MIT Has Predicted that Society Will Collapse in 2040; A New Study Now Shows We’re Ahead of Schedule and the Collapse May Happen Sooner
Advanced human civilizations have existed for more than 10,000 years. The first known complex civilization started in the 4th millennium BCE in Sumer, Mesopotamia. Since then, many great empires have come and gone, leaving behind their great legacies, artifacts, architectures, monuments, inventions, and innovations.
Is our civilization about to collapse? When and how will human civilization end? These are the questions many people are asking While it’s hard to predict, historically the collapse of past empires was due to four major factors: political issues, social and cultural issues, environmental issues, and economic issues.
Which brings us to the latest prediction about the collapse of modern civilization.
In 1972, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) predicted that rapid economic growth would lead to a societal collapse in the mid 21st century. They created a method to determine when the fall of society would take place. The study was one of the first economic studies ever to use computers sporting dynamic systematic models. It’s worth noting that this study was done in 1972 before climate change was more than a blip on the scientific community’s radar.
They concluded that society was on track to collapse by the year 2040. Titled “The Limits to Growth,” the researchers warned that the limited availability of natural resources relative to rising costs would undermine continued economic growth by around the second decade of the 21st century.
Their system dynamics model, which was published by the Club of Rome, identified impending ‘limits to growth’ (LtG) that meant industrial civilization was on track to collapse sometime within the 21st century, due to overexploitation of planetary resources. Back then, their study was considered controversial and sparked debate, with some pundits misrepresenting the findings and methods, according to Vice.
Now, a new study shows that their projection is on the right track and on schedule. According to a follow-up study conducted by KPMG, analysts found that we are ahead of schedule and the collapse may even happen sooner.
In November 2020, Gaya Herrington, Director Advisory, Internal Audit & Enterprise Risk at major accounting firm KPMG, updated the LtG model in a published finding in the Yale Journal of Ecology. In Herrinton’s estimates, the world’s population, industrial output, food, and resources will rapidly decline. The 2100s will be comparable to the 1900s, according to Vice.
However, Herrington cautioned. She’s treating her research as a personal project as a precaution to see how well the MIT model holds up. Her study concluded that society has about another decade to change courses and avoid collapse by investing in sustainable technologies and equitable human development.
The original study is not without its critics and skeptics. Some pointed out that this study has a very pessimistic way of modeling human innovation. So, should we be worried about the new study that shows we’re ahead of schedule?
The video below breaks down exactly how the MIT study predicted that society would collapse, the limitations of the model, what metrics MIT looked at to determine if the world was headed down a good or bad path, and many others.