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1972 report predicted societal collapse by 2040

Posted on Saturday, 17 July, 2021 | Comment icon 23 comments

Are we headed for the end of modern society as we know it ? Image Credit: PD - Alfred Palmer
A 1972 MIT report predicted that modern civilization would collapse by the middle of the 21st Century.
Just under 50 years ago, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology got together to investigate the risks of societal collapse.

The system dynamics model they came up with predicted that modern industrial civilization was on course to collapse sometime around the middle of the 21st Century due to overexploitation of the planet's natural resources - something that appears dangerously close to becoming true.

While at the time the team's findings were widely criticized and misrepresented, a more recent study penned by the senior director of a major accounting firm has concluded that the MIT researchers' predictions about societal collapse should be taken a lot more seriously.

"Given the unappealing prospect of collapse, I was curious to see which scenarios were aligning most closely with empirical data today," said study author Gaya Herrington of KPMG.
"After all, the book that featured this world model was a bestseller in the 70s, and by now we'd have several decades of empirical data which would make a comparison meaningful."

"But to my surprise I could not find recent attempts for this. So I decided to do it myself."

According to Herrington, the collapse "does not mean that humanity will cease to exist", but instead means that "economic and industrial growth will stop, and then decline, which will hurt food production and standards of living."

"Even when paired with unprecedented technological development and adoption, business as usual as modelled by LtG would inevitably lead to declines in industrial capital, agricultural output, and welfare levels within this century," the study reads.

Source: | Comments (23)

Tags: Society, Collapse

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Helen of Annoy on 20 July, 2021, 7:41
Oh, governments will stay. When they're self-serving mob-like structures they don't mind society collapsing. When they are interested in the control over resources and financial transactions only and don't care for anything except their personal short-term gain, they happily ignore the collapse of both physical and social infrastructure.  edit: Forgot to say that they always keep the repressive mechanisms (easy, if the only paying job for a common man in the country is in police or army) and they need the state as the cover entity for their personal business (hence the frothing verbal patrioti... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by aztek on 20 July, 2021, 14:47
lol, when that happens, the rich will be on their own islands, of have armed security around their homes,  they will close bridges and roads leading to their homes, they have done it before
Comment icon #16 Posted by Abramelin on 20 July, 2021, 16:19
You mean a few can withstand millions that are desparate and have literally nothing to lose? Have you ever seen South American army ants devour a prey much larger than them? If the going gets really tough, those few will be overwhelmed, stampeded, crushed. They will be able to withstand the onslaught for a while, but finally their heads will end up on sticks. Btw., this is a nice for a movie.
Comment icon #17 Posted by aztek on 20 July, 2021, 16:32
yes they will be safe, and they will kill anyone approaching their homes uninvited,  the millions will be fighting each other for any scrap of food. those who steal and rob always looking for an easy victim, of course they  will have something to lose, their lives it would be a very lame movie
Comment icon #18 Posted by Abramelin on 20 July, 2021, 16:40
My bet is on those millions. They may be desparate, but therefore not all of them necessarily stupid. Guns will run out of ammo at some point in time; at another point in time the 'lucky few' will run out of food too.    
Comment icon #19 Posted by aztek on 20 July, 2021, 16:48
lmao, movies are not real.  go read news on what happens in south Africa, rich are safe and sound, yet millions are looking for any food they can find. 
Comment icon #20 Posted by Helen of Annoy on 20 July, 2021, 16:51
Or have it poisoned    
Comment icon #21 Posted by Helen of Annoy on 20 July, 2021, 16:57
Sleeping with shotgun under your pillow is not the definition of safety most people would find acceptable. But you're sort of American, so you don't really know what organized, functioning society looks like, since your old country too is in its own post-societal-apocalypse.  Yeah, I just invented a heap of words. To save on space. 
Comment icon #22 Posted by Abramelin on 20 July, 2021, 16:57
That is no comparison to what I had in mind. If millions of poor South Africans decide an mass to attack the 'lucky few', the 'lucky few' will be toast soon.        
Comment icon #23 Posted by Golden Duck on 21 July, 2021, 0:00
Eathlings come from a planet occupied by a species of Celine Dion clones.  It has a complete lack of r's.

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