Utopia: the collapse of civilization – A two year retrospective of what we warned would happen

In the News: A new study partly-sponsored by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilization disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”
The independent research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary ‘Human And Nature Dynamical’ (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The HANDY model was created using a minor Nasa grant, but the study based on it was conducted independently. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.
It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilizations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilization: “The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”  By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilization decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.
These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity;” and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]” These social phenomena have played “a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse,” in all such cases over “the last five thousand years.” –Guardian UK  To order the book, click on the link in the banner below:

Utopia book

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This entry was posted in Age of Decadence, Civil Liberties threatened, Civil Unrest, Civil War and Conflict, Civilization Unravels, Class Division, Conflict Among Nations, Ecological Disaster, Economic Collapse, Escalating hostilities, Ethnic tensions, Global Police Force, Greed and Corruption, Hierarchal Control, Immigration surge, Infrastructure collapse, Nations Collapse, New World Order, Nuclear Proliferation, Population Exodus, Protests, Riots and Internment, Social Meltdown, Squandered Resources, Surveillance - Police State, Unsustainable Debt Burden, Widening gap between rich and poor. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Utopia: the collapse of civilization – A two year retrospective of what we warned would happen

  1. Dennis E. says:

    nice video.
    According to the post, we are at the beginning of a global industrial civilization which could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. So, what is happening now is the beginning of the end?

    That of course is not taking in account earth changes.

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