Portent of economic doom ... It is intuitive that resources are finite ... Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse

Squire

Active member
It is intuitive that there are limits to consumption and reserves of resources which will eventually cause economic growth to diminish and perhaps even reverse.

Eventually, mankind must mine past landfill sites to recover resources that were improperly disposed of in the past.

As resources are depleted prices will rise exponentially stifling economic growth.

The study predicted that after year 2050 human death rate would rise exponentially and that population would fall.

Perhaps all other animal and insect life will become extinct before human life faces extinction.

Will the primary food source of the last humans be cockroaches?

https://www.theguardian.com/comment...ight-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse
Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander
This article is more than 6 years old


Four decades after the book was published, Limit to Growth’s forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. Expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon

The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.
It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.

Limits to Growth was commissioned by a think tank called the Club of Rome. Researchers working out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including husband-and-wife team Donella and Dennis Meadows, built a computer model to track the world’s economy and environment. Called World3, this computer model was cutting edge.

The task was very ambitious. The team tracked industrialisation, population, food, use of resources, and pollution. They modelled data up to 1970, then developed a range of scenarios out to 2100, depending on whether humanity took serious action on environmental and resource issues. If that didn’t happen, the model predicted “overshoot and collapse” – in the economy, environment and population – before 2070. This was called the “business-as-usual” scenario.
The book’s central point, much criticised since, is that “the earth is finite” and the quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would eventually lead to a crash.
So were they right? We decided to check in with those scenarios after 40 years. Dr Graham Turner gathered data from the UN (its department of economic and social affairs, Unesco, the food and agriculture organisation, and the UN statistics yearbook). He also checked in with the US national oceanic and atmospheric administration, the BP statistical review, and elsewhere. That data was plotted alongside the Limits to Growth scenarios.
The results show that the world is tracking pretty closely to the Limits to Growth “business-as-usual” scenario. The data doesn’t match up with other scenarios.
These graphs show real-world data (first from the MIT work, then from our research), plotted in a solid line. The dotted line shows the Limits to Growth “business-as-usual” scenario out to 2100. Up to 2010, the data is strikingly similar to the book’s forecasts.
limits to growth

Solid line: MIT, with new research in bold. Dotted line: Limits to Growth ‘business-as-usual’ scenario.
limits to growth

Solid line: MIT, with new research in bold. Dotted line: Limits to Growth ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Photograph: Supplied
limits to growth

Solid line: MIT, and research in bold. Dotted line: Limits to Growth ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Photograph: Supplied
As the MIT researchers explained in 1972, under the scenario, growing population and demands for material wealth would lead to more industrial output and pollution. The graphs show this is indeed happening. Resources are being used up at a rapid rate, pollution is rising, industrial output and food per capita is rising. The population is rising quickly.
So far, Limits to Growth checks out with reality. So what happens next?
According to the book, to feed the continued growth in industrial output there must be ever-increasing use of resources. But resources become more expensive to obtain as they are used up. As more and more capital goes towards resource extraction, industrial output per capita starts to fall – in the book, from about 2015.
As pollution mounts and industrial input into agriculture falls, food production per capita falls. Health and education services are cut back, and that combines to bring about a rise in the death rate from about 2020. Global population begins to fall from about 2030, by about half a billion people per decade. Living conditions fall to levels similar to the early 1900s.
It’s essentially resource constraints that bring about global collapse in the book. However, Limits to Growth does factor in the fallout from increasing pollution, including climate change. The book warned carbon dioxide emissions would have a “climatological effect” via “warming the atmosphere”.
As the graphs show, the University of Melbourne research has not found proof of collapse as of 2010 (although growth has already stalled in some areas). But in Limits to Growth those effects only start to bite around 2015-2030.
The first stages of decline may already have started. The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08 and ongoing economic malaise may be a harbinger of the fallout from resource constraints. The pursuit of material wealth contributed to unsustainable levels of debt, with suddenly higher prices for food and oil contributing to defaults - and the GFC.
The issue of peak oil is critical. Many independent researchers conclude that “easy” conventional oil production has already peaked. Even the conservative International Energy Agency has warned about peak oil.
Peak oil could be the catalyst for global collapse. Some see new fossil fuel sources like shale oil, tar sands and coal seam gas as saviours, but the issue is how fast these resources can be extracted, for how long, and at what cost. If they soak up too much capital to extract the fallout would be widespread.
Our research does not indicate that collapse of the world economy, environment and population is a certainty. Nor do we claim the future will unfold exactly as the MIT researchers predicted back in 1972. Wars could break out; so could genuine global environmental leadership. Either could dramatically affect the trajectory.
But our findings should sound an alarm bell. It seems unlikely that the quest for ever-increasing growth can continue unchecked to 2100 without causing serious negative effects – and those effects might come sooner than we think.
It may be too late to convince the world’s politicians and wealthy elites to chart a different course. So to the rest of us, maybe it’s time to think about how we protect ourselves as we head into an uncertain future. ...
 
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HBS Guy

Head Honcho
Staff member
No, won’t happen.

Planets, moons and asteroids will be mined, solar energy will be tapped in space, solar cells in huge sails, permanently receiving sunlight. Malthus was wrong and will continue to be wrong.
 

Squire

Active member
Continuous growth is not feasible.

A recent indicator of doom was news that industrial sand for concrete was becoming less plentiful.

There is no sign of recognition of the need for change among world leaders, let alone any attempts to mitigate the portended economic collapse.

Wait, there's more:

"Human society is on track for a collapse in the next two decades if there isn't a serious shift in global priorities."

"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 BAU] and CT scenarios show a halt in growth within a decade or so from now," Herrington wrote in her study. "Both scenarios thus indicate that continuing business as usual, that is, pursuing continuous growth, is not possible."

https://www.livescience.com/collapse-human-society-limits-to-growth.html

Society is right on track for a global collapse, new study of infamous 1970s report finds
By Brandon Specktor - Senior Writer 1 day ago
A steep downturn in human population and quality of life could be coming in the 2040s, the report finds.

A fire blazes in Australia

(Image credit: Getty)

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.
Related: How much time does humanity have left?
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. In the November 2020 issue of the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology, Herrington expanded on research she began as a graduate student at Harvard University earlier that year, analyzing the "Limits to Growth" predictions alongside the most current real-world data.

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.

"[The BAU] and CT scenarios show a halt in growth within a decade or so from now," Herrington wrote in her study. "Both scenarios thus indicate that continuing business as usual, that is, pursuing continuous growth, is not possible."

The good news is that it's not too late to avoid both of these scenarios and put society on track for an alternative — the Stabilized World (SW) scenario. This path begins as the BAU and CT routes do, with population, pollution and economic growth rising in tandem while natural resources decline. The difference comes when humans decide to deliberately limit economic growth on their own, before a lack of resources forces them to.

"The SW scenario assumes that in addition to the technological solutions, global societal priorities change," Herrington wrote. "A change in values and policies translates into, amongst other things, low desired family size, perfect birth control availability, and a deliberate choice to limit industrial output and prioritize health and education services."

On a graph of the SW scenario, industrial growth and global population begin to level out shortly after this shift in values occurs. Food availability continues to rise to meet the needs of the global population; pollution declines and all but disappears; and the depletion of natural resources begins to level out, too. Societal collapse is avoided entirely.
This scenario may sound like a fantasy — especially as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels soar to record highs. But the study suggests a deliberate change in course is still possible.

Herrington told Vice.com the rapid development and deployment of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to human ingenuity in the face of global crises. It's entirely possible, Herrington said, for humans to respond similarly to the ongoing climate crisis — if we make a deliberate, society-wide choice to do so.
"It's not yet too late for humankind to purposefully change course to significantly alter the trajectory of [the] future," Herrington concluded in her study. "Effectively, humanity can either choose its own limit or at some point reach an imposed limit, at which time a decline in human welfare will have become unavoidable."
 

Texan

Active member
I think there will be a big downsizing of the world's population. It could be triggered by war, but the biggest casualty will be Africa. They can't support the population they have and the world would be too busy with a future war to continue supporting them. Africa could be the land grab target of many countries or religious states during a WW3. We may all see a population decrease, but Africa will be hit hard. Africa has huge untapped resources and a primitive and controllable population. Oppressive and all powerful governments will look to limit their populations to keep the survivors happy with the remaining assets and total control of their media. China is another place where massive population loss is inevitable.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
We might be able to create, or tap into new water and energy resources, that could sustain a growing population of 10B people. But unless we also plan on colonizing the Arctic, the Antarctic, or building cities under or on top of the oceans, we will be screwed long before the end of this century. As more land is being used to accommodate the needs of a growing population, less land can be used for growing food to feed them, clothe them, or house them. The demands for the planet's finite mineral, and other natural resources will be exponential.

If you think that the property and rental markets are expensive now, then in 60-70 years time, the majority of citizens will be living on the streets. There will be no more middle class(there never was). Because of demand, the cost of even the most basic goods, will be out of reach for the average person. And if you think we have a high crime rate now, wait until you see what will happen when thousands of people begin competing for a few loaves of bread and cheese. As long as 10% of the population controls 90% of all wealth, GREED will make this scenario a guaranteed certainty. Fortunately I won't be here.

That is baring an asteroid or meteor strike, or being incinerated by a gamma ray burst from a neutron star, or a CME. I will always put my faith in the consistent logic of science and commonsense, before hope and denial.

 
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