Friday, September 13, 2019


A new simulation ("C-low") using my updated Timelines model holds annual population change equal to the historical raw death rate while reducing per-capita consumption so that by 2040 no one is in the decline or termination phases as shown in the following graphs. As before, external ecological impacts such as climate change are taken into account along with our affect on them until that point, after which the impacts will need to have been stopped to avoid disaster.

By comparison, the "Hikeyay" simulation used for the Simulated News blog includes a population rate based on estimated population loss due to age that is more than four times the historical death rate to achieve a lower maximum phase (5.4 vs. 6.0). The best we can do to reduce total consumption, using the current death rate and a final per-capita consumption that allows for basic survival only (simulation "C-min"), results in a maximum phase that is just a little larger than Hikeyay (5.6).

The model's improved evaluation of economic variables, now including the observation that money flows from high phase to low phase – which the previous observation of flow from small to large per-capita consumption very closely approximates – confirms that wealth inequality is still a problem regardless of what approach we take. Our present inequality (the ratio of maximum to minimum wealth per person) is still the highest: about nine times C-low and Hikeyay in 2040; and about eight-thousand times C-min in 2040.

I am inclined to claim that I misjudged the fraction of the population dying due to age in the Hikeyay simulation, and favor the C-low simulation instead. In that case, per-capita consumption would need to decrease by 3.75% per year until external impacts stop (resources stop becoming unavailable for consumption). If impacts continue past 2040, restarting population growth will become progressively harder, and basic needs will not be supportable after 2050, virtually ensuring the extinction we are trying to avoid.