UK govt report flags civilisation collapse by 2040! #Auspol #ClimateChange 

New scientific models supported by the British government’s Foreign Office show that if we don’t change course, in less than three decades industrial civilisation will essentially collapse due to catastrophic food shortages, triggered by a combination of climate change, water scarcity, energy crisis, and political instability.
Before you panic, the good news is that the scientists behind the model don’t believe it’s predictive. The model does not account for the reality that people will react to escalating crises by changing behavior and policies.
But even so, it’s a sobering wake-up call, which shows that business-as-usual guarantees the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it: our current way of life is not sustainable.
The new models are being developed at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), through a project called the ‘Global Resource Observatory’ (GRO).
The GRO is chiefly funded by the Dawe Charitable Trust, but its partners include the British government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO); British specialist insurance market, Lloyds of London; the Aldersgate Group, the environment coalition of leaders from business, politics and civil society; the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries; Africa Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the University of Wisconsin.

Disruption risk
This week, Lloyds released a report for the insurance industry assessing the risk of a near-term “acute disruption to the global food supply.” Research for the project was led by Anglia Ruskin University’s GSI, and based on its GRO modelling initiative.
The report explores the scenario of a near-term global food supply disruption, considered plausible on the basis of past events, especially in relation to future climate trends. The global food system, the authors find, is “under chronic pressure to meet an ever-rising demand, and its vulnerability to acute disruptions is compounded by factors such as climate change, water stress, ongoing globalisation and heightening political instability.”

Three steps from crisis
Lloyd’s scenario analysis shows that food production across the planet could be significantly undermined due to a combination of just three catastrophic weather events, leading to shortfalls in the production of staple crops, and ensuing price spikes.
In the scenario, which is “set in the near future,” wheat, maize and soybean prices “increase to quadruple the levels seen around 2000,” while rice prices increase by 500%. This leads to rocketing stock prices for agricultural commodities, agricultural chemicals and agriculture engineering supply chains:
“Food riots break out in urban areas across the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America. The euro weakens and the main European stock markets lose 10% of their value; US stock markets follow and lose 5% of their value.”

The scenario analysis demonstrates that a key outcome of any such systemic shock to the global food supply — apart from “negative humanitarian consequences and major financial losses worldwide” — would be geopolitical mayhem as well as escalating terrorism and civil unrest.
The purpose of exploring such scenarios is to prepare insurers for possibilities that are now more likely than previously assumed. The Lloyd’s report points out:
“What is striking about the scenario is that the probability of occurrence is estimated as significantly higher than the benchmark return period of 1:200 years applied for assessing insurers’ ability to pay claims against extreme events.”

That leading insurance companies are now attempting to factor in potential losses from such crises is a major step forward in pushing the financial sector to recognise the dark-side of the current system of fossil fuel dependence.
The report concludes:
“A global production shock of the kind set out in this scenario would be expected to generate major economic and political impacts that could affect clients across a very wide spectrum of insurance classes.”

It would have “major consequences for companies’ investment income,” with the potential to “generate losses that span many years.” It would also result in political instabilities that take “decades to resolve” while imposing “greater restrictions on international business.”

……..

“We ran the model forward to the year 2040, along a business-as-usual trajectory based on ‘do-nothing’ trends — that is, without any feedback loops that would change the underlying trend. The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots. In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption.”

Another steering committee member raised their hand: “So is this going to happen? Is this a forecast?”
“No,” said Jones. “This scenario is based on simply running the model forward. The model is a short-term model. It’s not designed to run this long, as in the real world, trends are always likely to change, whether for better or worse.”
“Okay, but what you’re saying is that if there is no change in current trends, then this is the outcome?” continued the questioner.
Jones nodded with a half-smile. “Yes,” he said quietly.
In other words, simply running the Agent-Based Model forward cannot generate a reliable forecast of the future. For instance, no one anticipated the pace at which solar and wind energy would become cost-competitive with fossil fuels. And the fact that governments and insurers are now beginning to scope such risks, and explore ways of responding, shows how growing awareness of the risks has the potential to trigger change.
Whether that change is big enough to avoid or mitigate the worst is another question. Either way, the model does prove in no uncertain terms that present-day policies are utterly bankrupt.

Press link for more: medium.com

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