Are there limits to growth? Is humankind’s endless drive to continually expand going to hit a wall? Dr. Pat Walden, a scientist researcher associated with the TRIUMF centre at the University of British Columbia will visit the University of the Fraser Valley this week to address this topic.
Walden will speak in the main lecture theatre at the Abbotsford campus (B101) at 7 pm on Tuesday, Feb 7. His talk is presented by the UFV Centre for Environmental Sustainability, the Faculty of Science, and the Physics Students Association, in cooperation with Dr. Tim Cooper.
His talk will focus on the topic of finite resources of Earth and the impact on society in the near future, and will ask: Is civilization going to collapse in the 21st century?
“Our current industrial civilization that gives us this wonderful lifestyle has been compared to long running Ponzi scheme,” says Walden. “Things run OK as long as new investors buy in. Our economic models assume an infinite supply of resources and an infinite sink for wastes. We are about to find out that both are finite on this finite world. Funding or resources for our economy will dry up, then we will have a collapse. Probable estimates are 10 years for unmistakable signs to appear, and 20 years for the collapse to begin. This timing is by no means certain. Collapse could delayed until 2070. However, in any scenario that does not limit growth, collapse will certainly take place before 2100. That’s what the figures say unless we change our thinking and our way of doing things.”
Dr. Patrick Walden BSc (UBC, 1966), PhD (Caltech 1972), is an experimenter emeritus at the TRIUMF centre at UBC.