The Limits to Growth
This is a report on a computer model (simulation) of the effects of exponential growth in population and the conventional economy on a world with finite resources. Various runs of the model with different conditions were discussed. The work was commissioned by the Club of Rome and financed by the Volkswagen Foundation. The research was performed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The objective was to investigate the limits of the world (eco-)system and the dominant factors influencing the long term behaviour of the world system.
The report was widely misrepresented as a prediction of the future - and a fairly doom laden prediction at that. In fact no predictions were made, the limitations of the model were clearly explained and several possible scenarios based on different input conditions were presented.
Having said that, it is worth noting that since 1972 the actual position has pretty closely tracked the base case scenario. The book remains as relevant today as when it was first published. A significant revision and update was published by the original authors in 2002 ('Limits to Growth - the 30 year update')