With rising population, depleting natural resources and stretching social divide, civilisation could be facing collapse within the next few decades according to a scientific study funded by NASA. And if you think this is a load of scaremongering tosh, it’s happened before. Remember the Roman Empire?
In the report conducted by applied mathematician, Safa Motesharri, his ‘Human And Nature Dynamical’ (Handy) model claims “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history”.
“The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilisations can be both fragile and impermanent.”
Our modern world might appear to be pretty sure of itself with advanced technologies helping people live longer and revolutionising everyday life but this might be to blame. Using his theoretical model Motesharri explored several factors and ran different scenarios that could lead to the collapse of industrial civilisation and found a break down of society could arise from global population growing rapidly and unsustainable resource exploitation.
And as resources deplete, they will become more expensive. This is where he further states that “economic stratification” — where society is further divided based on wealth — will create “Elites” (rich) and “Masses” (poor) with the Elites being responsible for over consuming leaving the Masses in famine and collapsing social structure.
But before you start hoarding resources, the study does conclude that this scenario is not inevitable and that in order to prevent such catastrophe it calls on action by the Elites to share the wealth and to do their bit in restoring balance.
“Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion”
It does serve as a wake up call that if we don’t want to face disaster we need to seriously consider how we manage resources, population growth and wealth. The end is not yet nigh...if we can help it.