According to a project called the ‘Global Resource Observatory’ and the new scientific models, by 2040 our civilization will collapse due to the lack of food which will be caused by a combination of climate change, water scarcity, energy crisis, and political instability. This project is being funded by a number of partners, one of which is British government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
However, the suggested new models are unpredictable because the society is known for changing its behavior in a crisis. Despite all this, it serves to prove that our current way of life is not maintainable.
The report on the global food system has been devised on the basis of past events and possible future climate changes, water stress, globalization and political instability. Weather instability might lead to deficits in the production of staple crops, and subsequent dramatic increase in price. This will further lead to rise in agricultural stock prices, losses on stock markets in Europe and the US and break out of food riots.
The purpose of this scenario is to raise the awareness that geopolitical mayhem, escalating terrorism and civil unrest could be the result of food crisis. Such scenario has a high rate of probability and will greatly impact the income of companies and cause political instabilities and restrictions on international business.
The Anglia Ruskin University team developed this scenario for Lloyds, together with the British Foreign Office’s UK/US Task Force on Resilience of the Global Food Supply Chain to Extreme Events. The aim of making such believable scenarios is to enhance understanding of how changing extreme weather events may impact on global food security and to discover how these effects can be made into something better.
GSI’s Director, Dr. Aled Jones provided a thorough presentation on the models, their implication and where it was leading. According to Jones, there are two models. Agent-Based Model investigates short-term scenarios of policy decisions by simulating social-economical-environmental systems. While the second, a System Dynamics Model is able to provide forecasts for the next 5 years based on modelling the complex interconnections between finite resources, planetary carrying capacity, and the human economy. He also stated that the current system is unable to answer to these risks in its current form.
However, it was also stated by Jones that this catastrophic scenario is just based on running the model forward. As this is a short term model, and the trend in the real world is likely to change, it is not a forecast of the exact future events. But, if changes do not happen, this could be the outcome. The awareness of the risks has the potential to trigger change. And it is up to us to decide to change our future.