In the 1970s, researchers used computer modelling to predict when the fall of society would kick off and according to their findings, you may want to reconsider your long term plans.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists looked at several data patterns from a variety of different factors, such as population, natural resources and energy usage to find out when the society would collapse.
As per their prediction, this fall of society would hit near the midpoint of the 21st century — 2040, to be exact.
The team’s study, which was published by the Club of Rome, identified upcoming ‘limits to growth’ that would cause the industrial collapse.
However, at the time the report wasn’t taken too seriously and did attract some ridicule.
But in 2009, a different team of researchers did a similar study, which was published by American Scientist, and concluded that the model’s results were ‘almost exactly on course some 35 years later in 2008 (with a few appropriate assumptions)… it is important to recognise that its predictions have not been invalidated and in fact seem quite on target. We are not aware of any model made by economists that are as accurate over such a long time span’.
Further to this, just last year, Dutch sustainability researcher Gaya Herrington, also affirmed the somewhat bleak predictions made in the study.
Herrington, who works at the multinational accounting firm KPMG, said, “From a research perspective, I felt a data check of a decades-old model against empirical observations would be an interesting exercise.”
Current data aligns with the predictions made back in 1972 that had a worst-case scenario of economic growth coming to halt at the end of this decade and collapsing around 10 years later.
But before you decide to pack it all in, Herrington did have a bit of optimistic news.
She said, “The key finding of my study is that we still have a choice to align with a scenario that does not end in collapse. 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.”