March 21, 2014 ( – A new study sponsored by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is predicting a societal collapse not unlike the theme of Dr. Paul Ehrlich's discredited warning in his 1960s book The Population Bomb that within a decade civilization would collapse from overpopulation and global famine.

The study was first brought to light by The Guardian newspaper, where environment writer Nafeez Ahmed said that it was a “highly credible wake-up call” but noted that, “the study is largely theoretical.”

Social scientist and pro-life leader Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI), sharply criticized both the method and the source of the study, however. “This should be read not as science, but as fiction. Science fiction, to be exact,” he told LifeSiteNews.


The study uses mathematical modeling to slot the world's people into two categories, the Elites (rich) and the Commoners (poor). Using five risk factors in the equation – population, climate, water, agriculture and energy – they report that the Elites will consume too much of everything, leading to “a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society.”

Conducted by mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and a team of natural and social scientists, the study calls for “major reductions in inequality and population growth rates.”

The study discounts the effect of technological advancements in both food production and in reducing energy use. “Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use,” the report states.

The researchers say that, “the fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”

“Two important features seem to appear across societies that have collapsed,” the report notes. “The stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity and the economic stratification of society into Elites and Masses, or Commoners.”

“Historical collapses were allowed to occur by Elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory, most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases,” the report says.

“Given economic stratification, collapse is very difficult to avoid and requires major policy changes, including major reductions in inequality and population growth rates,” the researchers conclude.

However, pro-life experts paint a different picture of the causes and reasons for societal collapse.

“Such scary stories are the bread and butter of anti-life Leftists, and get wide play in the gullible, sympathetic press, both of which believe that there are simply too many of us or that the developed nations are simply consuming too much,” Mosher said.

“Neither is true. With technological advance solving problems as they arise, and birth rates continuing to fall, we are highly unlikely to face either scenario,” he said.

Mosher added moreover that, “NASA is supposed to busy itself exploring the solar system, not funding wildly speculative studies about hypothetical civilizational collapse centuries from now.”

The Population Research Institute has repeatedly shown proof that a collapse of society is more likely to occur from a demographic implosion caused by globally decimated birth rates due to abortion and contraception.

PRI's video series “POP 101,” which has had well over 2 million views, explodes the myth of overpopulation with 6 engaging and short, but well documented, episodes.

Internationally syndicated conservative columnist Mark Steyn has issued a grim warning about the demographic suicide of the West.

Writing in the UK magazine, the New Criterion, Steyn said the rapidly collapsing birth rate in Europe, Canada and the “westernized” parts of Asia, and the abandonment of traditional Judeo/Christian moral, and juridical, norms as the beginning of the end of Western Civilization.

“Much of what we loosely call the Western world,” Steyn wrote, “will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes. … The challenge for those who reckon Western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the West.”

Steyn pointed to the collapsing birth rates and high rates of abortion in Western countries as an invitation by what is now being called the “post-Christian” West to be taken over by the more fecund, socially confident and fundamentally dissimilar Islamic culture that is currently encroaching upon it.

“Europe by the end of this century,” he wrote, “will be a continent after the neutron bomb: the grand buildings will still be standing, but the people who built them will be gone. We are living through a remarkable period: the self-extinction of the races who, for good or ill, shaped the modern world.”

The NASA-sponsored study, titled “Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies,” has been accepted for publication in the journal Ecological Economics.

The full text of the study is available online here.

Watch all six episodes of PRI's POP101 Series here.


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