Story at a glance:
- Scientists in the 1970s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology predicted the fall of society.
- Using the LtG model, the fall of society will take place around 2040.
- The 2100s will be comparable to the 1900s in terms of the world’s population, industrial output, food and resources.
Scientists in the 1970s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created a method to determine when the fall of society would take place.
That method indicated the fall will be some point near the middle in the 21st century around 2040, and so far, their projections have been on track, new analysis suggests.
In 1972, a team of researchers studied the risks of a doomsday scenario, examining limited availability of natural resources and the rising costs that would subvert the expectation of economic growth in the second decade of the 21st century.
Using a system dynamics model that was published by the Club of Rome — a Swiss-based global think tank that includes current and former heads of state, United Nations bureaucrats, government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders — the scientists were able to identify the upcoming limits to growth (LtG) to forecast of potential "global ecological and economic collapse coming up in the middle of the 21st Century," The Guardian reported.
The Earth, according to LtG, has been terraformed beyond repair by greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, making the next generation to endure the "heavy legacy," a scarcity of mineral resources and a planet characterized by radioactive and heavy metal pollution.
In the '70s, the study was considered controversial and sparked debate, with some pundits misrepresenting the findings and methods, according to Vice.
However, Gaya Herrington, Director Advisory, Internal Audit & Enterprise Risk at major accounting firm KPMG, updated the LtG model in a published finding in the Yale Journal of Ecology in November 2020.
In Herrinton’s estimates, the world’s population, industrial output, food and resources will rapidly decline. The 2100s will be comparable to the 1900s, according to Vice. However, Herrington is treating her research as a personal project as a precaution to see how well the MIT model holds up.
Herrington’s study concluded that society has about another decade to change courses and avoid collapse by investing in sustainable technologies and equitable human development.
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