1972 article predicting societal collapse by 2050 on track, new study finds | World

1972 article predicting societal collapse by 2050 on track, new study finds | World

The recent study found that a “drop” in living standards could start in 2040 – before hitting an all-time low as early as 2050. As the world looks set to bounce back from the Covid crisis, the research worries many. people about the risks of a return to normality before the pandemic.

Gaya Herrington conducted the research as part of her Harvard thesis in November 2020 – and looked at ten factors to calculate whether the company appeared poised to collapse over the next several decades.
The ten factors were: population growth, fertility rates, death rates, industrial production, food production, services, non-renewable resources, persistent pollution, human well-being and the ecological footprint.

Ms. Herrington noted that “[This] does not mean that humanity will cease to exist ”, but said the theory would indicate that“ economic and industrial growth will stop and then decline, which will adversely affect food production and living standards ”.

The so-called “limits of growth” theory originated in the prestigious University of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where the initial report was published in 1972.
The MIT group of scientists used a model of system dynamics published in the Club of Rome – an organization that discusses the “multiple crises facing humanity and the planet.”

They sought to identify potential “limits to growth” due to the overexploitation of planetary resources.

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The article by Herrington, published in the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology, concluded by asserting that “to continue as usual, that is to say to continue the growth”, would lead to a decline in the standard of living through the West, even if technological adaptations followed.

The analyst, who spent a year at the London School of Economics in 2011 according to his LinkedIn profile, suggested that reducing consumption and waste, investing in infrastructure and limiting population growth were desirable alternatives that could halt the collapse of society.

One segment reads: “Given the unappealing prospect of a collapse, I was curious to see which scenarios aligned most closely with the empirical data today. After all, the book that featured this global model was a bestseller in the 1970s, and we would now have decades of empirical data that would make a comparison meaningful. But to my surprise, I couldn’t find any recent attempts to do this. So I decided to do it myself.

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Herrington argued that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines demonstrates how capable the world is in responding to the apocalyptic direction in which society is headed.

However, Herrington conceded that “the necessary changes will not be easy and will pose transition challenges” but suggested “that a sustainable and inclusive future is always possible”.


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