MIT Researchers Predice Economic Collapse by 2030 - Really?? - The Dollar Stretcher
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MIT Researchers Predice Economic Collapse by 2030 - Really??

 Interesting piece in Yahoo this morning. It says that researches from MIT project that the world will run out of resources by 2030. You can read the article here.

A new study from researchers at Jay W. Forrester's institute at MIT says that the world could suffer from "global economic collapse" and "precipitous population decline" if people continue to consume the world's resources at the current pace.

I'm not an MIT graduate and I don't play one on TV. So I probably can't match credentials with the MIT folks. But, I do think I have something that they've neglected to factor into their research: common sense.

To make their prediction they need to forecast both the growth of population and the growth of available resources. And, I believe that's where their analysis breaks down. Here's why. There's no way to forecast what new technologies will do to the amount of resources available in the future.

Consider these examples from the past. 150 years ago people thought that population would outpace the ability of farmers to produce food. Ofcourse that was before the combine, tractors, modern ag schools, hydroponics and a whole host of other tools that have multiplied the food supply many times over.

Or what's happening to the energy market today. Just in the last few years we've discovered that we have much, much more recoverable natural gas than we thought we had. And, if some researchers are correct, the same may be true for crude oil. We've only begun to explore solar and other renewables. Not to mention nuclear power which didn't exist 50 years ago.

If that's not enough to convince you that we can't predict what man's ingenuity will make available for us, consider the computer/tablet/cell phone that you're using to read this on. 20 years ago none of that was possible. But it was and it has made many human endeavors much more productive. And, we've only scratched the surface. The personal computer is only 20 years old. Think of where the automobile was in 1920 compared to today. What might we be doing with computers (and their offspring) 80 years from now?

So while I'm sure the researchers at MIT meant well and used all the right math and algorithms, I think that they forgot a very important element. Man's ability to put his mind to solving problems. So to that extent, we should thank them for helping to spotlight the problem and then root for those who will discover ways to solve them.

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!




Cheryl said:

I can't remember where I read it, I often follow links of links on websites, but someone has come out with a car that gets 100mpg or so.

Maybe their calculations didn't include any room for people doing things differently. I also question who provided the funding for that. "Follow the money" :)

I began to wonder while reading that article what those cars would cost, and if it would be less or more expensive for me at my age, 46, to spend the money for that car, or just pay for more fuel for a regular car. This would be a good project for math people.. how inexpensive would a car have to be, that gets 100mpg to make it a better deal than paying for gas for a regular one?

April 8, 2012 6:15 PM

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About Gary

For more than 25 years, Gary Foreman has worked to manage money effectively. Prior to starting The Dollar Stretcher, he was a financial planner and purchasing manager. While helping clients manage their hard earned money as a financial planner, he applied commonsense, time-tested techniques during the turbulent 1980’s. The experience convinced him that you didn’t need to hit the lottery to accumulate significant wealth. Following that, Gary had an opportunity to learn more about how to get the best value for a dollar spent in the corporate world. As the Purchasing Manager for a computer manufacturer, he was responsible for supervising over $10 million in annual purchases. Gary began The Dollar Stretcher website <www.TheDollarStretcher.com> and newsletters in April 1996. Over 300,000 readers benefit from the time and money saving ideas presented in The Dollar Stretcher newsletters each week. His mission is to help people "Live Better for Less". He also provides private label newsletters for companies wishing to provide money saving information for their clients and/or prospects. Gary lives in Florida along with his wife of thirty years and their two children. Much of his time is spent working with the men's ministry of his church. One of their ongoing projects is the "Holy Smoke BBQ" which sells bbq on Friday nights with the profits going to support local foster kids and orphans. When he has a free moment you’ll find him restoring a Checker station wagon nicknamed “Two Ton” or cruising in a '65 Impala SS Convertible with doo-wops playing in the background.

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Gary is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who edits The Dollar Stretcher website <www.stretcher.com> and newsletters. You can follow Gary on Twitter.com/gary_foreman
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