Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Global economic collapse by 2030"

For a guy who loves to harp and hope on The Singularity, I can sure overlook basic facts.

One of those being, "will anybody actually be able to afford it in the future?"  A new study from MIT bets not.  Here's the opening paragraph of the article:

"A renowned Australian research scientist says a study from researchers at MIT claiming the world could suffer from a "global economic collapse" and "precipitous population decline" if people continue to consume the world's resources at the current pace is still on track, nearly 40 years after it was first produced."

Doesn't sound too good, does it?  I mean, I can get behind the "precipitous population decline" and not purely for selfish reasons.  The fact is that this world is capable of supporting only a fixed number of people.  Try talking about that with someone though.  They immediately assume you're referring to "culling the herd" and Palin-esque Nazi death camps.  Not at all.  I'm talking about "not adding to" and not "subtracting from."  Big difference.  But I digress...

The future of 2030 looks like a time of bloated population and limited economic resources.  I really don't see how anyone rational could believe that the gravy train wouldn't eventually run out but have you tried talking about this subject with people lately?   With the wrong crowd, you're a fraction of a step away from being called a commie socialist.  Especially if you toss out a line like the one referenced from the report.  You know, that bit about a strong global economy still being feasible if "world governments enact policies and invest in green technologies that help limit the expansion of our ecological footprint"?  Drastic environmental measures?  Forget it, comrade.  You're talking crazy.  I'm not letting you get in the way of my money.  Even if the future is at stake.

One of the reasons I've always been attracted to science fiction, both as a writer and as a reader, is that in many cases it presupposes a future.  I thought that inferred a certain hope for the human race. 

I seldom stopped to ask if it was a future I would have wanted.

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