You are here

Computer predicts end of civilisation

In this 1973 video, the Club of Rome envision a world with far less need to work long hours and with a benign system of international cooperation. I think that they would be horrified if they could see what has actually happened, and the role that the IMF has taken. I think the Club of Rome got the material settings right, though.

This short Australian interview with men from the Club of Rome in 1973 is interesting in that the data seem right. It's 1973 and they are looking to 2040-ish. Population growth is coming right up against the time they expect it to be overwhelmed by deaths. The use of natural resources has happened as predicted as too the production of waste and the dwindling quality of life. Those interviewed advocate international cooperation to address global problems and cite the European Common Market as being a good start.

It's a good effort at looking into the future but I think things are worse than they thought. They are envisioning a world where a more sensible course is taken rather than the current mad rush to get as much out of the system as possible. They are seeing internationalism and international cooperation (re trade for example ) as an opportunity to avert catastrophe, rather than the hideous heartless, overblown monster that has actually emerged.

This interview happened in the year of the 1973 Oil Shock, just when various colonial oil-producers were declaring independence and nationalising their oil industries.

It is interesting to see how the man from the International Monetary Fund appears so much milder than his current manifestations, although we do hear him defend private enterprise over nationalisation of industries. And to think of how the United States and the EU are currently threatening Venezuela, one of the last countries to maintain a national oil-industry despite the constant efforts at take-over by US-NATO since 1973.

It seems that the Club of Rome did not predict the number at which global population might fall, but they show death-rates rising to the point that population numbers fall rapidly around 2020.


It is impossible to discuss or criticise any aspect of immigration (Time for discussions over migration and needs of job market, CT 22/3).

As a teenager in 1969 I helped build Melbourne's Westgate Bridge. Four lanes each way, now narrowed to five lanes each way. Its impossible to drive a B-double across without crossing white lines. Fully loaded shipping containers cannot now, be carried across.

When I complained about traffic gridlock on the bridge, a famous multicultural journalist called me a "racist xenophobe".

David Z Hughes

Dick Smith will be appearing on a 60 Minutes segment about population this Sunday. It will be shown on Sunday 24 March on Channel 9 at 8.30 pm (Sydney time – check local guides).

Sorry Olaf. We missed your comment and it is now too late to watch, except on youtube perhaps.