The world economy is a self-organizing system, powered by energy. Ms. Tverberg will explain the predicament that the world economy is up against, as a series of four models:
1. The economy as a rocket.
2. The operation of individual local economies as being analogous to the operation of a human body, with many different systems. Each human grows, stagnates, and eventually dies.
3. The economy as being like a child’s building toy, which that is built up in layers. Unneeded layers are removed, leaving a hollow center.
4. The economy as being like a bicycle that must go fast enough, or it will tip over.
She will also show that based on 200 years of experience, a major indicator that limits are being reached is energy consumption per capita that stops growing.
The real model of the pattern of growth and decline of economies, based on the research of Turchin and Nefedof in Secular Cycles, is a pattern of rapid growth followed by stagnation. After years of stagnation, the system tips over into collapse, slowly at first and then faster. Ugo Bardi’s Seneca Curve is similar. The authors of The Limits to Growth have indicated that their model is only predictive up until the time collapse begins. Thus, the indications provided here are also consistent with those of the 1972 analysis, The Limits to Growth.