Computers can parse thousands of lines of data and information to form complex, realistic simulations of whatever programmers and scientists wish to find out.
At least that’s the idea. According to Metro, a 45-year-old computer simulation pointed to global civilization collapsing around the middle of the 21st century, often around the year 2040. So do we have something to truly worry about, or is this dated code that should be ignored?
The World3 Model from MIT researchers found that humanity falls prey to global population and economic collapse around 2040 no matter how scientists finagled with the simulation’s data and parameters, showing that we cannot sustain our current growth for too long.
The research led to the creation of the best-selling book “Limits to Growth,” which was criticized by economists but may prove that the World3 simulations hold value. However, there has been evidence since that gives the 2040 theory some credence.
The first signs of collapse should be happening now
According to Medium, the simulations from the 1970s predicted that the first signs of civilization’s collapse would start appearing in 2020. Pollution would become severe enough to be lethal, whittling down the global population to levels before the 20th century until civilized life vanishes by the 2040s.
While the accuracy of a program 45 years old can certainly be doubted, the data is worrying enough to prove that there is a very high chance future generations will suffer if we do not change our ways.
There is little to suggest that World3 has been wildly inaccurate, either. Roughly 90% of the global population breathe polluted air.
Metro pointed out that many areas in the world are losing access to clean water, overfarming is desecrating our soil, overfishing is depleting our oceans, and other crises, both economical and ecological, plague countries across all continents. Society might not collapse in the year 2040, but at our current projection as a species, World3 might not be too far off.