A study of scientists The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's 1972 was widely criticized for predicting that the collapse of civilization would happen in 2040. However, research published this week in the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology states that if the resource extraction and overexploitation of the earth continue at current levels, MIT's prediction will be correct.

"What will happen if the humanity to continue pursuing economic growth without taking into account the environmental and social costs? In this age of data abundance, can we create an ideal scenario or are the impacts of the past decades too late to change now?” asked Gaya Herrington, author of the study, in a publication in KPMG website, a company in which she is director and responsible for the analysis of dynamic systems and sustainability.


“Given the grim prospect of collapse, I was curious to see which scenarios were most in line with the empirical data today. After all, the book that introduced this worldwide model was a bestseller in the 70s, and by then we would have several decades of empirical data that would make a meaningful comparison. But, to my surprise, I couldn't find recent attempts at this. So I decided to do it myself,” she explained, who conducted the study independently as part of her master's thesis at Harvard.

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In an interview with Motherboard, Gaya Herrington stated that the collapse of civilization “does not mean that humanity will cease to exist”, but rather that “economic and industrial growth will stop and then decline, which will affect food production and living standards. ”.

According to her, the latest data more closely align with two particular scenarios: 'BAU2' (business-as-usual, which means that commerce is functioning normally) and 'CT' (comprehensive technology). “In terms of time, the BAU2 scenario shows a sharp decline to settle around 2040,” said Herrington.

“A human activity it can be regenerative and our productive capacities can be transformed. In fact, we're seeing examples of this happening now. Expanding those efforts now creates a world full of opportunity that is also sustainable. The necessary changes will not be easy and represent transition challenges, but a sustainable and inclusive future is still possible”, concluded the author of the study.

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