Computer models? MIT has one that predicted societal collapse starting 2020

by Silviu “Silview” Costinescu

A computer model developed in 1973 by a team of MIT researchers commissioned by the Club of Rome has predicted the “end of civilised life as we know it” by 2040, with a major change coming in 2020

The prediction came from a programme nicknamed World One, which was developed by a team of MIT researchers and processed by Australia’s largest computer. 

It was originally devised by computer pioneer Jay Forrester, after he was tasked by the Club of Rome to develop a model of global sustainability.

However, the shocking result of the computer calculations showed that the level of pollution and population would cause a global collapse by 2040. The eerie calculation has been remarkably accurate in certain predictions, such as a stagnated quality of life and diminishing pool of natural resources.
At this time the broadcasters addreses the audience:
“At around 2020, the condition of the planet becomes highly critical.
If we do nothing about it, the quality of life goes down to zero. Pollution becomes so seriously it will start to kill people, which in turn will cause the population to diminish, lower than it was in the 1900. At this stage, around 2040 to 2050, civilised life as we know it on this planet will cease to exist.”

Alexander King, a British pioneer who led the Club of Rome, also made a shocking prediction regarding national sovereignty. He told ABC:

“Sovereignty of nations is no longer absolute. There is a gradually diminishing of sovereignty, little bit by little bit. Even in the big nations, this will happen.”


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World One, the computer program, looked at the world as one system. The report called it “an electronic guided tour of our behavior since 1900 and where that behavior will lead us.” The program produced graphs that showed what would happen to the planet decades into the future. It plotted statistics and forecasts for such variables as population, quality of life, the supply of natural resources, pollution, and more. Following the trend lines, one could see where the crises might take place.

As one measure to prevent catastrophe, the Club of Rome predicted some nations like the U.S. would have to cut back on their appetites for gobbling up the world’s resources. It hoped that in the future world, prestige would stem from “low consumption”—one fact that has so far not materialized. Currently, nine in ten people around the world breathe air that has high levels of pollution, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency estimates that 7 million deaths each year can be attributed to pollution.

ABC’s This Day Tonight aired this story on 9 November, 1973

As always with widely publicised predictions, the main question to be solved is:
Prediction, programming or predictive programming?

Sources
ABC
Big Think
WHO
The Telegraph

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! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them