It is July 1972. Donny Osmond tops the UK pop charts with his best selling single Puppy Love. Britain is gripped by a major docks strike, while in London the first Gay Pride March is planned. The best selling car of the year is the Ford Cortina Mk 111: we can’t find its fuel consumption, but we doubt that was a prime user requirement in those far-off days. If you wanted to escape all the politics, the top film is John Boorman‘s Deliverance, with its notoriously different take on the road movie genre.
In the midst of all this you could have been forgiven if you missed a report from the prestigious MIT which predicted a total societal breakdown by 2040 if we continued with our present ways of hyper-consumption was wastrel living. It looked at ten key indices including food production, industrial output and population. All would tend to peak around 2030, followed by sudden crashes as resources ran out. Gloomy reading: but was it the famous boy crying wolf or the canary in the mine, truly singing of impending disaster? You can see the graph here in an excellent Mail piece by Stacy Liberatore, whose excellent work we have showcased before in these pages. 1*
Support for the canary comes from a re-examination of the MIT work by Gaya Herrington of KPMG, no less. Who are hardly a hotbed of lefty green ideas. Running the data again through more advanced models showed that basically MIT had it spot on. The canary was in the mine, right back there in ’72.
One of the distinguishing features of science is that it makes predictions which can be tested. So that when they come true, you have to take them seriously. When societies suffer ecological collapse, the results aren’t vey nice as both Romans and Mayans found out. Conclusion: we can’t go on like this. Perhaps the only hope came from Johnny Nash, then sadly only at number 5: I can see clearly now.
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