Tag Archives: changing

“Thinking in Systems” by Meadows

ThinkinsysDonella Meadows spent thirty years designing and refining the techniques of “system dynamics” – the style of analysis that we will demonstrate in the “Changing” section, part II of the course.  She was working on this book at the time of her death in 2001, and it was finished and edited by Diana Wright.

From the publisher’s description:

Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.

While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner.


Carbon Dioxide and World Climate

This is the title of an article published in Scientific American by Roger Revelle, a science professor at UCSD who was one of the first to carry out research on global warming.  This article is one of the earliest to bring the problem to wide public attention.   You can download the full text from the Penn State Library.

Journal reference:  Revelle, Roger. 1982. “Carbon Dioxide and World Climate.” Scientific American 247 (2): 35.

PSU Library Link: here, or link to library search page here