When one looks at the changes of our society around the globe due to Covid 19, reviews the current fertility rates, examines the mortality rates, considers the food distribution and supply issues incurred by global warming, predictions show us a situation that will only worsen.
There should be no doubt that our world suffers from climate change unless you have your head in the sand like an ostrich to avoid the facts. Consider the immense flood last week in Europe. Remember the fires spreading in the western US last year. And as you watch the news, take stock of the number and strength of the hurricanes plaguing the East coast, but do not forget the droughts becoming widespread everywhere around the globe. The melting ice at the poles should give us a pretty clear indication that we are in a death spiral as far as the health of our planet is concerned.
There is plenty of evidence showing how much we have abused our planet and plenty more demonstrating our unwillingness to make things better. While most of us do not know what to do, there is a movement to make changes, pushing governments and companies to adopt cleaner ways. But as global warming ravages our world, let us take a look at a few hard facts.
Driven by economic growth, we forgot the big picture. Global warming alters Earth’s landscape, causing the loss of many species and endangering many more for the next century. If only these were the only things, we face!
A Society In Chaos
Add to these the incredible transformations occurring as we witness the revolution as our democratic societies worldwide find themselves under attack from the more radical viewpoints, and here we go. Our legal system in the US is undergoing a radical reconstruction. Our rules of law have been under assault for the last five years. Despite democratic efforts, seditious attempts to weaken our constitutional rights appear to take hold. Our congress and senate fight the significant ideology conflict without resounding results or with so little to show that we are in a limbo warp drive. Our privacy rights find themselves demolished one dent at a time. We are confronted in our daily realities by conspiracy theories that make more sense in a fiction novel, with more outrageous scenarios than anything the best Hollywood studios could bring us. Yet, a part of our public eats that up like hotcakes.
All of this contributes to reminding us of the mathematical model on the Limits of Growth. These factors are very much in line with what was forecasted by a study issued by MIT Agrim[SB1] from 1972 and requested by the Club of Rome. Using a simulation called World1,17 scientists, predicted that society would collapse by the mid 21st century as continuous growth is blocked by finite resources and is no longer possible.
A more recent study by Gaya Harrington, on Sustainability and Dynamic System Analysis at KPMG, shows that these predictions were viable and could occur by 2040. As described by the study, “a total societal collapse means an abrupt decline in quality of life, food production, industrial output, and ultimately a drastic reduction in the human population.”
“BAU2 (Business as Usual) and CT (Comprehensive Technology) scenarios show a halt in growth within a decade or so from now,” the study concludes. “Both scenarios thus indicate that continuing business as usual, that is, pursuing continuous growth, is not possible. Even when paired with unprecedented technological development and adoption, business as usual as modeled by LtG would inevitably lead to declines in industrial capital, agricultural output, and welfare levels within this century.”
Restoration Into Sustainability
Yet, such a collapse from an economic perspective is not the end of our world if we consider exploiting the possibilities of technological growth. It could very well be the beginning of a better way for us, such as restoring sustainability – or the way our planet’s health existed before we began our industrialized period. While our current growth patterns are quickly coming to an end, our shifting priorities toward a more profound transformation speaking to a future restoration toward sustainability for the globe will change everything—providing comprehensive technology rather than business as usual our current situation demands this overhaul. It begins with a new infrastructure, which focuses on clean technology. But even under this scenario, economic and industrial growth will stop and decline, hurting food production and living standards.
Suppose we understand the shift in industrial output requirements to meet some of the goals imposed by the Paris agreement while maintaining an eye on the dwindling of non-renewable resources; we can comprehend how quickly a new way of life is on the horizon. While these changes are evidence of hard times to come and alert us of challenges ahead, those desiring a better way remain fixated with our eyes wide open to observe the current trends.
Not The End Of The World
The good news is that it is not too late to put our planet and societies on track for the SW or Stabilized World scenario. While the path begins in the same way BAU and CT routes do, with population and economic growth rising while natural resources decline, the outcome is much less drastic. The main difference stems from us as we decide to limit economic development before we are forced to by a lack of resources.
But for that to happen, our societal priorities must change. In a way, COVID 19 and now its DELTA variant brother may curiously be the force of this transformation. Indeed, change in values and policies must take place. These could very well rise with a sudden priority in health due to circumstances and education services favoring the environment and clean technology, smaller family size, and the selection of establishing set limits on industrial output.
The Desired Outcome
The outcome of this research and simulation model shows that industrial growth and the global population begin to level off shortly after we make the shift in values. As a result, food availability will continue to rise to meet the population demands while pollution declines and almost disappears, slowing our natural resources’ depletion and avoiding societal collapse altogether.
Can our human ingenuity respond to the climate crisis, which must be deliberate, prioritized, and a worldwide choice? For that, awareness and shift demand a constant watch on what is taking place around the globe. Altering the course of our future on Earth is indeed feasible, and it may not stop there.
For those of us looking ahead, the answers may well be held by a new space economy… It would not be too hard to tie what will happen on Earth to some of the space races we see occurring today as the big moguls take steps to poise their companies for the evolution of tomorrow. Preparing for this demands foresight, and while I do not pretend to have the answers to our dilemma of tomorrow, I believe the next generations must prepare for something that we have not yet realized, materialized, or even envisioned.
How do we survive? Scenarios, likely or unlikely, give us an edge. Our imagination is our only limitation. In a way, NEWDAWN endeavors to do just that, providing unique insights to the environments facing us to pave the way toward a different future on Earth and beyond.
Written By Dominique Luchart, Author & Futurist