Nowhere to develop: new forecast of scientists predicts the collapse of civilization by 2040

Nowhere to develop: new forecast of scientists predicts the collapse of civilization by 2040
Nowhere to develop: new forecast of scientists predicts the collapse of civilization by 2040
15 July, 12:57SciencePhoto: The Odyssey Online
Almost half a century ago, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology built a model according to which the unrestrained pursuit of economic growth and inattention to environmental and social problems will lead to the fact that 2020 will be a turning point, and two decades later society will collapse.

In 1972, when this forecast was made public, Massachusetts were criticized: the prediction was considered unrealistically gloomy, writes the Daily Mail.

Scientists built their forecast using a computer program called World1, which analyzed the development of human society from 1900 to 2060 and presented the data in the form of a graph. This graph shows how the world's population has increased over the century since 1900. The growth line starts low and then continues to rise until it dries up a few years after 2000. 2020, according to this timetable, is a watershed moment for civilization.

“Around 2020, the state of the planet becomes extremely critical. If we do nothing about this, the quality of life will drop to zero, - then the authors of the study said. “The pollution is getting so serious that it starts killing people. This, in turn, will lead to population decline, which will fall to 19th century levels. At this stage, from about 2040 to 2050, civilized life as we know it will cease to exist on this planet".

Recently, KPMG experts recalled this forecast, which turned out to be surprisingly accurate, and decided to double-check it. The scientists used the same computer simulation model as the Massachusetts, only a more modern version. The program analyzed how our world has evolved from 1972 to the present, using ten key variables: population, birth rates, mortality, industrial production, food production, services, non-renewable resources, sustainable pollution, human well-being and the ecological footprint.

As a result, according to the forecast of artificial intelligence, if the mentality of people does not change, over the next decade there will be a decline in economic growth. Worse, as early as 2040, our world could experience a complete social collapse, which means a sharp decline in the quality of life, food production and industrial production and, ultimately, a drop in population.

Scientists have constructed two plausible future scenarios, BAU2 (business as usual) and CT (integrated technology), both showing that continued economic growth is impossible. The shutdown will take about ten years. “Even when combined with unprecedented technological development, we will inevitably come to a decline in industrial capital, agricultural production and wealth levels in this century,” write the authors of a study published in the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology.

The only thing that can postpone the collapse is technological progress and increased investment in public services. The “stabilized world” scenario is still possible, albeit unlikely. For it to come true, in the next decade, humanity needs to set priorities for itself other than economic growth.

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