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Switch to Forum Live View Another Great Depression?
3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 10:37AM #1
vra
Posts: 6,407
A study done at M.I.T. estimates that the world will experience another great depression before 2030 with the conflict between rising population and dwindling resources being the biggest problem:


A new study from researchers at Jay W. Forrester's institute at MIT says that the world could suffer from "global economic collapse" and "precipitous population decline" if people continue to consume the world's resources at the current pace.


Smithsonian Magazine writes that Australian physicist Graham Turner says "the world is on track for disaster" and that current evidence coincides with a famous, and in some quarters, infamous, academic report from 1972 entitled, "The Limits to Growth."


Produced for a group called The Club of Rome, the study's researchers created a computing model to forecast different scenarios based on the current models of population growth and global resource consumption. The study also took into account different levels of agricultural productivity, birth control and environmental protection efforts. Twelve million copies of the report were produced and distributed in 37 different languages.


Most of the computer scenarios found population and economic growth continuing at a steady rate until about 2030. But without "drastic measures for environmental protection," the scenarios predict the likelihood of a population and economic crash.


However, the study said "unlimited economic growth" is still possible if world governments enact policies and invest in green technologies that help limit the expansion of our ecological footprint.



The Smithsonian notes that several experts strongly objected to "The Limit of Growth's" findings, including the late Yale economist Henry Wallich, who for 12 years served as a governor of the Federal Research Board and was its chief international economics expert. At the time, Wallich said attempting to regulate economic growth would be equal to "consigning billions to permanent poverty."


Turner says that perhaps the most startling find from the study is that the results of the computer scenarios were nearly identical to those predicted in similar computer scenarios used as the basis for "The Limits to Growth."


"There is a very clear warning bell being rung here," Turner said. "We are not on a sustainable trajectory." -- news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/next-great...



Let's relate the above to the political spectrum here in the States whereas the Republicans tend to favor a different policy than the Democrats in terms of dealing with our use of natural resources, with the Repblicans more going along with the "drill-baby-drill" approach and the Democrats more going along with the "treehugger" approach.  If the estimates are true, the political battle over harvesting resources or conserving them will become even more contentious.  

What's your take? 
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 10:58AM #2
mountain_man
Posts: 40,581

Apr 5, 2012 -- 10:37AM, vra wrote:

A study done at M.I.T. estimates that the world will experience another great depression before 2030 with the conflict between rising population and dwindling resources being the biggest problem....


This great "depression" and other predictions of doom pop up every 4 or 5 years. I don't believe any of them.


But, if anyone wants to help make this come true, just vote Regressive. The "drill baby drill" BS ignores the fact that we are producing more of our own oil than ever before. So much that some wells have been shut down because they don't need the oil. The oil companies have been EXPORTING gasoline to keep our prices so high. There is more gas and oil on the US market now than at any time in the past. So, again, the Regressives are not in touch with reality.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 2:22PM #3
Erey
Posts: 19,423

I hate to be cynical but it seems like a power grab to me.  This put me in a position of utmost importance, pay me a ton of money and maybe I, in my God-like, superhero form can avert the world from certain disaster.  Who are these club of Rome folks, they seem like power hungry bastards to me, ready to take over. 


I have little doubt, in fact I expect for our global economy to go through more recessions.  Nor do I hold any illusions that growth can or should be unlimited. 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 2:25PM #4
teilhard
Posts: 52,238

See also, Paul Ehrlich's prescient Book (1970," The Population Bomb" ...


Apr 5, 2012 -- 10:37AM, vra wrote:

A study done at M.I.T. estimates that the world will experience another great depression before 2030 with the conflict between rising population and dwindling resources being the biggest problem:


A new study from researchers at Jay W. Forrester's institute at MIT says that the world could suffer from "global economic collapse" and "precipitous population decline" if people continue to consume the world's resources at the current pace.


Smithsonian Magazine writes that Australian physicist Graham Turner says "the world is on track for disaster" and that current evidence coincides with a famous, and in some quarters, infamous, academic report from 1972 entitled, "The Limits to Growth."


Produced for a group called The Club of Rome, the study's researchers created a computing model to forecast different scenarios based on the current models of population growth and global resource consumption. The study also took into account different levels of agricultural productivity, birth control and environmental protection efforts. Twelve million copies of the report were produced and distributed in 37 different languages.


Most of the computer scenarios found population and economic growth continuing at a steady rate until about 2030. But without "drastic measures for environmental protection," the scenarios predict the likelihood of a population and economic crash.


However, the study said "unlimited economic growth" is still possible if world governments enact policies and invest in green technologies that help limit the expansion of our ecological footprint.



The Smithsonian notes that several experts strongly objected to "The Limit of Growth's" findings, including the late Yale economist Henry Wallich, who for 12 years served as a governor of the Federal Research Board and was its chief international economics expert. At the time, Wallich said attempting to regulate economic growth would be equal to "consigning billions to permanent poverty."


Turner says that perhaps the most startling find from the study is that the results of the computer scenarios were nearly identical to those predicted in similar computer scenarios used as the basis for "The Limits to Growth."


"There is a very clear warning bell being rung here," Turner said. "We are not on a sustainable trajectory." -- news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/next-great...



Let's relate the above to the political spectrum here in the States whereas the Republicans tend to favor a different policy than the Democrats in terms of dealing with our use of natural resources, with the Repblicans more going along with the "drill-baby-drill" approach and the Democrats more going along with the "treehugger" approach.  If the estimates are true, the political battle over harvesting resources or conserving them will become even more contentious.  

What's your take? 




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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 4:47PM #5
vra
Posts: 6,407

Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:25PM, teilhard wrote:


See also, Paul Ehrlich's prescient Book (1970," The Population Bomb" ...




I read that many moons ago, and I also saw Ehrlich in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show. 


You know, Teilhard, I think we're aging ourselves.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 4:55PM #6
vra
Posts: 6,407

Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:22PM, Erey wrote:


I hate to be cynical but it seems like a power grab to me.  This put me in a position of utmost importance, pay me a ton of money and maybe I, in my God-like, superhero form can avert the world from certain disaster.  Who are these club of Rome folks, they seem like power hungry bastards to me, ready to take over. 


I have little doubt, in fact I expect for our global economy to go through more recessions.  Nor do I hold any illusions that growth can or should be unlimited. 





I have to admit I'm a bit mystified with your response.  With the population growth rate continuing to expand, and with the available resources getting harder and harder to find or get at, I frankly can't see any different result than the M.I.T. estimate in the long run. 


Yes, we will make some adjustments, but unless something monumental (or catastrophic) happens, I don't see how this supposedly is just some sort of political hype.  Even a great mind like Steven Hawking has stated that Planet Earth may become so inhabitable that humanity may be forced to find a different planet(s) to live on.


So, you honestly think that these researchers at M.I.T. are on the "take" and are "power hungry bastards"?   

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 5:36PM #7
arielg
Posts: 9,116

The problem with these projections is that they assume things will follow a linear  development, as they are happening today.


But  our understanding of the world and attitudes toward  living, may change in ways that are impossible to predict."Nothing is written".


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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 5:47PM #8
teilhard
Posts: 52,238

And of course long before Paul Ehrlich, there was Tom Malthus ... So it isn't so much WE are so OLD, as that these Insights aren't NEW and unexpected ...


Apr 5, 2012 -- 4:47PM, vra wrote:


Apr 5, 2012 -- 2:25PM, teilhard wrote:


See also, Paul Ehrlich's prescient Book (1970," The Population Bomb" ...




I read that many moons ago, and I also saw Ehrlich in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show. 


You know, Teilhard, I think we're aging ourselves.





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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 6:17PM #9
vra
Posts: 6,407

Apr 5, 2012 -- 5:36PM, arielg wrote:


The problem with these projections is that they assume things will follow a linear  development, as they are happening today.


But  our understanding of the world and attitudes toward  living, may change in ways that are impossible to predict."Nothing is written".






All estimates are just that-- estimates.  But in our everyday lives we use the past and the present to try and picture what the future may be like.  Therefore, it's quite logical that maybe we should look at what the research is saying, while at the same time realizing that we will never know for certain whether it will come to fruition.  If we didn't do that, then why should we make any plan whatsoever for tomorrow?  Should I not "save for a rainy day" because I think maybe I'll be killed in a car accident tomorrow? 


I've long said that life is like a horse race: I try to put the odds in my favor but I realize that I may not always win.


BTW, for the record, I am one lousy gambler, so I avoid it like the plague.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 6:29PM #10
teilhard
Posts: 52,238

There are LOTS of Eco-Facts that are NOT "estimates" -- "linear" or otherwise -- such as the RELENTLESS drawing-down of Aquifers, the accelerating Loss of TopSoils globally, Salinization of Irrigated Fields, Emergence of New Diseases, increased "Desertification" in some Areas, the Loss of Genetic Diversity in World Seed Grains and other Food Crops, etc., etc. ...

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