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Sophia Masciarelli

World3 and Limits to Growth Assignment


Energy and Sustainability
Due 02.27.17

Questions

1. Set the Initial Non-renewable Resources slider at a low point near the left hand
side of the bar. Set the date for the Progressive Policy Adoption slider to a time in 2015. Run
the model and complete a row in Table 1 showing the results.

This scenario imagines a world that already has very low resources, perhaps from overuse in
the past or perhaps just because the population has exceeded the carrying capacity provided by
these resources.

a) Overview pane: Why is the curve for persistent pollution so low in this scenario?

This could be another result of a world with very limited resources. Perhaps with limited
resources they were forced to derive and consume energy in a much cleaner way, which
resulted in significantly less pollution.

b) Demographics pane: What year does population peak in? Why does this peak occur so
early?

Population peaks in 2006. It occurs this early as a result of a variety of factors including
fertility, lifespan, food availability, and many more.

c) Land use pane: Why does land fertility drop off so dramatically and then recover by 2080 in
this scenario?

This dramatic variance is due to a very high stress being placed on the land, and then the
land responding (shown through very low levels of fertility). Perhaps the quick recovery
was a result of the land being able to repair itself with little demand from humans (since
they likely would have been forced to shift their needs after the period of very low
fertility. During this time the land may have repaired itself.) Another theory is that
humans may have implemented some type of land rehabilitation strategy to re-fortify it
after the period of severe depression around 2030.

2. Set the Initial Non-renewable Resources slider at a low point near the left hand side of the
bar. Set the date for the Progressive Policy Adoption slider to a time in 1970. Run the model
and complete a row in Table 1 showing the results.

All the conditions in this scenario are the same as the scenario set in question 1 except that the
start date for adopting Progressive Policies is set moved back to 1970.

a) Compare the results that this change produces using all 3 results panes.

With a significantly less amount of resources as well as policy that is relatively not
progressive, we still see significant peaks and drops, but they occur at different time.
Population peaks around 2010, decreases relatively sharply to about half of the highest
Sophia Masciarelli
World3 and Limits to Growth Assignment
Energy and Sustainability
Due 02.27.17

amount, and then regains stability around 2100. There is a similar change in land fertility,
with a very sharp decline happening within 40 years, a period of significant depression,
and then followed by a complete recovery around 2100.

b) This is clearly not an accurate scenario but is there some information that might be useful
for policy makers from running this particular scenario? If so describe the information and why it
is useful. If not provide some explanation of why you think that there is no useful information for
current policy-makers in the data from this scenario.

This information would definitely be useful in policy-making. It provides a prediction for


the wide variety of impacts which can result if policymakers are not careful and
considerate in their work. It shows the diligence and care which must be taken and the
impacts which might result if they do not.

3. Choose 2 scenarios that you think might provide useful information to policy makers.
Run those scenarios and record the results in Table 1. Then describe what the results mean
and how those results might be useful to inform policy.

For my third and fourth scenarios I chose the present day (2017), and a time in the future
(2100). For the present day, I chose to use relatively low resources (indicative of what
remains today) and policy from 2017. Not to my surprise, population and land fertility still
experienced a very low period of depression around the same time. This goes to show
that even a policy considered progressive (in historical comparison) is not progressive
enough to eliminate these drops. For the 2100 simulation, I chose to include very limited
resources to begin with. Surprisingly, this scenario did not differ very much from the
runs in 1970, 2015, or 2017. While the drops might not have been so extreme, they were
definitely similar and around the same time. I suppose this goes to show the inevitability
of some trends and how they are bound to happen independent of policy or initial
resources.

Table 1. Results of Scenarios using World3 Model

Initial Resource / Sketch of Results Sketch of Results -


Year of Overview Demographics
Policy Adoption

Initial resources:
406976744187

Year of Policy
Adoption: 2015
Sophia Masciarelli
World3 and Limits to Growth Assignment
Energy and Sustainability
Due 02.27.17

Initial resources:
406976744187

Year of Policy: 1970

Initial resources:
406976744187

Year of Policy: 2017


Sophia Masciarelli
World3 and Limits to Growth Assignment
Energy and Sustainability
Due 02.27.17

Initial Resources:
206976744187

Year of policy: 2100