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GSI Research Seminar Series - When and how will human society collapse?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Julie-Anne Hogbin.

In 1972 Club of Rome L’imits to Growth’ report used system dynamics theory to analyze the long term causes and consequences of growth in the world’s population and material economy withing a finite planet. Subsequent analysis has continued to support their general conclusions that there will be economic and political consequences of environmental and natural resource limits.

More recent reserach has found quantifiable evidence that food price increase was a precipitating factor for the social unrest seen in the Middle East and North Africa in 2008 and 2011 (commonly known as the Arab Spring). The GSI is undertaking a major reserach project to investigate the risk that natural resource scarcity and anthropogenic climatic change pose to humanity by exploring the possible impacts on resources vital to human wellbeing including food, water and energy. It will explore whether limits to the availability of key resources, either through availability or unaffordability, could lead to violent human conflict.

The Global Resource Observatory (GRO) Project aims to deliver a fit for purpose modelling tool for sustainable economic decision making, including specific country level risk assessment tool to examine the likelihood of energy, food and water security issues impacting the economy and national security. When the dependency of the economy on the environment and natural resources is omitted from analysis, the level of exposure to the related systemic and structural risks is underestimated.

This talk is part of the Global Sustainability Institute Seminars & Events series.

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