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New study warns of impending global collapse

Posted on Monday, 17 March, 2014 | Comment icon 92 comments

Will modern society survive the next few decades ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 NikoLang

A new scientific study has suggested that modern civilization may collapse within a matter of decades.

The grim prediction is based on theoretical models depicting what is likely to happen to the industrialized world over the next few years. The risks, the study claims, are based on economic instability and too much pressure being placed on the planet's natural resources.

"The process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history," said mathematician Safa Motesharri who looked at a number of the dominant factors that contributed to the collapse of historical civilizations such as the Roman Empire.

Of particular relevance is the way in which society is split in to the 'elites' and the 'masses'.

"Even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among the Masses that eventually causes the collapse of society," Motesharri wrote.

The scientists behind the report however have stressed that even if their predictions prove accurate, there is still much we can do to steer society away from disaster.

"Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion," they wrote.

Source: Independent | Comments (92)

Tags: Civilization, Population

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #83 Posted by regeneratia on 24 March, 2014, 4:25
Um, Yeah, we shouldn't be using nuclear power. Public health in the USA is sadly lacking already. And you can have th3e economics. I don't store my money in the bank. LOL!! I prepay the utility necessities. and -------- the rest. I have no attachment to the current public health and economic systems. I have worked in one of them. It is corrupt like nearly every other social system in this country.
Comment icon #84 Posted by Doug1o29 on 24 March, 2014, 12:48
How about seven billion + ? Doug
Comment icon #85 Posted by Doug1o29 on 24 March, 2014, 12:52
If you're posting on UM, you are using a computer made of copper, plastic and other raw materials provided by the economic system. Unless you generated the power yourself, the electricity that runs your computer was provided by that economic system, and even if you did, the generator was provided by the economic system. You're inextricably linked to the system whether you like it or not. Doug
Comment icon #86 Posted by Frank Merton on 24 March, 2014, 12:56
I wonder which comes more often, predictions of economic collapse or predictions from some archaeologist that he's read some inion telling us the world ends next year.
Comment icon #87 Posted by Br Cornelius on 24 March, 2014, 15:10
History is replete with collapsed civilizations. The difference is that in the past they were unlikely to have understood the warning signs so would have been unable to do anything about it. Science allows us to see the warning signs now - and it has become our choice to do nothing about it. Is that progress ? Br Cornelius
Comment icon #88 Posted by Doug1o29 on 24 March, 2014, 15:12
If you like Doomsday economics, subscribe to "The Motley Fool." They've always got some economic crisis about to hit us. Doug
Comment icon #89 Posted by Frank Merton on 24 March, 2014, 15:16
They all seem to have a routine story about the coming depression about once a week. I think it's to keep that part of their readership happy. I have no doubt we will like earlier societies run out of resources. I would hope renewable and sustainable alternatives will be in place or close to being there. If not we will go the way of the others. Crying wolf however only makes doing real things about the problem more difficult as it introduces politics.
Comment icon #90 Posted by Br Cornelius on 24 March, 2014, 15:23
Scientists are not crying wolf. The are a range of about a dozen key indicators all pointing to systemic collapse. All this report is doing is synthesizing the data into one overarching study and extrapolating outcomes from a range of likely scenarios. This is modelling based on known facts - not calling a false alarm. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #91 Posted by regeneratia on 24 March, 2014, 23:21
I also garden, collect hard copy books, including text books in engineering and science, anatomy and so on. I collect seeds. So I can give up this box of plastic and circuits, along with the electrosmag that is making the people of this world very ill, ... if I have to. Can you? I am also good to my neighbors and we have somewhat of a tight group going on. We will survive.
Comment icon #92 Posted by Doug1o29 on 25 March, 2014, 0:30
You're probably better off than I would be. I live in town. I make my living on a computer. If the power goes off, I can't work - no paycheck. On the other hand, I am less than a five-minute walk from the University Farms and a mile from wild woodlands and I can forage if I have to. It was pointed out to me today that Americans eat about three times as much as we need to, so there is some slack in our diets we can make use of. Also, I've been looking at what other peoples have done in extreme emergencies - like the Finns eating tree bark. They mixed it one-third to one-hal... [More]

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