Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

Complexity Revisited

Can humanity change course still?

Image source: Pexels
A world of abundance, where energy and resource availability grew faster than consumption (around 1950).
The point when we started to realize that growth is not something given, but something that “must be earned” and kept alive… At all costs.
Magical thinking kicks into higher gear — while business as usual goes on unabated.
The uh-oh moment, where growth is no longer possible, and complexity must be shed. Note how the blue energy / resource availability curve follows a Hubbert-curve depicting resource depletion. Population and consumption still keeps growing exponentially, represented by the red curve (a simple exponential chart showing ~3–5% increase/year). After real economic growth is gone, demand growth is fueled by the constant rise in energy demand: generated by “fighting” depletion (mining ever scarcer metals and oil), failing infrastructure, climate change and the rest of the predicaments. This is the state of ultimate overshoot, when not even our artificial (albeit hopelessly temporal) enlargements of a long surpassed natural carrying capacity can support the human enterprise anymore.

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