In 1972 the Club of Rome Predicted Worldwide Collapse for the Year 2024

Fact checked
The elite Club of Rome commissioned an MIT study that predicted worldwide collapse leading to the end of human civilization in the year 2020.

It was the early 1970s and for many the future of human civilization had never looked brighter. But the elite and secretive Club of Rome — whose members include current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, diplomats, and business leaders from around the globe — didn’t agree.

According to this elite and secretive group, the world would collapse in 2024.

MIT researchers had been commissioned by the Club of Rome to predict what the future of worldwide growth looked like given finite planetary resources.

And the mathematical model developed by a pioneering computer engineer at MIT predicted something terrifying. Something so extreme, in fact, that it basically signaled the end of human civilization on Earth.

It sounds like the beginning of a disaster movie. And sadly, it sort of is.

ScienceAlert report: The model, based on the work of MIT’s Jay Wright Forrester – considered the father of system dynamics – had been used by four of his students.

The resulting research, The Limits to Growth – the best-selling environmental book of all time, described as “perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s” – did not offer an optimistic view of tomorrow’s world.

The model looked at the five factors considered most likely to impact upon growth on Earth: population increase, agricultural production, non-renewable resource depletion, industrial output, and pollution generation.

Using a refined computer model called World3 – based upon Forrester’s original World1 system – the researchers calculated that upon a ‘business as usual’ trajectory, our society would effectively collapse sometime this century.

One of the reasons the computer model is back in the headlines now is because the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has shared some of its original TV coverage of the research in a new YouTube clip, and it offers a chillingly prescient look at a then-distant 21st century from the perspective of 1973.

Focussing on the World1 computer program running on what was then “Australia’s largest computer”, the segment – which originally aired on 9 November 1973 – breaks down how the model makes some of its predictions, before interviewing members of the study’s backers, the Club of Rome.

World1 doesn’t pretend to be a precise forecast,” the presenter explains.

What it does for the first time in man’s history on the planet is to look at the world as one system. It shows that Earth cannot sustain present population and industrial growth for much more than a few decades.”

Most chilling of all is how the model predicts how quality of life will start plummeting after surges in population and pollution, accompanied by a mass dwindling of natural resources.

At the time of its release, The Limits to Growth was widely and immediately criticised in many quarters, despite its huge sales, and despite the fact many credit it with heralding mainstream awareness of the concept of environmental sustainability.

“The Limits to Growth in our view, is an empty and misleading work,” The New York Times wrote. “Its imposing apparatus of computer technology and systems jargon … takes arbitrary assumptions, shakes them up and comes out with arbitrary conclusions that have the ring of science.”

In the decades since, research has shown that many of the predictions made by this pioneering model are scarily accurate, with some arguing we can “expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon”.

Check the video above to see what it looked like in 1973 – and remember, it’s never too late to start making a difference.

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry is a writer at The People's Voice. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.
Baxter Dmitry


  1. Oh well, if the Club of Rome predicted it, I guess we’d better all lay down and die.

    I’m not participating! Bye!!

  2. I was in huge school then and saw it They went in about it for decades at university and in the workplace warning us we all had to look after number one Numero Uno was the catchphrase that led Into “greed is good ‘and “show me the money ” of the 80s propagandas to divide and conquer .And serve capitalism.

  3. You would have to be a complete fucking retard to believe anything that abc australia says. They are just a bunch of leftatd fear mongers that despise white heterosexual males. They are run by the most ugliest, low IQ, pathetic bull dykes that you will ever see. If abc says something, then the complete opposite is the truth. Execute ll bull dykes immediately.

  4. satanists ALWAYS have a fall guy…romans for Jesus, lone assassins for MLK, Lincoln, JFK…, crops for irish/armenian/russian genocides and so on….overpopulation is the excuse and target for their genocidal plans to get rid of anyone not willing to be their slaves

    • btw, based on current population growth tends…china population will go down by 300 million by 2100…and most industrialized christian neutered countries are on a similar track already

  5. Interesting piece. What I find most outstanding about this report is not that there’s yet another secret society who thinks they have all the spiritual, economic, social, and political answers for the world’s problems; rather the statement attributed to the NYT in 1972: “The [Limits to Growth] in our view, is an empty and misleading work. Its imposing apparatus of computer technology and systems jargon …
    takes arbitrary assumptions, shakes them up and comes out with arbitrary
    conclusions that have the ring of science.”

    There you have the rub on every computer “model” prior and since, including future. It is a computer PROGRAM, written by imperfect human beings, which will certainly reflect their own biases, and therefore carry these biases — along with their errors — forward into its conclusions.

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