Summary: In 1972, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology predicted that the thirst of economic growth coupled with humanity’s utter disregard for the environment and society would cause a massive societal collapse by the mid 21st century. And now a new study hints that this could very well become our reality.
Original author and publication date: Monit Khanna – July 15, 2021
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: What else was known 50 years ago about our future that we should know now?
From the article:
Reported first by the Vice, this is according to Gaya Herrington who is the Sustainability and Dynamic System Analysis Lead at KPMG, who was actually working on disproving the aforementioned claims made by MIT researchers in 1972.
Herrington emphasised on 10 variables such as industrial output, pollution, population, and discovered that our mentality emphasising on business will result in an economic growth decline within the next decade, followed by a total societal collapse by 2040.
The 1972 MIT predictions
At the time, MIT had made its prediction using a computer program dubbed World1, looking at a timeline from the year 1900 to 2060. This data was produced on sheets of data in the form of graph lines.
The then study author, MIT’s Jerry Foster showed how the population has sort of exploded from the 1900s to the turn of the century. This line of population growth only kept climbing until a few years after 2000 after which it sort of faded out.
In another instance looking at the quality of life, the graph spiked rapidly until the 1940s then went down until the year 2020 when it saw another spike. Surprisingly, the model is also called 2020 as a tipping point for our civilization.
Herrington used the same model but called it the World 3, looking at 10 key variables — population, fertility rates, mortality rates, industrial output, services, food production, human welfare, persistent pollution and non-renewable resources.
Herrington discovered that the latest data shows striking similarities with the two scenarios of BAU (business as usual) and CT (comprehensive technology).