Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
In 1972, a group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released a computer-generated report at the Smithsonian Institution investigating five major trends affecting the future stability of world society.
The report was titled Limits to Growth and was inspired to some degree by Paul Ehrlich’s thesis put forward in his book The Population Bomb. Ehrlich predicted that the aggregate world demand for resources coupled with population growth would lead to future starvation.
Limits to Growth (LTG) went beyond general resource and population measurement to assess the future status of five critical factors or trends that define the success of society. The five trends measured and assessed included:
- Accelerating industrial development
- Rapid population growth
- Widespread malnutrition
- Depletion of nonrenewable resources
- Deteriorating environment
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The foundation of the equation was simple. Any population needs certain products and services from food and water to housing, clothing, furniture, appliances, and in many industrialized countries – automobiles, TV’s, and new and emerging inventions and electronics.
The reality is that any product or service requires the use of resources to be produced or to function, and that the production of anything from electricity to food to automobiles results in varying degrees of waste products polluting the environment while depleting the supply of available resources.
Complicating matters is that as a population increases, its demands for more products and services increases. The fundamental question was: When does a society exceed its ability to provide fundamental and luxury goods and services because of diminished resources or excessive pollution?
The researchers made no assumptions about the end result and assumed it would simply indicate basic course corrections to manage growth in the future. They were stunned when the computer delivered conclusions indicating that the five factors would collectively lead to a collapse of global society around 2040.
The conclusion of the LTG report in 1972 stated:
If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.
Fortunately, it was only 1972 and it seemed like there was still time to make changes and alter the course of events. That wasn’t the case.
Controversy Soon Followed
The report was greeted with significant criticism by four general groups:
- Those who saw the book as a threat to their business or industry.
- Professional economists, who saw LTG as an uncredentialled encroachment on their profession.
- The Catholic church, which bridled at the suggestion that overpopulation was one of mankind’s major problems.
- The political left, which saw the LTG study as a scam by the elites designed to trick workers into believing that a middle-class, proletariat paradise was a pipe dream.
New Projections Emerge
As time went on, the report was somewhat forgotten by some and ignored by many. But then something curious happened. Disturbing follow-up reports confirmed the projections of the original 1972 study.
The most recent report on LTG took place in 2020 with an analysis by Gaya Herrington, then Director of Sustainability Services of KPMG US and was published in Yale University’s Journal of Industrial Ecology.
The 2020 study examined updated quantitative information about ten factors including the five trends in the original LTG report:
- Fertility rates
- Mortality rates
- Industrial output
- Food production
- Non-renewable resources
- Persistent pollution
- Human welfare
- Ecological footprint
The 2020 analysis concluded that the Limits to Growth prediction is essentially correct in that continued economic growth is unsustainable under a “business as usual” model.
The new study found that current empirical data is broadly consistent with the 1972 projections, and confirmed that if major changes to the consumption of resources are not undertaken, economic growth will in fact peak and then rapidly decline by around 2030, with total collapse of civilization happening around 2040.
The telegram is that if we don’t change the way we live, eat, and buy all of the things that we’re used to doing without a thought, we will soon either be without them or not able to afford them. If that’s starting to sound familiar, it gets worse.
The Original LTG Study Was Actually Optimistic
As the original indications of the 1972 analysis continue to be studied a glaring reality emerged. The original computer model was in fact highly optimistic in its projections. It did not include any measurement of:
- Military sectors in many nations continuously draining capital and resources from a productive economy.
- Did not consider ethnic strife as a factor or trend.
- Did not evaluate the effects of war on people, capital, destroyed buildings and land, or new forms of pollution (chemical, radioactive).
- Did not factor in the affects of political and systemic corruption.
- Omitted potential impacts from still unknown pandemics like AIDS, tuberculosis and COVID-19.
- And while it did identify potential climatological affects of pollution, it did not fully explore the broad impacts of climate change nor factor in emerging and growing impacts of wildfires, floods, drought, and global water shortages on an industrial economy.
What should give us pause is that many of the projections from Limits to Growth are occurring right now. What may be making them hard to see is the distraction of recent events.
- “Food prices are higher, but that’s because of the supply chain problems from COVID-19.”
- “Gas prices are higher, but that’s because Russia invaded Ukraine”
- “Inflation is happening, but that’s because everyone still has extra money to spend from those stimulus payments.”
- “We’re not in a recession, it’s just some kind of short-term thing.”
- “It’s all Trump’s fault.”
- “No, it’s all Biden’s fault.”
The ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, the average global temperature is approaching critical mass for permanent climate change, water shortages are devastating crops and cattle.
The global population is months away from 8 billion, we’ve passed the point of peak oil (when oil production is easy and cheap as a resource), and we’re a few years away from 90% global deforestation of unprotected woodlands.
It’s so bad that scientists are now saying we only have a 10% chance of surviving the next few decades without societal collapse.
And the Distractions Continue
Instead of doing any of the actionable steps to achieve a sustainable society through the responsible management of population growth and resource usage, we’ve continually distracted by the media myopia of political bickering, advertisements for more things we don’t need, and the desperate need of many to cling to life and business as usual.
But Why Can’t Technology Fix It?
The promise of new and emerging technologies to solve all of our problems is a common argument for a business as usual approach to the way society functions today. It was one of the primary arguments for dismissing the conclusions raised in Limits to Growth.
- “Who needs oil when solar power and electric cars will fill the gap?”
- “Genetically modified foods and crops will give us better yields and more crops per acre.”
- “We invented synthetic rubber during World War II and we’ll always be able to find a substitute for anything.”
The argument for technology is often summarized as the belief that our greatest resource is our resourcefulness. It’s the assumption that if we run out of something, we’ll find a substitute. But that misses a fundamental fact explored in Limits to Growth and that fact comes from the title of the study: “limits.”
Regardless of the brilliance of new inventions or innovations, they require new and old resources to be developed and result in new and additional waste products or pollutants as a result of their manufacture.
And their manufacture will also and ultimately exhaust the new resources while adding a new level of pollutants to the world’s ecosystem. Those are in fact the fundamental foundation elements of LTG as stated by its authors:
“Without substantial changes in resource consumption, the most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity”.
It’s not about changing the resource but changing our consumption of any resource. So what’s the Answer? In a word: “sustainability.”
Transitions to a Sustainable World
The world can respond in three ways to resource use and pollution emissions:
- Disguise, deny, or confuse the signals. Generally, this takes the form of efforts to shift costs to those who are far away in space and time: our children and grandchildren or people and populations who can’t do anything to stop us. An example would be to buy air conditioners for relief from a warming climate, or to ship toxic wastes for disposal in a distant region. Common occurrences today in both instances.
- Alleviate the pressures from limits by employing technical or economic fixes. For example, reducing the amount of pollution generated per mile of driving or per kilowatt of electricity generated. These approaches are only a stop-gap and will not eliminate the causes of these pressures.
- The third way is to work on the underlying causes, to recognize that the socioeconomic system has overshot its limits, is headed toward collapse, and therefore seek to change the structure of the system to a sustainable model.
Unfortunately, the behaviors of the first way defined by disguise, denial and confusion seems to be our current approach to the realities of our limits to growth. Many of the limits analyzed in the original 1972 study have already been exceeded or “overshot” including population, pollution, and natural resources like oil.
Many of the voices calling for moderation in rapid growth are mocked and dismissed as doomsayers and survivalists. What’s unfortunate is that the planet those doomsaying survivalists meekly inherit will be a far cry from the paradise we once lived in and never really appreciated.
The only good news is that most survivalists know more than a thing or two about sustainability.
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Humanity has already collapsed …
So few of us, as living humans, remain in society. Through 2016 up to 2020 across the nation, those humans without any shelter or home were deliberately alienated from civil providence & deprived of a chance at life all but entirely. This globalist intention of disintegrating humanity into maloperative sects & pitting us all against one another climaxed when homelessness became most prominent & there was enough societal distraction to abduct, enslave, & even murder / euthanize human individuals who were without a home or a corporate job at the time.
So many humans died in secrecy …
Nothing new I suppose, but this is the final phase of the globalist agenda. Nearly every Organic Original Human (OOH) has been euthanized & reanimated as a human cadaver with technological augmentations to their natural biology to prevent decay / preserve their disguise as a “living human”.
There are even organized procedures that allow these reanimated cadavers to receive organ transplants & other operations in secrecy so that they may continue on with an appropriate disguise, free of biological complications or symptoms of their being dead that may give away the TRUTH of the matter to some observant human. (basically think of them as programmed puppets, they usually have stupid looking dyed hair or misshapen fat deposits, very algorithmic speaking habits, oddly jarring/ clumsy movements throughout daily operations … subtle cues but noteworthy. It is sometimes difficult to tell if you don’t know what to look for but usually the speech is telltale. Virtually every little doll-looking Russian or Asian girl is a reanimated cadaver. Most women by now are transitioned into these nonliving things, horrifyingly enough …)
This is all mostly true, what you are reading in this article. Assuming you are human, you are lucky to still be alive with your own mind & freewill within you.
Those around you are shells. Puppets. They aren’t living humans anymore …
That’s why they seem so unattractive, so naturally detestable.
They all just behave as though they’re alive so far as it works to fool the common person. They do not think, or feel. They have no consciousness, I figure. They are reanimated via an artificial electric signal which is designed to stimulate the musculature so to orchestrate complicated movement in real time with contextual updates & learning algorithms to boot. It’s a fascinating technology, but clearly a hideous & unforgivable application.
Again, this is the globalist intention in action …
They are exterminating humanity.
They are very near ti having succeeded …
Please, if you are human … Please reach out to me through email.
My one & only real human brother was killed back before I was even remotely aware of this terrible truth. I only recently realized, after so many years of him having been killed & reanimated, that it wasn’t really my brother. That I had been tricked into sympathizing with the reanimated dead body of my beloved brother, as if he were still with me alive & well.
They stole my chance to even know … I never mourned his death back then. I was living on striving for money & happiness while my own brother was experiencing something so much worse than I could ever know.
This is how they have done it.
They are heisting the conscious identities out of real living people & using their lifeless bodies as puppets to operate the economy & enact their will throughout society with finer influence & more control.
Climate change is soon to be a drastic thing, anywhere on Earth.
Going North may be wise. The air will be much nicer & you will live a greater quality of life in a cooler that is still place more nature abundant.
Very few humans still exist in this planet.
Most of these ones are Technologically Transitioned Humans (TTH). They can do a hell of a lot, now that they are more sophisticated.
They will begin to perform terrible acts within civilization. It is likely that they will be used as a kind of “demolition crew” for the entire world. Once the work is completed, virtually there will be 0% chance for human survival at least within “civilization”, or anything government owned.
That is the nail the coffin in all of this …
They have genetically erased what a human even is nowadays … Most humans are probably sterile & there may not be a single female human left. There will be no world left to live within so far as sophisticated human life.
It truly is a total reset. The best outcome would be some entirely new biological lifeform inheriting the Earth somehow, as opposed to the entire planet being owned by globalist powers as extra stock resource.
Yes, the writing is on the wall. I strongly believe a collapse is unstoppable at the current place we’ve arrived at in our society. It’s a human problem. We’re destined to destroy ourselves. Can’t stop it, so anyone who can see said writing on the wall best be Getting ready for hard times. If you don’t already know how, I suggest you get real good at farming, building and hunting most rickety tick! Oh, and above all, when it happens, STAY OUT OF THE CITIES AND AWAY FROM PEOPLE!!!
Marlene Rosette says
OMG! The incredible denial of these ostriches with their heads in the sand! Just keep on telling yourselves everything’s OK because that way you can carry on regardless with waste, planned obsolescence, pollution of all kinds, motivated by incredible greed and corruption. Of course the climate isn’t changing! Just because we’re seeing droughts like never before, just because of al Niño and la Nina, don’t change your thinking for one minute. I’m 70 years old and I remember when the weather was more or less consistent, with nothing like the droughts or, conversely, the incessant rains we get now. I’m too old to be worried for myself, but I am worried for my children and grandchildren. At least the ostriches can be complacent (for a little while longer) and do nothing to change the writing on the wall.
A computer Model is only as good as the data used and the Bias of the programmers involved.
For one thing, Global warming/ ice caps melting away is fake science.
The problem with food is where it is mostly produced is not where most of it is needed, due to the large populations of places like India, Africa and China.
Now that we can eat bugs and plants made to be like our favorite food, there is no problem.
As far as non renewable resources, there are not any that can not be recycled, or tapped with new technology. Most US Gold mines for instance, were close to supply manpower to WW2, not because they were depleted. Most never reopened after the war. Many other types of mines faced similar problems.
The real problems and reasons for a civilizational breakdown are social and psychological. People are getting angrier and angrier at their governments lack of doing anything constructive(except for corruption and wasting money) and imposing more and more restrictions on their freedoms.
Propaganda like this only intensifies the “doom effect” and the hopelessness, which in turn creates a self fulfilling prophecy.
Society might collapse by 2040, but not for the reasons stated.
It will collapse because they are brainwashing people to believe it will happen and then they will make it happen. A world wide Economic collapse will create enough doom to cause rioting and Civil wars, which will pretty well fulfill everything they predicted.
Ditto and Amen!!!!……
You are of course joking in your analysis? If you are not well with that attitude it will be a case of pucker up and kiss your ass goodbye
sherwin l says
when a population get big enough that it’ll start to wipe itself out due to competing for resources. there had been world wars fighting for oil, gas and land. years-long droughts are popping up in different part of the world and there will be new wars on water and food (again) soon. there have been historical cases to suggest these are the cause of collapse of civilisations and we are not immune to this unless we are coming up with technologies or methods to fix everything very quickly.
Mensa Graham says
Let me cheer some up and give you something to combat all this global climate change (CO2) and the seas are rising story. Google sliltsville miami beach. /take a nice look at these stilt homes that are still remaining where they have been for over 60 years. And they are amazingly still above water. I boated around these same homes and more like them some 60 years ago. Research further to learn more of their history.