Social collapse would begin in less than two decades
In statements to the Motherboard website, he said that his prognosis “does not mean that humanity will cease to exist”, Rather, “economic and industrial growth will stop and then decline, damaging food production and living standards.”
It’s funny how the 1972 MIT model marks the year 2020 as a turning point for civilization. “Around 2020, the condition of the planet becomes very critical. If we don’t do anything about it, the quality of life is reduced to zero ”, said the report leader Jerry Foster, in an ABC article from 1973. To which he added: “The pollution becomes so severe that it will begin to kill people, which in turn will cause the population to decline, to a much lower figure than in 1900. At this stage, around 2040 to 2050, civilized life as we know it on this planet will cease to exist ”.
In the current job, Herrington used the same computer software as Foster but the third version of the program World3, analyzing all these variables: population, fertility rates, mortality rates, industrial production, food production, services, non-renewable resources, persistent pollution, human well-being, and ecological footprint. 10 total as key factors in this evolution.
The most recent data were in tune with those predicted in 1972, so pursuing continued economic growth is not the way to go. The models indicate that it is not possible to continue with our usual activities without reaching this collapse.
Although the 1972 simulation suggests that society is doomed, Herrington’s study adds that technological progress and increased investment in public services could lead us away from collapse. However, humanity will have to make a great effort in the next decade to change this bleak future. Not all hopes are lost. It implies a deliberate and global change of trajectory towards another objective that is not exclusively growth in order to avoid the worst-case scenario.