Math predicts our civilization’s impending doom

This is it, folks. The end is nigh, according to a recent NASA-funded study that shows an eventual complete collapse of our current civilization due to our unending bleeding of natural resources and unequal distribution of wealth.

It may seem crazy to make such a statement, but the truth is that such collapses are common throughout history. Look at the Roman Empire, which rose to great heights and then fell harshly. There are many similar cases involving other civilizations as well, including the Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires. In fact, the fall of civilizations is a fairly common thing. So it makes sense, then, that we too shall eventually fail. But now, thanks to a model called HANDY (Human And Nature Dynamical) and a group of scientists and mathematicians, we can see our demise before it happens.

The research team plugged various factors into the HANDY model, including information we know from previous civilization collapses and the risk factors that led to them. The model looked at details about population, climate, water, agriculture, and energy of those historical civilizations and compared it to ours. The scientists and mathematicians determined that collapse occurs mostly due to two social reasons: one reason is the overuse of limited resources, and the second involves the gap between two socioeconomic groups: the "elites" (rich) and the "commoners" (poor).

When looking at our current situation and civilization and considering a variety of scenarios, the study’s results are somewhat frightening: we are currently headed for a collapse that is "difficult to avoid." Basically, the rich people use up too much of the resources and the poor fall first, followed by the rich. Yes, in the end, we’re all doomed. It’s not even likely that technology, which is growing at an exponential rate, can save us. According to the study, technology can increase how efficiently we use our resources, but it also means that we end up using more of those resources in return. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Granted, the study’s predictions come from worst-case scenarios, but even if we are headed for collapse, we can potentially slow or even stop it: we need a better distribution of wealth and resources, and we need to stop depending so much on our limited resources. That is, of course, if the zombie apocalypse doesn’t get us first.

Via The Guardian

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