Global Collapse: MIT researchers predict the end of the world as we know it
Researchers at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say that, at this rate, the planet is likely to be plagued by a “global economic collapse” in fewer than two decades if humans continue to gobble up natural resources at the same rate they are today.
The report was led by MIT’s Jay W. Forrester’s Institute and used a computing model to examine the correlation between global developments and their affect on the Earth. Variables involving the amount of available resources, different level of agricultural productivity, birth control and environmental protection were taken into account to examine what the future holds for the human race and, according to the researchers, it isn’t very good.
“Only drastic measures for environmental protection proved to be suitable to change this systems behavior, and only under these circumstances, scenarios could be calculated in which both world population and wealth could remain at a constant level. However, so far the necessary political measures were not taken,” explains The Club of Rome, a global think-tank based out of Italy who commissioned MIT to conduct the research.
The study suggests that as earthlings continue to consume vast amounts of resources that cannot be replaced, a “precipitous population decline” will also be triggered unless adjustment are made to the way mankind manages its intake and stays at its current pace of plaguing the Earth’s ecosystems through mass industrialization. Perhaps most surprising, however, is that the researcher’s results, to some, is nothing new at all.
As it happens, the MIT report largely mirrors the results of a similar study conducted back in 1972 called “The Limits to Growth.” Back then Australian physicist Graham Turner conducted similar investigations while the population of the planet was only slightly more than half of what it is today. And while developments in the realms of industry, medicine and technology have made the world much easier to manage in those three decades, the decline that Turner predicted in the years after he published his paper have come close to the actual trends in the years since. In ’72, Turner also noticed that non-renewable resources would exponentially decrease in the coming years, and as industrial output and global pollution increases, food and, in turn, population would decrease.
“There is a very clear warning bell being rung here,” Turner wrote at the time. “We are not on a sustainable trajectory.” Despite foreshadowing the economic collapse 60 years ahead of time, however, the latest report out of MIT suggests that the Earth is still on its way towards some troubling times.