Down the Collapse Rabbit Hole

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 19, 2017

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Once you start digging into Collapse and its various ramifications and possible scenarios, you descend into an enormous Rabbit Hole, and it's one most people don't even want to contemplate at all. As a result, no matter what evidence you care to provide, how good your Power Point Presentation is or how many scientists, economists and social pundits (Bloggers) you Interview, what you mostly get back are Blank Stares, followed swiftly by Denial and various ideas of Techno-Triumphalism & Cornucopianism.  The Sheeple just don't WANT to believe that the dream they were sold of endless progress, endless growth and an eventual and inevitable destiny of Colonizing the Universe with Homo Sap Meat Packages is not our Ultimate Destiny. They definitely do not want to acknowledge that a Collapse of this Dream is likely to occur within their own lifetimes.

So, if you have explored the Rabbit Hole some, with this group (the majority) of people, you have virtually no chance of getting through to them at all, you're just banging your head up against a brick wall.  But what about the people who have become to one extent or another aware of collapse (and there are more of them all the time)?

These people (who I refer to as Kollapsniks) come in quite a few different flavors, and have widely divergent views on what trajectory the collapse will take, and what they see as the most likely outcome.  These divergences of opinion lead to disputes within the Kollapse Kommunity, which given it is pretty small to begin with means what you get out of it are a lot of tiny splinter groups which all argue with each other, even more than they argue with the dominant Techno-Triumphalism spin!

Amongst the Kollapsniks though, you run the gamut from those who believe in Renewable Energy as a long term savior after a period of economic collapse, all the way to those who believe in a Near Term Human Extinction, currently predicted for as soon as 2026 by Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last, aka "Dr. McSerpent" or "Dr. McStinksion" here on the Diner.  There are a few different flavors of Kollapsnik between these extremes though, so for today's essay I will detail some of them that I have run across during my travels down the Rabbit Hole over the last decade.  I will work my way from the "least kollapsy" to the "most kollapsy", more or less in order although there are variations here to consider in the

#1- Renewables Kollapsnik (RK)- RKs acknowledge that the fossil fuel economy is destined for death, but feel it is still possible for an econonomy based on renewables to substitute for it, and moreover keep a significant portion of the current 7.3B people on the planet alive utilizing those renewables, along with other techniques like Permaculture, Hydroponics, etc.  Wind power and Solar PV are the most prominently featured forms of the RK future scenario, although other forms of renewable energy like wave and tidal power from the oceans and geothermal from global hotspot are also featured occassionally.  There are also some who feel that Nuclear techologies such as Thorium can provide clean power, or we might even invent Cold Fusion in the Nick of Time!

#2-Long Emergency Kollapsnik (LEK)- "Long Emergency" is James Howard Kunstler's of Clustefuck Nation's term, John Michael Greer from The Archdruid Report calls this "Slow Catabolic Collapse".  In both cases, it's more or less the "slow boiling frog" theory of collapse, which has it that we will gradually descend as more and more things become dysfunctional, but there really won't be a "definable moment" where the observer could say "THIS is where the collapse began!".  How long this Long Emergency actually IS before what we are accustomed to now and what our final outcome might be differs from one afficionado of this theory to another, some put the Slow Catabolic Collapse over as short as a 20 year time span, others go for 100 or even 1000 years on this.  Rome did not Collapse in a Day, of course, so this is the Historian's Eye view of thigs.

#3- Fossil Fuels Can Last Kollapsnik (FFCLK) – The FFLCLK sees that the overall FF economy can't last long term, either for economic reasons or climate reasons, or both.  However, the FFCLK believes there are enough FFs that can still be pumped up at positive enough EROEI to transition us into the #1 RK paradigm.  FFCLKs tend to ignore the ongoing and increasing problems with climate disruption, as well as ongoing pollution problems, and just focus on how much FF energy they believe is still accessible and can be used to power the industrial civilization and keep feeding the 7.3B Homo Saps infesting the planet. #4- Amish Kollapsnik (AK)  – AKs generally believe we can retrace back to around an early 18th Century level of techology, pre-steam engine.  This is based on animal labor and often permaculture as well.  It's a sort of Agrarian-Utopia vision.  Sometimes they acknowledge for this to even be possible at all you would need a massive dieoff of Homo Sap population, others contend that if everybody did it and performed Best Practices in terms of raising food and stewarding the land, we could in fact feed all 7.3B people currently walking the earth, and perhaps even more than that.  AKs are often "off grid" Boomers who retired (collecting a Pension and or Investment) and own their own Doomstead, although there are younger ones from the GenX demographic also.  Few Millenials are loaded with enough FRNs to buy their own Doomstead, they go out WWOOFING if they have this philosophy.  This basically means being a slave for Room & Board on the Doomstead of some Boomer.

#5- Fast Systemic Cross Contagion Kollapsnik (FSCCK) – The FFCCK is an afficionado of the work of David Korowicz, the Irish Theoretical Physicist who analyzed the various dependencies we have in our currently very complex system, along with the inability to backtrack on much of it because the prior systems we depended on have been for the most part disassembled. This is the "irreversibility" concept. For instance, you can't instantly go back to animal labor on the farms, because most of the horses were ground up for dog food in the early part of the 20th Century.  To re-breed up enough of them to do all the work necessary that tractors currently do would take a generation at least, and then all those horses would need to be fed too!  This makes the AK scenario look pretty bad, at least for keeping 7.3B Homo Saps above ground anyhow. #7- Mad Max Kollapsnik (MMK) – The MMK sees a massive dystopian world of the future coming down the pipe in fair short order, so also fits into the #5 category.  Besides Mad Max, this also includes other dystopian films like Children of Men and The Road.  You can think of it as "Zombies Gone Wild", and Cannibalism is the main cuisine here during this period. The general outcome of this period is #9 Extinction, although some MMKs might buy into #8 Stone Age, as long as the neo-cavemen are allowed to eat each other in a sustainable fashion.  Long Pig. "It's what's for dinner." lol.

#8- Stone Age Kollapsnik (SAK) –The SAK doesn't think we will even be able to keep smelting metal long term, both because of energy depletion as well as depletion of the feedstock mineral ores and ability to mine them up.  This leads to mostly a Hunter-Gather type of society and technology, or quite simple horticulture rather than what we currently think of as agriculture.  The paradigm clearly cannot support the current 7.3B people, so a dieoff of Homo Sap is required for this paradigm to work at all, if it can work.  Precisely how that dieoff will go down is not too certain, nor how long it will take to play out too certain either.  The long term for this though if it does play out this way is that eventually small tribes of people establish themselves on portions of the remaining good arable land on the earth surface at a decent enough AGT to survive a global climate change regimen that brings the AGT up a high as +10C from the current average.

#9- Near Term Human Extinction Kollpasnik (NTHEK) – The NTHEK sees the entire situation we are engulfed in as utterly HOPELESS, nothing can be done to save Homo Sap at this point, and probably most of the other higher life forms on the planet besides maybe the Tardigrades.  Doing any kind of preparation for the world to come besides being psychologically prepared to die is a waste of time.  You are in Hospice care now with Terminal Cancer, and you have only 9 years left to live, so you should  live them Excellently in the Hospice Care Facility for the soon to be Extinct Homo Saps, playing Bridge and Chess and maybe even fucking if you can still get an erection. lol.  This is of course something of a dead end (sic).  The main conversation amongst the NTHEKs is about how awful Homo Saps are and how they deserve to die ASAP.  IOW, as a group they tend to be highly misanthropic and highly nihilistic.  Very depressing folks to be around for too long, it can make YOU want to commit suicide to "Save the Planet. Kill Yourself", as is the credo of the Church of Euthanasia.  This Church really should not exst at all on this side of the Great Beyond, because if the folks running this show were all the least bit honest, they would have ALREADY slit their wrists!


OK!  Now that we have some kind of taxonomy and defintions for various flavors of Kollapsnik, what can we deduce from this?  Well, first there is tons of crossover between various areas, for instance you could be a slow kollapsnik who believes in an Amish end game, or a fast kollapsnik who does.  Those are not mutually exclusive categories.  Similarly, Mad Max might only last a short time, or could go on for centuries or even millenia! You can't KNOW the future for sure here, you can only speculate on what it might be.

Here is where the real problem lies in terms of getting any kind of cooperation between members of the collapse community goes is concerned, which is that despite a lack of concrete evidence which could "prove" any of these scenarios as even being the most likely outcome much less the ONLY possible outcome, each kollapsnik is so convinced of his own model he/she is not real willing to consider any of the other ones as a realistic possibility, unless it is pretty close to his/her main model. This is particularly true the more extreme the viewpoint, with the folks who believe in Near Term Human Extinction being the most fanatical and calling everyone else a denialist and deluded fool.  Rather difficult to have a civil conversation with these folks. Besides your favorite Kollapsnik flavor, another area of profound disagreement is how many people will be left standing after the collapse and how many people could the earth actually support in a sustainable fashion? These numbers go anywhere from Zero of the NTHEK up even past the current 7.3B people here now by some extremely optimistic cornucopians.  For most kollapsniks though it's somewhere between those two numbers, and a popular one often thrown around comes off the Georgia Guidestones, which call for a reduction down to 500M Homo Saps.  Others are more optimistic in the 2-3B range, although it is kind of hard to call anyone who thinks 4-5B people will die in the near future an optimist.  It's also hard to imagine year in and year out of the massive death toll you would need to accomplish this in even 20 years.  It completely dwarfs the entire death toll from WWII including the Holocaust EVERY YEAR, for 20 straight years!

There are some pundits who make a statistical argument on this, saying that if we just lowered the birth rate by a couple of percentage points and the death rate went up by a couple of percent, we would get all the dieoff we need to reduce population in 50 years or so.  That might be true, but it seems unlikely to me that this is how it will play out.  I expect large scale famines to occur periodically either from climate change or wars or both, and those famines will take out large chunks of the population in one quick bite.  Mostly in the 3rd World to begin with, but eventually moving to 1st World countries too.  Somalia seems to be experiencing both the climate and war problem as far as feeding their population right now.

Contemplating how Goobermints will respond, how they will fail and what might take their place also provides another taxonomy amongst the Kollapsniks, and numerous areas of disagreement among them which usually end up in a Napalm Contest. lol.  Here are few popular scenarios pitched out by Kollapsniks, in no particular order.

#A- A One World Fascist Goobermint will evolve with a single worldwide currency, usually figured to be the SDRs that the Bank for International Settlements created out of a basket of other currencies including Precious Metals.  This will be an Orwellian Police State, with anyone who is not a member of the current Elite used as Tax Slaves to maintain their power and privilege.

#B- A neo-Feudalist model will emerge, with a breakup of large nation-states into Regions controlled by individual Warlords and their armies. Once again in this scenario, Slavery is the generally accepted economic model for most of the population besides the Elite.  The main difference from #1 is you might exchange one set of Uber-Meisters (UM) for another, and the total territory one UM controls is smaller than the full globe in size.  Various UMs will be in a perpetual state of War with neighbors fighting over resources.  It more or less corresponds to Mad Max, although with a little more order imposed by the Warlords, not complete anarchy of small gangs. #C- A large scale Communist/Socialist Model will emerge, Nationalizing everything from Food Production and Distribution to the Banking System, to Health Care, Housing and Transportation.  Everyone will be employed by the State and paid by the State.  This is the Nightmare scenario for the entire alt-right Collapse Blogger coalition, from Jim Quinn on The Burning Patform to the Tyler Durdens on Zero Hedge.

#D- Massive breakdown on the large scale will develop many smaller Tribes of people without any real type of Central Goobermint at all.  Sometimes this is looked at as a kind of No Goobermint Libertarian-Anarchist Utopia where each of these individual groups functions autonomously on their own patch of land.  Other folks vew this result as a Mad Max type of anarchy where there is no law and most of the day is spent raping, pillaging and murdering others.

#E- No Goobermint –  Because everyone is Dead.  That's the NTHEK POV.

Now, except for #1 and #5, the Goobermint solution to collapse doesn't have to be the same everywhere and probably won't be.  So you might have some neighborhoods running a neo-Feudal model, some running a Commie model and some running a Tribal model.  It depends a lot where in the timeline you are, the further out you go the less likely the larger organizations of Goobermint are possible and the more likely you will have smaller tribal models.  It also depends on population density, places with higher density are more likely to be in the neo-Feudal or Commie models, low density locations Tribal.

That's more or less a full overview of the current taxonomy in the Collapse Blogosphere, although I'm sure there are more distinctions that could be made.  These are the main camps though, and differences between the outlook between them is what drives all the arguments (AKA: Napalm Contests) that go on in various commentariats and between bloggers.  Kollapsniks tend to be very passionately attached to their particular POV, and no amount of debate will change their minds once set into one of these viewpoints.  The arguments between the people with different POVs also become predictable and repetitive if you have been around the collapse blogosphere long enough.

For my own POV, I am a #8C long term and lean toward Fast Collapse but with a period of Scavenging that lasts maybe 100-200 years before Homo Sap is back to near-complete Stona Age.  There might be some basic smelting of metal for things like axles, knives, axes and scythes, but none of the complex manufactured and machined items we are used buying at Home Depot.

Just because we'll likely have simpler tools and a more "primitive" style of living doesnt mean we can't retain a lot of knowledge and have a culturally rich society.  We can still have music, we can still have literature, we can still contemplate the universe and do mathematics.  We can enjoy the spectacle and chronicle the history as the Beauty of Nature is Reborn over the millenia, and Mother Earth recovers from the devastation of the Age of Oil.  At least the few survivors will be able to do that anyhow.  I do not expect to be one of them.  I will however observe it from my Perch in the Great Beyond, as today I observe it from my digs on the Last Great Frontier.

24 Responses to Down the Collapse Rabbit Hole

  • Pintada says:

    Thanks RE, nice summary.  I hope to be around long enough to either know what happens, or get a good sence as to how it will turn out.

    "Kollapsniks tend to be very passionately attached to their particular POV, and no amount of debate will change their minds once set into one of these viewpoints.  The arguments between the people with different POVs also become predictable and repetitive if you have been around the collapse blogosphere long enough."

    Yes, and it makes me wonder then why all the napalm?  Your crystal ball is probably better than mine, since you are deep deep deep into the information that floats around while I am only deep into it, but still it is a crystal ball and has all the shortcomings one would expect from magic.  The napalm – well, actually the entire subject – gets boring quick when one realizes that.  A good exchange of information is still valuable, and I will call out obvious liers (as you know) but to get really insistant that it will take 10 years instead of 20, or 200 is just silly.

    Equally silly is the extinction talk.  The human race will become extinct whether it is 10 years from now, 100, or 1 million years hence.  Talking about the timing is doomed to be fruitless.

    Following the crash, the people that remain, especially if the population is very reduced, will have very little or nothing in common with us.  So, if a population of humanoids with which we have nothing in common exists, does that mean homo sapiens sapiens is extant?  I think that post crash we will be extinct even if there is a creature (call it homo sapiens doomius) roaming about.

    We can take a little wisdom from each of the taxonomic divisions if we can remain open minded.  For example, living an excellent life (however one defines it) is pretty certainly a worthwhile goal.  Also, working to have some sort of emotional balance in the face of collapse is a good thing.  Also, compost or biochar is really good for your garden.


    • RE says:

      Following the crash, the people that remain, especially if the population is very reduced, will have very little or nothing in common with us.  So, if a population of humanoids with which we have nothing in common exists, does that mean homo sapiens sapiens is extant?  I think that post crash we will be extinct even if there is a creature (call it homo sapiens doomius) roaming about.

      I refer to this new species as "Homo Diners", and they will ascend to a higher state of consciousness to eventually become entities of Pure Thought who can travel between Multiverses and Time at will, and inhabit corporeal form anywhere it exists, or create it as need be if it does not exist where they show up.

      We should have around 500M years to make it to this stage of development if we can make it through this bottleneck before the Sun is radiating too much energy for our current corporeal meat packages to survive.  Hopefully in the intervening time a Planet Killer Asteroid will not kill off the remaining Homo Diners. 🙂


      • Pintada says:

        "… and they will ascend to a higher state of consciousness to eventually become entities of Pure Thought who can travel between Multiverses and Time at will, and inhabit corporeal form anywhere it exists, or create it as need be if it does not exist where they show up."

        I think that goes without saying.

  • RE says:

    Yes, and it makes me wonder then why all the napalm?

    That is human psychology in action.  "Collapse" is an Existential Question, much like contemplating on the existence or non-existence of God.

    In the world of Religion, you have your Theists & Atheists.  The Theists believe there is a God(s), Atheists believe there are not.  The corollary in the world of Collapse  are the majority, those who believe Collapse will not occur and those who believe it will occur ( the minority).  The Kollapsniks correspond to the Minority group, and the Anti-Kollapsniks to the Majority group.  So, just like there is a fundamental dispute between Theists and Atheists, there is a fundamental dispute between Kollapsniks and Cornucopians.

    BUT, usually it's not the Cornucopians arguing with the Kollapsniks, it's the Kollapsniks arguing with EACH OTHER on their interpretation of the Religion of Collapse.  So you have the analog of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Druids, Wiccans, Panentheists and other flavors of Religious belief all arguing with each other most of the time, just as the various flavors of Kollapsniks argue with each other all the time.

    Belief structures are very strong amongst Kollapsniks, and they will argue them just as strongly and with as much emotion as a Christian will argue with a Muslim.  It cuts to the core of the belief system they have, and the "fine points" take on more importance than the belief in God, which both Christians and Muslims hold in common.

    This is the nature of existential questions and human psychology.  You can't escape it, because you are human.


  • J says:

    Hey, nice read and useful for relative newbies like me. Any links to blogs in the "collpase blogosphere" you'd recommend?

    • RE says:

      I’m kind of jaundiced now and it’s hard for me to recommend anyone in particular.  There’s a list in the Blogroll on the right meu bar but it’s old and not updated recently.  Some really good bloggers no longer write, or are very infrequent.  Other really awful bloggers post all the time.  You just have to surf around I think until you find a wave suited to your board.


  • UnhingedBecauseLucid says:

    In the wikipedia link to the Georgia Guidestones:

    ["In 2008, the stones were defaced with polyurethane paint and graffiti with slogans such as "Death to the new world order".[6] Wired magazine called the defacement "the first serious act of vandalism in the Guidestones' history".[2] In September 2014, an employee of the Elbert County maintenance department contacted the FBI when the stones were vandalized with graffiti including the phrase "I Am Isis, goddess of love".[7]"]

    ["The Guidestones have become a subject of interest for conspiracy theorists. One of them, an activist named Mark Dice, demanded that the Guidestones "be smashed into a million pieces, and then the rubble used for a construction project",[10] claiming that the Guidestones are of "a deep Satanic origin", and that R. C. Christian belongs to "a Luciferian secret society" related to the "New World Order".[2] At the unveiling of the monument, a local minister proclaimed that he believed the monument was "for sun worshipers, for cult worship and for devil worship".[5] Others have suggested that the stones were commissioned by the Rosicrucians,[11] with conspiracy theorist Jay Weidner observing that the pseudonym of the man who commissioned the stones – "R. C. Christian" – resembles Rose Cross Christian, or Christian Rosenkreuz, the founder of the Rosicrucian Order.[2] Alex Jones's film Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement proposes that the Guidestones are a harbinger of self-appointed elites who intend on exterminating most of the world's population.[12]" ]


    Timeless Guidestones & Timecapsules.  Had long thought about such a scheme as very worthwile project to be undertaken. I was always certain the idea had taken form somewhere (with so much knowledge gained, …it had to). I'm as delighted to learn about the existence of that structure as I am really facepalm disappointed in the fact it didn't escape the human idiocy fungus…

    Needless to say, that breed of moronism will have to be taken into account in my elaboration on the [G]reat [E]xplaining [E]vent…

    I was never delusionnal about the task, … but it's always good to be reminded about the depth of the trenches, and the thickness of the bunkers… 

  • Joe Bloggs says:

    Hey, what happened to scenario #6?  Or maybe we should call it scenario #666 when the antichrist brings about armageddon (just joking)

    • RE says:

      Scenario 6 is the "Mystery Scenario". 

      Seriously, I just messed up my numbering, but I am not going to go fix it now either.  I kind of like having a missing number and mystery scenario in there.


  • MountainHiker says:

    Nice summary RE. Thanks for putting it together. From my many years of interest in the collapse-o-sphere, I would say you covered the bases quite well. 

    I guess I am one of those wisy-washy kollapsnicks who moves through about any one of your given scenarios on any given day. Some days I am on the this crap heap is going down the drain instantly bandwagon, then swing all the way back to renewables might make life easier for my 11-year old one day, at least for a while. Honestly though, I think I currently am in collapse exhaustion, seeing the slow slide, waiting for a shoe to drop, but it just doesn't, yet, although our current political situation sure seems poised to ensure we fly off the cliff at full speed…one day.

    One thing I do know is there's a whole swath of people poised to suffer severely if we experience a slight blip in the daily routine. I do maintenance work for rental properties and there are vast swaths of people who are either very incapable, lazy, ignorant or just too good to do work they deem beneath them to survive a prolonged rough spot. I won't even go into the la la land that many of the 5,000 sq ft McMansion dwellers live in at the moment. I moved to property maintenance after a few years of dealing with these assholes. At least many of the people renting places are fully versed in the collapse-o-sphere. Something the McMansion crowd does not comprehend yet.

    Anyway, thanks for continuing to plug away RE. I always appreciate reading your perspective on what's happening.

  • Thanks for All the Fish !  (The Taxonomy, that is). I detect a robust sense of humor at work here, too.  I tend to rotate in and out of various scenarios, depending on the news-load I may have ingested on any given day. As someone who participates at a modest level in the Green Party, it's a tough balancing act between trying to find some reasonable sort of public policy solutions for a Nice, Gradual Collapse (or "Transition" as the euphemism goes) and going full-on Doomer some days on your audience. 

    I often find myself in meetings of the local students' chapter of "350-org," and would categorize these young folks as #1 in the Taxonomy, except, without the Kollapse part. In other words, transition to renewables saves us all from Kollapse. I feel that, as the oldest person in the room, I need to correct the record on this. There is not going to be time for a transition to renewables to prevent the fossil fuels collapse scenarios from unfolding. I like to use the term "Fracking Bust" and I have a countdown clock every month, and right now it stands at "94 months until the Fracking Bust."  The fracking bust includes both petroleum bust (probably starts 2020 at the latest) and natural gas bust (probably 2024 at the latest)–and there goes the "electric automobile miracle."  How do people think all these EVs are going to be charged-up?  Why, from electricity, generated from natural gas, piped in from the big 8 fracking fields, all of which are at the precipice.

    So, doing my Sundary review of the news, your article brought a smile to my face and made me COL (Chuckle Out Loud) in places.


    Bobby G.
    in Wisconsin

  • Davebee says:

    Yup, methinks all 7.5bn of us Planetry Viruses are about to get that undefined but thoroughly well deserved collective punch in the mouth, bigly…ala Mike Tyson.

  • HnH says:

    Thanks, RE for summarizing the Kollapsnik community. Once again, I am struck by the outcome fixation rather than a more robust focus on the process. How can one determine a fixed endpoint within a complex system, other than the burning up of Earth after 500+ milions years? Makes no sense at all to me. 

    However, if you look at the state of human civilization, any metric indicates that collapse is already in full swing:

    Close to zero interest rates of central banks with piteously little growth

    Fragmentation of national and supra national institutions

    Dramatical increase of speed in climate change

    Acceleration in the drop of EROEI

    Gaining popularity of fear-based/firebrand politics and increasing radicalization along old and newly formed identity definitions with regards to ingroups and outgroups

    Increase of inter- and intrastate conflict up to and including civil war and genocide

    Drop in vaccination rates and reappearance of easily treatable epidemics, such as cholera and tbc

    The list could go on and on…

    Just look at how the world has changed within the last 9 years. Just realize how hard people, in your own rich country, have to fight to hold on to what they have and how scared many of them are.


    We are in full swing on the downward trajectory, which seems to accelerate rather than slow down. We have a full view in the front row of what is happening right now, and how fast the situation changed within the last 10 or even 20 years.

    I think that is much more interesting than discussing the validity of a rather arbitrary endpoint that nobody could agree on when and where to put it.





    • RE says:

      Collapse is a process and has been underway for quite some time, for sure.

      However, most Kollapsniks look for a new definable event, such as a stock market crash or the ATMs all outta cash that will tip us over the edge of the precipice.

      In terms of endpoints, the biggest question is whether there will be ZERO people left at the end or >Zero people?


  • HnH says:

    The "biggest question" is for me one of probabilities, not one of certainties. It is also one of the chosen point in time on which to measure, and one with regional, not global relevance.

    Is it bloody likely that all of humankind will die within a timeframe of less than 1000 years? Certainly not if you take the Russian tundra, Alaska, the Himalayas etc. into account.

    Is it bloody likely that humankind will be able to sustain itself by maintaining a population of 7+ billion? As unlikely, or even more so than humankind being wiped out completely.

    One could argue the skewness of bell curve, or even fat tails and other statistical delicacies, but if one starts talking about the certainty of one´s favourite outcome, then that is akin to discussing religion.

    "My god is better than your god!". That is a faith based discussion with no tolerance of deviation. Why don´t those people just start a sect or a church, where they can preach to the converted?

    If I would be able to preserve some of the gains humanity has made within this civilizational cycle, then it would be the scientific approach to investigating encountered phenomena. That would be really nice.


  • RE says:

    "My god is better than your god!". That is a faith based discussion with no tolerance of deviation. Why don´t those people just start a sect or a church, where they can preach to the converted?

    At least the NTHE crew already did.  The Church of Near Term Human  Extinction can be found on Nature Bats Last where the High Priest Dr. McStinksion preaches the Word of God.


  • K Dog says:

    I advocate that a #C- A large scale Communist/Socialist Model should emerge.  Will it happen, probably not and without it carnage.  It is the only reasonable answer to (FSCCK).  The activities of men must return to the work of providing sustinence.  Fifty million Americans working in gardens and processing food to feed everyone else here at least.

    200 years down the pike.

    This view is 200 years down the pike.  before this painting was made people pulled carts like they did in China not so long ago.  The wood for that fence came from a forest planted on the graves of those cart pullers.  There are no solar panels here because they are located at the vantage point of the painter of this painting.  The only use for solar energy is to power government communications such as in the building behind the painter, unseen from this vantage point.

    Great article RE

  • tagio says:

    Nice and accurate overview, RE, IMO, and a fun read! I second HnH's comment, I do not understand the fixation on making an "accurate prediction" of what the exact nature of the end will be.  Craziness!  As we all know, making predictions is difficult, especially about the future.  People act as if they have to know the future, and they have to get that right, in order to negotiate today, and that if only they know the future, they will know what to do today.  Meanwhile the days pass on, nothing changing, while everyone struggles to get the vision of the future just right. Effing-un-believable, but we are trained to it for thousands of years.  It's the religious mindset recapitulated, fundamental to the civilization psyche.  I need to know the order of tomorrow, in order to know the order of today.  JMG excels at selling this vision, and it is why I can't stand reading him. 

    Except for the scenario where we all die in under two decades, there are things people can do to make whatever happens – and even if nothing happens – better than current conditions.  Foremost among these would be creating a community of relatively like-minded /like-driven family and friends and, if you are in a relatively small city or a town, working with your local government and fellow citizens to build community resilience and to re-localize the economy.   Precious few can be bothered with this, they are focused on nailing the future.   It's why I have tuned out most of the collapsitarian space.   

    Hope you are doing well, and I hope you might give us a report soon on how the SUN project is going andor what you are learning from it. 

    • K Dog says:

      Good point.  We should not have to know the exact shape of the future to know what to do now.  That people obsess with the future is perhaps a failing in our mentation but the vast majority of people assume that we will be living in a Star Treck future and beaming around the galaxy pretty quick.  With so much denial everywhere some obsession may be appropriate.  I'll agree concentration on solutions is a better expression of our thoughts than worrying about the exact composition of the shit sandwich before us but such obsession is far better than nothing.  Not caring about the future is exactly what TPTB want as they have a strong preference and commitment to the existing arrangements.  Considering this perspective a strong interest in the exact shape of things to come while not our best response it is better than nothing. So let there be more obsession!

  • AJ says:

    Thanks for the nice analysis RE. I have been reading many of the people you have listed for some time with many criticisms of their positions that you articulated. I like some of the other comentators change spots on the continuam from 1 or 2 to 8 with a thinking that we will have a few Mad Max's thrown in for fun;).  My own personal problem is how to deal with the loneliness of being around all the sheeple with overwhelming Normalacy bias. How do you all stand it? I have only a very, very few people who even appreciate the dire straits we are in and they can't bring themselves to prepare in any way for whats coming down the rabbit hole after us. Oh, well – out to plant a few trees.

  • RE says:

    How do you all stand it?

    Well, first of all IRL I am basically a Hermit and don't deal with or talk to any other people.  No IRL "friends" in my neighborhood at all.

    I do have friends though I occassionally get together with IRL (about once a year), the other people who are principals on the Diner, and they are all Kollapsniks.  Cornucopians are shot on site if they are spied during these Convocations of Diners.  LOL.

    In terms of how I deal with such people I meet in virtual space, I argue them down for as long as they stick to topic and don't make it a Napalm Contest.  When they do that, I use the Chicago Way and Napalm the LIVING SHIT out of them back.


  • A fascinating presentation, which explains a lot.

    Some personal reflections.

    The first is that of course none of us – scientist or blogger – has an inkling of what the future will be like.

    All we really know is that there will be tremendous changes all over the globe, and very likely adverse ones. Any of the scenarios may be right, or at least partially right.

    One element missing in most of the scenarios you describe is the interaction between global breakdown on the one hand, and global information/surveillance on the other. There has never been anything remotely resembling this before (famines on Facebook?).

    • RE says:

      “Knowing” the future is of course impossible unless you postulate somebody has a time machine or at least a working Crystal Ball.  All you can do is speculate on possible scenarios and assign likelihoods to those scenarios based on your best WAG.  The further you go into the future with projections, the greater the error margin is, and really projecting anything past a century is total fantasy.

      Far as global surveillance is concerned, that lasts only as long as the internet does,and that one has a limited lifespan of under a century, IMHO.


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