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NASA Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

Noch / wieder einmal .. diesmal die NASA mit 'ner Simulation, also Mathe + Computer, - da ist studieren angesagt.

A Minimal Model for Human and Nature Interaction

November 13, 2012

There are widespread concerns that current trends in population and resource-use are
unsustainable, but the possibilities of an overshoot and collapse remain unclear and contro-
versial. Collapses have occurred frequently in the past ve thousand years, and are often
followed by centuries of economic, intellectual, and population decline. Many di erent nat-
ural and social phenomena have been invoked to explain speci c collapses, but a general
explanation remains elusive. Two important features seem to appear across societies that
have collapsed: (1) Ecological Strain and (2) Economic Strati cation.
In this paper, the structure of a new model and several simulated scenarios that o er
signi cant implications are explained. The model has just four equations that describe the
evolution of the populations of Elites and Commoners, Nature, and accumulated Wealth.
Mechanisms leading to collapse are discussed and the measure \Carrying Capacity" is devel-
oped and de ned. The model suggests that the estimation of Carrying Capacity is a practical
means for early detection of a collapse. Collapse can be avoided, and population can reach a
steady state at the maximum carrying capacity, if the rate of depletion of nature is reduced
to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed equitably.

NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

"A new study (PDF) sponsored by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that 'the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.' Cases of severe civilizational disruption due to 'precipitous collapse — often lasting centuries — have been quite common.' They say, 'Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use.' After running simulations on the survivability of various types of civilizations, the researchers found that for the type most resembling ours, 'collapse is difficult to avoid.'"

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?

Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system

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