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The end of the world as we know it

29 November 2019

It seems that 2020 is going to be a tipping-point in the future of the planet and human civilization.

Well that's what a computer predicted back in 1973 and I can't help but get the feeling that the forecasts made by this peice of code are very close to what we're actually seeing today.

I came across the above video on YouTube the other day and was struck at how familiar one of the curves (environmental damage) appears to the global warming data we're seeing today, almost half a century later.

Perhaps it's just coincidence that this system predicted such a rapid rise in environmental damage which, it alleges, will ultimately lead to the breakdown of civilisation -- but I don't think so.

What is even more amazing than the apparent accuracy of this machine's forecasts, is the fact that we have been ignoring the problem for so very long.

Hell, if a computer that probably had less CPU power than your smartphone could figure it out, why on earth have we steadfastly refused to take any effective steps to mitigate the problem for so very long?

More importantly... is it now too late to avoid the inevitable?

Is it likely that, as many still predict to this day, climate change and the pressure it places on crucial natural resources such as fresh water, will see the collapse of modern civilisation into armed conflict and global famine?

I find it perplexing that we were smart enough back in 1973 to make a computer system that could accurately predict the planet's future -- but not smart enough to take the steps necessary to avoid the disaster so clearly foretold.

Even today we have leaders (Trump) of entire nations (the USA) ignoring the very clear evidence and denying the well-documented environmental deterioration taking place around us.

This also occurs right down to a local level, with the beloved mayor of my own district (the South Waikato) pushing to get local farmers exempted from the changes that are being made at a central government level in an attempt to clean up our waterways. Somehow she thinks we are special and ought to have the right to continue abusing the environment because dairy and forestry are the key industries of the district.

According to Ms Shattock, if our polluting industries are not exempted there could be a loss of up to 350 jobs. But bugger future generations' right to clean, safe water... right?

Sometimes I dispair at the general stupidity of mankind, especially when a computer system built in 1973 appears to be smarter than all of our own collective intelligence. Who knows, maybe SkyNet will be better than the alternative!

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