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The brightest scientific minds of our era are warning a dark future awaits us if we stay on our current course. For decades, our society became increasingly obsessed with the idea of short-term results and infinite growth, but maybe that obsession came from a fear of thinking about what would actually happen in the long run. Something we learned from the health crisis and the current economic recession is that our leaders are definitely not prepared to deal with the consequences of their actions nor are they willing to think about the longer term. Even though many still prefer to believe in what the politicians in Washington say – that all of this is transitory and everything will be fine – if we pay close attention to the latest global events, we can see that every aspect of our society is coming apart. However, the era that we are moving into will be even more nightmarish – a terror most people wouldn’t dare to imagine.
One MIT study from 1972 made the headlines this week as a group of scientists that projected that our civilization would collapse at some point during the 21st century has now confirmed that we’re right on track of witnessing the end of the world as we know it. The team studied the risk of civilizational collapse over several years using the dynamics model known as ‘limits to growth’ (LtG), and revealed that the collapse of our industrial civilization is already underway due to the overexploitation of our planetary resources. The most alarming part of their findings is that the decline of our society is likely to happen within less than 25 years.
The study was conducted by Gaya Herrington is now available on the KPMG website. Herrington’s analysis examined data such as population, fertility rates, mortality rates, industrial output, food production, services, non-renewable resources, persistent pollution, human welfare, and ecological footprint. The research team found that the data most closely aligns with two particular scenarios, ‘BAU2’ (business-as-usual) and ‘CT’ (comprehensive technology).
As it turns out, both scenarios have extremely bleak outcomes. In the comprehensive technology scenario, the economic collapse would already have started, and a series of negative impacts such as a major drop in food production, wild swings across a number of categories, including industrial output, and also the significant decline of the global population, would put the entire world on the edge. In that context, only a substantial investment in education and technology could save us. We would have to quickly readapt our model of production to pursue sustainable alternatives. In that case, while new technology develops food production would eventually recover and the societal collapse wouldn’t occur under those specific circumstances.
On the other hand, there’s no room for optimism or hope if we chose to take the second track, known as the business-as-usual scenario. In this scenario, we would essentially continue to ignore the growing risks and make no changes to our current behavior. Similar to the CT scenario, our economic growth would be dwindling, but it would hit a wall around 2030. However, that wouldn’t be a temporary blip nor lead us to a period of stagnation, it would mark the point of no return — which means, by 2040, the entire planet would irreversibly collapse. The world’s population, food production, industrial output, and several other key aspects of our civilization would all take a steep decline, with pollution levels soaring while we rapidly exploit and burn the planet’s remaining available resources with absolute disregard for the catastrophic consequences.
At this point, both scenarios are still possible, the study noted. But that also means that to avert the complete degeneration of our society we would have to start making major changes in the way we live right at this moment, and that doesn’t seem like a realistic option to our increasingly divided population. Herrington stressed that the window of opportunity to change things around is closing fast and if we don’t act rapidly enough, our future is going to be apocalyptic.
To make matters worse, geopolitical tensions and social turbulence are already triggering widespread chaos in many countries. Our society is growing more unequal, politically divided, and angry. The rate of offenses is skyrocketing, and some of the wild scenes that are playing out around the globe are just utterly shocking. As we move closer to into the abyss of collapse, the best we can do is to try to get prepared before everything starts to fall apart around us. The coming years are going to be extremely chaotic, so we can suggest only that you plan accordingly.