LIMITS TO ECONOMIC GROWTH AND PROMINENT NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LOOPS
To maintain economic wealth (roads, hospitals, power lines, etc.) power needs to be consumed. The same applies to economic activity, since any activity requires the consumption of energy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for 79 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. So whilst economic activity takes place fossil fuels will be burned and CO2 emissions are unavoidable - unless we use exclusively renewable energy resources, which is not likely to occur very soon. However, the increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will have negative consequences, such droughts, floods, crop failures, etc. These effects represent limits to economic growth. The CLD illustrates some of the more prominent negative feedback loops that act as a break on economic growth and wealth.  As the negative feedback loops (B1-B4) get stronger, an interesting question is, 'will a sharp reduction in economic wealth and unavoidable recession lead to wide-spread food riots and disturbances?'