Science & Technology
January 28, 2022 | 0 comments
A prediction from the 1970s has since been corroborated by several independent researchers.
Predicting the future is not an easy thing to do, but by carefully analysing what has happened in the past, it is possible to at least take an educated guess at what might happen in the years to come.
Back in the 1970s, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) combined data from multiple sources concerning population, resource usage and economic factors to calculate the most likely time that modern civilisation will experience a full societal collapse.
The futuristic (at the time) date that they came up with was the year 2040.
While it might seem easy to dismiss their findings out of hand, another study was conducted in 2009 by a completely different team of researchers to determine whether or not the original estimate was still accurate.
Worryingly, they concluded that the original findings were “almost exactly on course some 35 years later.”
“It is important to recognise that its predictions have not been invalidated and in fact seem quite on target,” they wrote. “We are not aware of any model made by economists that is as accurate over such a long time span.”
The results were later corroborated a third time just last year by Dutch sustainability researcher Gaya Herrington who found that economic growth could come to a halt by the end of this decade.
Not all is lost, however.
“The key finding of my study is that we still have a choice to align with a scenario that does not end in collapse,” she told The Guardian.
“With innovation in business, along with new developments by governments and civil society, continuing to update the model provides another perspective on the challenges and opportunities we have to create a more sustainable world.”