Eco-Collapse Hasn’t Happened Yet, But You Can See It Coming. Degrowth Is the Only Sane Survival Plan.


Per leggere l’articolo tradotto in italiano clicca l’icona blu google translate  (la quarta da sinistra in fondo all’articolo)   . Per un uso professionale e/o di studio raccomandiamo  di fare riferimento al testo originale.


Z Article

Fonte: Znetwork


Something must be up. Otherwise, why would scientists keep sending us those scary warnings? There has been a steady stream of them in the past few years, including “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency” (signed by 15,000 of them), “Scientists’ Warning Against the Society of Waste,” “Scientists’ Warning of an Imperiled Ocean,” “Scientists’ Warning on Technology,” “Scientists’ Warning on Affluence,” “Climate Change and the Threat to Civilization,” and even “The Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future.”

Clearly, there’s big trouble ahead and we won’t be able to say that no one saw it coming. In fact, a warning of ecological calamity that made headlines more than 50 years ago is looking all too frighteningly prescient right now.

In 1972, a group of MIT scientists published a book, The Limits to Growth, based on computer simulations of the world economy from 1900 to 2100. It plotted out trajectories for the Earth’s and humanity’s vital signs, based on several scenarios. Even so long ago, those researchers were already searching for policy paths that might circumvent the planet’s ecological limits and so avoid economic or even civilizational collapse. In every scenario, though, their simulated future world economies eventually ran into limits — resource depletion, pollution, crop failures — that triggered declines in industrial output, food production, and population.

In what they called “business-as-usual” scenarios, the level of human activity grew for decades, only to peak and eventually plummet toward collapse (even in ones that included rapid efficiency improvements). In contrast, when they used a no-growth scenario, the global economy and population declined but didn’t collapse. Instead, industrial and food production both leveled off on lower but steady-state paths.

Growth and Its Limits

Why should we even be interested in half-century-old simulations carried out on clunky, ancient mainframe computers? The answer: because we’re now living out those very simulations. The Limits to Growth analysis forecast that, with business-as-usual, production would grow for five decades before hitting its peak sometime in the last half of the 2020s (here we come!). Then decline would set in. And sure enough, we now have scientists across a range of disciplines issuing warnings that we’re perilously close to exactly that turnaround point.

This year, a simulation using an updated version of The Limits to Growth model showed industrial production peaking just about now, while food production, too, could hit a peak soon. Like the 1972 original, this updated analysis foresees distinct declines on the other side of those peaks. As the authors caution, although the precise trajectory of decline remains unpredictable, they are confident that “the excessive consumption of resources… is depleting reserves to the point where the system is no longer sustainable.” Their concluding remarks are even more chilling:

“As a society, we have to admit that, despite 50 years of knowledge about the dynamics of the collapse of our life support systems, we have failed to initiate a systematic change to prevent this collapse. It is becoming increasingly clear that, despite technological advances, the change needed to put us on a different trajectory will also require a change in belief systems, mindsets, and the way we organize our society.”


Leggi tutto