Humanity will face a societal collapse within the next twenty years if global priorities do not change. Vice reported that a report published in 1970 was still on target to be fulfilled. The report was found in the 1972 book “The Limits to Growth”.
In it, a research team from MIT predicted 12 plausible future scenarios. Out of it, the most alarming one was the BAU (Business as Usual) scenario. According to that forecast, the economic growth of the world would be the highest ever somewhere around 2040. After that, natural resources, food availability, global population, as well as the global economy will decrease sharply.
Humanity will not end due to this societal collapse. Rather, it would decrease living standards worldwide drastically for several decades.
How Close Are We To This Societal Collapse?
In 2020 November, Gaya Herrington wanted to see if the prediction was still on target after almost 50 years. She had started working on it ever since she was a Harvard University graduate. Her findings were concerning. Herrington discovered that the world’s current levels were very close to two 1972 scenarios. These were the BAU and the CT (Comprehensive Technology).
CT is a more hopeful scenario. Here advancements in technology would help increase food and reduce pollution, even when natural resources are exhausted. Nevertheless, economic growth will still sharply decline because of the absence of any natural resources. That is, in CT, industrial society will possibly come to an end.
But there is still hope. There is still time to attain the SW (Stabilized World) scenario. It has the same start as CT and BAU that is with economic growth, pollution, and population rapidly growing. But, here, humanity decides to limit global economic growth before they are forced to when all the natural resources run out.
When the SW route is graphed, global population and industrial growth start leveling out when this global value shifts. Food availability rises with the global population; natural resources are no longer depleted, and pollution almost disappears. There is no societal collapse whatsoever. True, it might seem like a fantasy, but it is still possible.