Vacatures in Riskmanagement

The butterfly defect: Global connectivity makes us vulnerable to collapse

Bron: Article Aled Jones (Anglia Ruskin University) in The Actuary - 05 november 2021

Human civilisation is highly complex, connected and global. For more than 200 years, the Industrial Revolution has allowed us to exploit large energy stocks, mostly through fossil fuels, thus boosting growth in global population and industrial output. The Green Revolution of the mid-20th century spurred further growth acceleration through increased agricultural production. This growth trend is characterised by substantial and ongoing increases in societal complexity. However, it is also accompanied by a strong and increasing pressure on the earth system.

For decades, scientists have explored the growing environmental impact of human activities. In 1972, the Club of Rome commissioned a study using the World3 model, developed by a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to better understand the broad dynamics of global systems and their relationship to resources, land use and pollution. A set of scenarios was published in The Limits to Growth, exploring possible futures under different constraints.

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