Economic research published by the University of Melbourne analysed the predictions made in the ground breaking 1972 book Limits to Growth, and notes that the actual trajectory followed in the four decades since has followed the worst case scenario.
The 1970s computer model has proved remarkably accurate in predicting developments in the world economy, population and resource consumption, according to the study published by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.
The Limits To Growth business-as-usual scenario foresaw the beginning of “overshoot and collapse” in about 2015, predicting a death rate rise would start about 2020, with the half-billion-per-decade population declines kicking in from about 2030.
As average standards of living fall at rates faster than they have historically risen due to disruption of normal economic functions (note the global financial crisis) enormous social tensions will rise, especially where wealth inequality is greatest.
Recent data shows that the life span in developed countries is already declining, principally because of diseases caused by over eating. Surely that is decadent.
Sadly, cynics, like me, can point to a silver lining – that reducing the population is the cure for a planet being consumed by humanity.
The opportunity to enlighten global management systems is waning. I strongly urge leaders to adopt integral and holonic thinking in renovating systems and policies. Common Sense must be applied.
University of Melbourne: “Is global collapse imminent? An updated comparison of The Limits to Growth with historical data” PDF
EU- Environment: “Limits to Growth” predictions borne out, analysis finds