Eduard Pestel

scholar (1914-1988)

Eduard Pestel (29 May 191419 September 1988) was a German engineer, professor of mechanics and politician.

Eduard Pestel (right), 1973
See also: Mankind at the Turning Point (1974).


  • Our world model was built specifically to investigate five major trends of global concern – accelerating industrialization, rapid population growth, widespread malnutrition, depletion of nonrenewable resources, and a deteriorating environment. The model we have constructed is, like every model, imperfect, oversimplified, and unfinished... Our conclusions are : (1.) If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity...
  • The value of global modelling has been severely restricted by poor appreciation of the constraints under which governments and politicians operate. Equally, the value of governments and politicians has been severely restricted by largely ignoring the very real but less immediate problems tackled by modellers.
    • E. Pestel (1982) Modellers and politicians. In: Futures, Volume 14, Issue 2, April 1982, pp. 122–128.

Quotes about Eduard PestelEdit

  • Mihajlo Mesarovic and Eduard Pestel have made a deliberate attempt to gain approbation from the skeptical segment of the intellectual community and to disassociate their work from that of Forrester and Meadows.
    • Gerald O. Barney (1980) The global 2000 report to the President of the U.S., entering the 21st century: a report, Volume 2. p. 615.
  • Eduard Pestel is also known... for his blunt pleas to make global modelling relevant to decision makers.
    • John M. Richardson Jr (1982) "A decade of global modelling". In: Futures. Vol. 14, Issue 2, April 1982, pp. 136–145.
  • Pestel was a very forceful person and quickly saw the power of system dynamics.
  • Eduard Pestel recalled that the Club of Rome's founder, Aurelio Peccei, was tremendously impressed “by the fact that all computer runs exhibited — sooner or later at some point in time during the next century — a collapse mode regardless of regardless of any 'technological fixes'employed'.
    • Paul N. Edwards (2010) : Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming. p. 368.
  • Mesarovic and Pestel are critical of the Forrester-Meadows world view, which is that of a homogeneous system with a fully predetermined evolution in time once the initial conditions are specified
    • New Scientist. Vol. 66, nr. 947. May 1, 1975. p. 272.
  • Mihajlo Masarovic and Eduard Pestel (1974) attempted a radical innovation by developing complex models that combined demographic projections with economic, social, environmental, and political trends, with the objective of revealing that the population predicted by the UN would necessarily lead to an an explosion of the world system during the 21st century, causing an increase in mortality and a rapid population decline.
    • Graziella Caselli, Jacques Vallin, Guillaume J. Wunsch (2006) Demography: Analysis and Synthesis. Volume 1. p. 218.

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