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Published: 05 April, 2012, 22:11
Reuters / Nikola Solic
TAGS: SciTech, USA, Resources
If the Mayans prove to be nothing more than a bunch of liars, don’t be
too upset. Researchers at MIT predict that Earth will experience a whole
other Armageddon-like scenario by 2030, when they expect a global
economic collapse to occur.
Researchers at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) say that, at this rate, the planet is likely to be plagued by a “global
economic collapse” in fewer than two decades if humans
continue to gobble up natural resources at the same rate they are today.
The report was led by MIT’s Jay W. Forrester’s Institute and used a
computing model to examine the correlation between global developments
and their affect on the Earth. Variables involving the amount of
available resources, different level of agricultural productivity, birth
control and environmental protection were taken into account to examine
what the future holds for the human race and, according to the
researchers, it isn’t very good.
“Only drastic measures for environmental protection proved to be
suitable to change this systems behavior, and only under these
circumstances, scenarios could be calculated in which both world
population and wealth could remain at a constant level. However, so far
the necessary political measures were not taken,” explains
The Club of Rome, a global think-tank based out of Italy who
commissioned MIT to conduct the research.
The study suggests that as earthlings continue to consume vast amounts
of resources that cannot be replaced, a “precipitous
population decline” will also be triggered unless adjustment
are made to the way mankind manages its intake and stays at its current
pace of plaguing the Earth’s ecosystems through mass industrialization.
Perhaps most surprising, however, is that the researcher’s results, to
some, is nothing new at all.
As it happens, the MIT report largely mirrors the results of a similar
study conducted back in 1972 called “The Limits to Growth.” Back then
Australian physicist Graham Turner conducted similar investigations
while the population of the planet was only slightly more than half of
what it is today. And while developments in the realms of industry,
medicine and technology have made the world much easier to manage in
those three decades, the decline that Turner predicted in the years
after he published his paper have come close to the actual trends in the
years since. In ’72, Turner also noticed that non-renewable resources
would exponentially decrease in the coming years, and as industrial
output and global pollution increases, food and, in turn, population
“There is a very clear warning bell being rung here,” Turner wrote at the
are not on a sustainable trajectory.” Despite foreshadowing
the economic collapse 60 years ahead of time, however, the latest report
out of MIT suggests that the Earth is still on its way towards some