Monday, March 17, 2014

Irreversible collapse a distinct possibility

See this article on a NASA-funded study on possible scenarios of global economic collapse. The two main causes of such a collapse: "unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution." To dispel the regressive charge that collapse stories are fringe they detail several historical examples of previous civilizational collapses and their causes. To think that ours is beyond such considerations is outright delusion and denial.

Looking at the history may help us to avoid the same mistakes of the past, if we would but listen. Key ingredients to consider in past collapses are as listed above: depletion of resources beyond carrying capacity and a widening income inequality gap. The ultra-rich consume inordinate amounts of resources leaving little for the rest of us to fight over. Increases in technology have not reversed this trend, instead increasing it.

Such a collapse will first be felt by the commoners, as food and water supplies dwindle. The rich will not notice because of their hoarded supplies and access, causing them to further deny that there is any problem at all. But once an economy completely collapses for the commoners the inevitable result will be the collapse for the rich as well. And we are already well on our way with current circumstances.

The study does offer hope if we make two significant changes in policy: fairer redistribution of resources and a dramatic reduction in resource consumption by a shift to renewable resources. Those are two huge items though, given the 1% denial of the problem and their almost complete control of the US political process.

What the article doesn't say is that this is going to require that we commoners rise up, get involved, and get loud about it. The 1% will never change their minds about this unless they hear the hungry masses at their gates. Even then they won't but we might just force their hands nonetheless. One thing is certain though: if we don't get busy collapse is inexorably approaching. And we're the first to go. No bullshit.

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