Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Stages of Progress


WICO signaled that its strategy testing has not gone well by going dark until today and then pushing its deadline for roll-out back to March 1 from the optimistic date they set a week ago. Ambassador Lazlo was tasked with explaining what happened at a morning press briefing.

“We have had to increase the resolution of monitoring and control,” she said in answer to a question about whether the test results were forcing a change to the strategy. “The number of regions is now three hundred, which decreases the uncertainty in global status to no more than five percent. 

She added that regions have been reclassified for easier understanding and assessment of what actions should be made over time to achieve a given outcome. “World history, and likewise the history of every region, can be divided into four stages of change in the number of people and how they live their lives. They focus on growth until further growth ceases being healthy for them and the other species they share their environment with. If they choose more growth then they will transition to a stage where they are consuming the basis for a natural existence, with a resulting peak in everything they might hope to achieve. Attempting to grow more than that will collapse the ecosystems they depend upon for survival along with all aspects of their lives as biological beings.

Lazlo provided a graph showing the new set of regions and the stages they were in last year (shown below). Roughly one-fourth of the world’s population was (and is) in the peak stage, and two-thirds was in the collapse stage. Taken as an entire world, we are in the peak stage, bordering on collapse.

She explained, “The stages are directly correlated with the ratio of people to nature in each region, or, more precisely, the resources consumed for basic survival by people as a ratio of the remaining resources of that type in the environment. Fractions are used here because they easily show how many other creatures support each of us at a given stage, as the denominator minus one. Collapse clearly occurs because each creature depends on at least one other to support it, and we have through civilization stopped directly supporting them.

“Note that the trend line indicates how growing population will tend to move a region to a higher stage. This progression is not inevitable. People in a region can consume less, have fewer children, leave, or die, and have the region fall back to a previous stage if the damage to ecosystems is not too extensive or experiencing self-perpetuating collapse.”

Reality Check

The delay in updating this blog was due to my choice to refine the simulation down to the regional level before reporting on progress. Lazlo’s description is obviously mine, and the graph is a random set of data using the Timeline model’s projection of last year’s global averages.

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