Abstract for: The WORLD model: Peak metals, minerals, energy, wealth, food and population
A new global systems model (WORLD) was assembled to analyse natural resource scarcity as a continuation of the model used in Limits-to-Growth (World3). WORLD is underpinned with burn-off rates and Hubbard´s curves so that a complete overview can be obtained. The WORLD model includes a global population module and an economic model. It connects extraction and recycling of resources, land use, soil availability, food production and population with economic growth and decline and societal stability. Our analysis shows that the underpinning natural resources for the current world economic system have either peaked or will peak in the next four decades. If we continue on the same path as today the resources will become scarce within this century. We also show that natural resource scarcity will lead to “peak wealth”, “peak population”, “peak infrastructure”, “peak costs”, “peak problems” and possibly “peak civilization” unless some urgent measures are systematically taken throughout the world. The creation of money from conversion of resources and work, as well as the current extensive borrowing from the future, causes concerns that peak resources may lead to “peak wealth” and the end of the golden age we currently have for developed nations.