• RUNNING ON FUMES: The Destabilization of the World’s Interconnected Systems as a Result of Unsustainable Human Proliferation on a Finite Planet

      Fradin, Eduardo (2014-03-18)
      This thesis examines the global interconnectivity of critical and complex societal systems. Today, if consumption patterns continue to rise to unsustainable levels in concert with a soaring global population, these social and technological systems may begin to buckle, which will threaten the advancement of modern human civilization in the 21st century and beyond. The first globally-stressed system that is addressed in this paper is the global economic system. The second system I discuss is the global energy system and how it directly impacts the global economy. The following chapter looks at unsustainable population growth, freshwater scarcity, and food stresses. In the next chapter, I look into the climate system and I discuss how these changes in climate will impact the other globally interconnected systems in the future. And finally, the last body chapter of this thesis examines the world’s environmental system as it relates to the depletion of vital nonrenewable resources. In my conclusion, I address what will happen if the world’s leading economies maintain their current trajectory and I finish the chapter by arguing what modern society can do in order to shape a new sustainable path forward.