Scenario_8 More abundant non-recoverable natural resources, birth control, and stable industrial output
 Scenario_9 Combining the measures of Scenarios #6 and #8
 Scenario_10 Influencing the future 20 years earlier
 Scenario_11 Influencing the future 10 years later
 Utilities Utility models of Meadows' WORLD3 model

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