According to a new peer-reviewed scientific report, industrial civilisation is likely to deplete its low-cost mineral resources within the next century, with debilitating impacts for the global economy and key infrastructures within the coming decade.
The study, the 33rd report to the Club of Rome, is authored by Prof Ugo Bardi of the University of Florence’s Earth Sciences Department, and includes contributions from a wide range of senior scientists across relevant disciplines.
The Club of Rome is a Swiss-based global think tank consisting of current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders.
Its first report in 1972, The Limits to Growth, was conducted by a scientific team at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT), and warned that limited availability of natural resources relative to rising costs would undermine continued economic growth by around the second decade of the 21st century.
Although widely ridiculed, recent scientific reviews confirm that the original report’s projections in its ‘base scenario’ remain robust. In 2008,Australia’s federal government scientific research agency CSIROconcluded that The Limits to Growth forecast of potential “global ecological and economic collapse coming up in the middle of the 21st Century” due to convergence of “peak oil, climate change, and food and water security”, is “on-track.” Actual current trends in these areas “resonate strongly with the overshoot and collapse displayed in the book’s ‘business-as-usual scenario.'”
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