CORRECTION: I failed to mention in my last article that Australia sells and sends a great deal of coal to China every year. My oversight – sorry!
February 24, 2015 – It’s been 43 years since the Club of Rome commissioned scientists at MIT to conduct research into the likelihood of civilization collapse. Their results were published in a book titled The Limits to Growth. Its primary focus was the finiteness of our planet, and its inability to support never-ending population growth and resource depletion.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne recently decided to examine the accuracy of Limit’s predictions. Dr. Graham Turner used data provided by both the United Nations and the United States, specifically the UN’s department of economic and social affairs, Unesco, the UN’s food and agriculture organization, the UN statistical yearbook, and the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
What he and his research team learned is that, in keeping with the book’s many forecasts, resources are being depleted too rapidly, pollution is increasing at an unsustainable rate, and population – despite heroic efforts to the contrary – continues to rise. Because resources have now reached peak output, industrial production is expected to start falling right about now. Because chemical inputs used to enhance agricultural output will also begin their decline, food production is expected to decrease in the coming years.
Health and educational services are already in decline, which will persist and increase. As a result, the death rate will start to rise in about the year 2020. Global population will begin its plunge around 2030, at half a billion people per decade. All of the aforementioned will lead to living conditions last seen in the early 1900s, no later than the year 2100.
Some maintain that decline has already started. The global financial crisis (GFC) of 2007-08 and the very slow rate of recovery from it may turn out to have been a harbinger of things to come. Peak oil production can only serve to exacerbate an untenable situation like that described. Even the conservative International Energy Agency has warned that peak oil is upon us.
With thanks to The Guardian online.