Environmental Science

The Chances of Societal Collapse in Next Few Decades Is Sky High, Modelling Suggests

The Chances of Societal Collapse in Next Few Decades Is Sky High, Modelling Suggests

According to a study published in the journal Nature Scientific Report, There is “very little chance” of surviving the next few decades without facing the collapse of the world’s civilization.

Two researchers from Chile and the United Kingdom use modeling to see how resource utilization rates in deforestation affect the ability of human society worldwide to sustain itself. By their work, there is only a 10 percent chance that human civilization will be able to create it without any catastrophic catastrophe in the next 20 to 40 years.

The study authors write, “We have come to the conclusion, statistically, that the chances of our civilization surviving on its own are less than 10 percent in the most optimistic scenario.”The calculations show that while maintaining population growth and actual rates of resource use, especially in the use of forests, we have decades left before an irreversible collapse of our civilization.”

They added, “In the absence of a very strong combined effort, it is difficult to predict that large changes in these parameters occurred within the time scale.” This is of course all theoretical. The authors of the study are both mathematical physicists who use modeling to understand complex systems, from complex biological processes to the fiddly social system. This intense theoretical approach has some limitations. 

As the researchers point out, their work assumes that some parameters (such as population growth and forest upstream rates) will remain stable, which is certainly not certain. The forest is also taken as a proxy for all organizations, which can be seen as oversimplistic.  Nonetheless, the deforestation and population decline paint an interesting picture of how it threatens human society as a whole.

The survey focuses primarily on deforestation and the use of our trees. Trees are an invaluable resource for human and larger ecosystems. Not only do they support natural and human food systems they also have a lynching pin in various important systems such as the carbon cycle, oxygen production, soil conservation and the water cycle.

Researchers also say that deforestation will soon lead to a “catastrophic collapse” of the population at a time when there are not enough resources to sustain the world’s population.  At the current rate of forest upstream, all the world’s forests will disappear in 100 to 200 years. However, studies have predicted that the lack of forests will begin to cause problems long before all the trees on the planet are gone.

“Obviously it is not unrealistic to imagine that human society will begin to be affected by forest land only when the last tree is cut down,” they wrote. “The declining environmental degradation due to upstream deforestation will greatly affect human society and as a result human degradation will start much earlier.”

The most remarkable skill of human beings is their ability to adapt and innovate. As such, you can expect that technology and science will develop solutions to these problems. However, the report argues that “the use of natural resources, especially forests, is competitive with our technological level. In other words, the more technology advances, the more deforestation we can destroy without a deeper shift.

Researchers are playing with the question of why we have not yet encountered another advanced alien civilization due to the concept of the so-called “Fermi Paradox” and the high probability of its existence. In this regard, researchers have noted that some believe that a very small number of civilizations will be able to reach a sufficient technological stage to travel outside the solar system before depleting their resources.

Basically, aliens delete themselves before they are advanced enough to start an inland search. Presumably, researchers think that if civilization did not transform significantly faster, this could be the case for the next few decades facing Earthlings.