March 17, 2014 - In today's UK Huffington Post the following headline appears - Civilisation Is Doomed Warns Safa Motesharri's Nasa-Funded Study. The author is mathematician, Safa Motesharri, who applies what is described as a "highly simplified model" to predict the future path of modern industrial society. This model, called the Human and Nature DYnamical (HANDY) purportedly looks at population, climate change, freshwater, agriculture, energy and other factors to predict the outcome of our civilization.
We are doomed just like the Roman Empire, the Han of China, the Harappa of the Indus River, the Anasazi of the American southwest, the Mauryan and Gupta Empires and so many more. The conclusions are drawn from current over consumption, limited carrying capacity of the planet, increased socioeconomic stratification and many other factors.
What's very interesting is I have yet to actually find the original paper supposedly published in the journal, Ecological Economics. Yet I have found lots of media outlets like the Huffington Post, and numerous bloggers writing about it.
I haven't found any NASA reference to the HANDY model upon which the study is based. Nor have I found any reference to the author either at the Goddard Space Flight Center, supposedly a sponsor, or at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center associated with the author.
I am certain that there are many mathematical models in existence that produce a Malthusian forecast for our civilization. But what disturbs me about this most recent headline is how quickly information has received widespread coverage. Check the links on all the sites that have reported the story and not one goes to the source document from which the information is supposedly derived.
Now there is enough valid science out there pointing to the human requirement to address climate change without invention. So all I ask is if I'm wrong then set me straight. I've written the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center to confirm if Mr. Motesharri actually exists. A Google search to find him comes up empty. I have also written to Elsevier, publishers of Ecological Economics to see if indeed they have published a paper authored by Mr. Motesharri whose name doesn't come up when you search their site. I'll let you know what I discover but in the meantime if any of you are sleuths and want to do your own digging, please let me know the results.
Related articles across the web
- NASA: Industrial Civilization Heading for Irreversible Collapse
- NASA-Funded Study: Industrial Civilisation Headed For 'Irreversible Collapse'?
- Modern civilisation is heading for collapse within a matter of decades because of growing economic instability and pressure on the planet's resources, according to a scientific study funded by Nasa.
- NASA-Funded Study Sounds Alarm for Civilization
Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
Keep up with the World Future Society. Subscribe to our mailing list:
February 4, 2016 - Back from Costa Rica where my wife and I spent the last two weeks enjoying a country and people who live by the slogan "pura vida" which translates from the Spanish to English literally as "pure life." But in Costa Rica it has much larger meaning, a greeting that has been around for more than half a century that says something
January 31, 2016 - You may have noted that my blog has been silent for the last 11 days. That's because I am in Costa Rica on vacation. But a call from Peter Diamandis has made me break my silence. I invite you to read Peter's missive and if you are interested in what he is offering you should apply.
In 2015, The Futures School - an immersive, interactive and project-based program that empowers participants with the critical skills of Strategic Foresight and Futures Thinking - attracted students from many different industries and geographic locations. For this reason, TFS is expanding its number of offerings and venues this year.
January 19, 2016 - Since the 1970s the oceans of the world have been the principal repository for both carbon dioxide and global warming. What started off as surface heating has now penetrated to depths of 700 meters (2,300 feet). The side affect of this deep heating is an expanding ocean with higher sea levels and tides that are increasingly becoming flood threats to most coastlines.
January 18, 2016 - In previous commercial resupply contracts, the Dream Chaser, Sierra Nevada's mini-shuttle had been shut out by NASA. But now the space authority has given the company the green light for delivery missions to the International Space Station from 2019 to 2024.
January 17, 2016 - From nanobots that repair diseased tissue in our bodies to tiny robots used in additive and electronics manufacturing, the world is about to witness another disruptive technological revolution, the arrival of the microbot.
What is a microbot?
January 15, 2016 - The challenge that lies ahead for humanity is simple. By 2050 be able to produce food and deliver it to a population of 9 billion plus. I call this act "from farm to fork." We have to do this while facing global warming.