It’s The End of the World
Human society is on track for a collapse in the next two decades if there isn’t a serious shift in global priorities, according to a new reassessment of a 1970s report, Vice reported. In that report — published in the bestselling book “The Limits to Growth” (1972) — a team of MIT scientists argued that industrial civilization was bound to collapse if corporations and governments continued to pursue continuous economic growth, no matter the costs. The researchers forecasted 12 possible scenarios for the future, most of which predicted a point where natural resources would become so scarce that further economic growth would become impossible, and personal welfare would plummet.
The report’s most infamous scenario — the Business as Usual (BAU) scenario — predicted that the world’s economic growth would peak around the 2040s, then take a sharp downturn, along with the global population, food availability and natural resources. This imminent “collapse” wouldn’t be the end of the human race, but rather a societal turning point that would see standards of living drop around the world for decades, the team wrote.
So, what’s the outlook for society now, nearly half a century after the MIT researchers shared their prognostications? Gaya Herrington, a sustainability and dynamic system analysis researcher at the consulting firm KPMG, decided to find out. […] Herrington found that the current state of the world — measured through 10 different variables, including population, fertility rates, pollution levels, food production and industrial output — aligned extremely closely with two of the scenarios proposed in 1972, namely the BAU scenario and one called Comprehensive Technology (CT), in which technological advancements help reduce pollution and increase food supplies, even as natural resources run out. While the CT scenario results in less of a shock to the global population and personal welfare, the lack of natural resources still leads to a point where economic growth sharply declines — in other words, a sudden collapse of industrial society.
I’ve long thought that most things we don’t need at all; and of the things that we do, we don’t need more, we need better.
And that, of course, that reminded me of this: