Suggested by the modelling

Quote:Earth's civilization has a “very low probability” of surviving the next few decades without facing a catastrophic collapse, according to a study published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

Two researchers from Chile and the UK used modeling to see how rates of resource consumption, namely in terms of deforestation, affects the ability of global human society to sustain itself. By their workings, there’s just a 10 percent chance that human civilization will be able to make it through the next 20 to 40 years without a catastrophic collapse.

“We conclude from a statistical point of view that the probability that our civilization survives itself is less than 10 percent in the most optimistic scenario,” the study authors write.

“Calculations show that, maintaining the actual rate of population growth and resource consumption, in particular forest consumption, we have a few decades left before an irreversible collapse of our civilization.”

“It is hard to imagine, in absence of very strong collective efforts, big changes of these parameters to occur in such time scale,” they added.

This is all theoretical, of course. The study authors are both mathematical physicists who use modeling to understand complex systems, ranging from complicated biological processes to fiddly social systems. This intensely theoretical approach does have some limitations. As the researchers point out, their work assumes some parameters (such as population growth and deforestation rate) will remain constant, which is certainly not guaranteed. Forest is also taken as a proxy for all resources, which could be seen as oversimplistic.

Nevertheless, the study paints a compelling image of how rampant deforestation and population collapse threaten human society as a whole.