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Human Consumption Will Trigger Global Collapse By 2030

Human Consumption Will Trigger Global Collapse By 2030

In 1972, four MIT researchers published a report called “Limits to Growth.” In it, they used computer models to analyze economic data, and predicted that if civilization continued on its path toward increasing consumption, the global economy would collapse by 2030.

Forty years later, instead of seeming unlikely, the prophesies of this controversial study appear to be coming true, right on schedule: we have only accelerated our consumption of the planet’s resources, and this destruction can’t go on much longer.

Led by MIT’s Jay W. Forrester’s Institute the study 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.

As we approach the 2030 deadline, Australian physicist Graham Turner took another look at the report’s predictions for Smithsonian Magazine. Turner compared real-world data from 1970 to 2000 with the business-as-usual scenario. He found the predictions matched the facts almost perfectly. “There is a very clear warning bell being rung here,” he says. “We are not on a sustainable trajectory.”

Although world leaders have been aware of this for several decades, self-centered political policies and corporate greed have only caused our consumption to become more voracious. Indeed, Turners comparisons showed that in some cases during the past forty years, population growth, and demand for food and services has exceeded the MIT study’s expectation.

Limits To Growth graph

“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, the Italian think-tank which commissioned MIT to conduct the research.

Despite the fact that the original researchers saw no reason to assume growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, world leaders remain paralyzed. If governments enact stricter policies and invest in technologies that reduce our environmental footprint, economic growth doesn’t have to equal a ticking time bomb for the human race. However, warn both Turner and the original study, waiting too long could mean irreversible population losses and environmental damage.

Related Reading:

Biodiversity Loss Threatens Global Economy

Earth’s Limitations: How Peak Oil Threatens Economy Growth

Clean The Ocean, Green The Economy, UN Urges

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131 comments

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8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Resources are finite we have to realize this although there are many who do not care and live only for the present without thinking or caring about the future.

3:09PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Funny how ew assume that things will stay as they are...If Obama is re-elected there will be a lot of DEAD people...remember Hitler...? Just sayin'...DO NOT RE-ELECT OBAMA! We are America!

12:34PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

Unprecedented: Class Action Lawsuit Against Church, State, Big Pharma Given Green Light. To All Who Inhabit This Earth – end denial, expand awareness and particip-action http://wp.me/pWDrY-1cq

5:16PM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

:( a ticking time bomb

3:37AM PDT on Jun 7, 2012

Population control the countries that use the most resources. Eg. A country that has 4% of the worlds population (US) but uses 25% of the worlds resources needs to curb its population until it's using no more than 4% of the worlds resources. So in the case of England and the U.S, we need to lose about 90% of our populations to make it fair, or cut energy and food usage by 96%! 
China is less densely populated than Europe, in a smaller area. (look it up) uses less than 30% of Europes energy and have progressively instituted a one child policy, in 20 years time their population will plummet. (the only reason their population is going up is because they are living longer)
Most African countries are underpopulated, not having enough people to maintain an infrastructure, with most people subsistence farming theres not enough people to build and maintain roads, the mines and the power plants, Eg. The Congo is a country half the size of western Europe, filled with natural resources, but only has 20  million people! Not enough to maintain their infrastructure, they need at least another 20 millions. Some places need more, while others need less. Depopulation is not a universal panacea. It is no surprise that the most populous countries are the most wealthiest. If your country has cities with populations that number millions, then your country is not only rich, but educated. 

8:22PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Time to speak up TOGETHER! WORLD CITIZENS PETITION OBAMA: SOLVE FUKUSHIMA - PLEASE SIGN - GO VIRAL!

President of the United States: Urgent Request for UN Intervention to Stabilize Fukushima Reactor Unit 4. http://change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-urgent-request-on-un-intervention-to-stabilize-the-fukushima-reactor-unit-4

9:55PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

Every one talks about it, no one does anything about it...
It's already too late, DUH... People are mostly in their own little worlds with blinders on. Their attitude is "Let some one else do it."

7:34AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

Tax breaks for the, so called, “job creators,” cannot work in a “global economy.” The jobs being created are those being sent overseas. That is the incentive. Innovation and job creation won’t stop the artificial removal of jobs from the U.S. and therefore cannot create national prosperity. Education will not help either. The price differential for the educated is equally disparate and those jobs are already being sent to other countries.

Corporations have over-powered our government which now believes that out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs is inevitable and necessary with expectations that the middle class should fall on their swords. It is the underlying cause of the financial collapse and borders on national security with the loss of our middle class tax base. Yet, this nation does nothing, not even demand it be restricted or disincentivized by whatever method. International businesses are doing the UN-AMERICAN activity of destroying U.S. salaries, U.S. businesses that hire in the U.S., and as an end result, destroying the U.S. marketplace while still demanding BUSINESS ENTITLEMENTS and protections for themselves.

Infrastructure spending and tax breaks will not replace enough jobs to keep up with the hemorrhaging loss of U.S. jobs from out-sourcing over seas. Neither party will do anything about it unless we begin grass roots efforts to protest out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs. If nothing is done we will deserve w

7:37AM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

Time is always against us, go out and do something about: Stop pollution, respect every single aspect of nature, become vegetarian, use only electric public transport, refuse to be filled with bags and waste when you buy at mac donalds etc etc.

6:23AM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

Global Warming
Global warming is real, and humans are causing it with environmental destruction, and pollution. This is a FACT.

“But Andrew, volcanoes put out more pollution than human made pollution sources. Derp Derp Herp Derp.”

All of our lives are at stake, and we cannot continue to lend credence to such dumb statements by repeating them.

Volcanoes, and other sources of “natural pollution,” are not pollution. They are a part of nature’s regular cycle that has been going on for millions of years that has already been accounted for, and adjustments made to accommodate it. That is why volcanoes can erupt without killing everything on the planet.

Human environmental destruction, and pollution is not accounted for, or accommodated by nature. Not only because it has not happened over millions of years, but because of the scope and volume of it.

Pollution is not comparative.

It is additive.

2 + 0 = 2 (Natural Cycle)

2 + 2 = 4 (Natural Cycle + Human Impact)

Our planet is dying, and we will die too if we don’t do something about it.

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