David Korowicz

Civilization and Collapse

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Published on Momentum Institute on Fenruary  11, 2017

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Podcast: David Korowicz Part 3- On the Cusp of Collapse

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on July 27, 2013

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On the Cusp of Collapse

Complexity, Energy, and the Globalised Economy

On the Cusp of Collapse

The systems on which we rely for our financial transactions, food, fuel and livelihoods are so inter-dependent that they are better regarded as facets of a single global system. Maintaining and operating this global system requires a lot of energy and, because the fixed costs of operating it are high, it is only cost-effective if it is run at near full capacity. As a result, if its throughput falls because less energy is available, it does not contract in a gentle, controllable manner. Instead it is subject to catastrophic collapse.

Fragments from a globalised economy

• The eruption of the EyjafjallajÖkull volcano in Iceland led to the shut- down of three BMW production lines in Germany, the cancellation of surgery in Dublin, job losses in Kenya, air passengers stranded worldwide and dire warnings about the effects the dislocations would have on some already strained economies.

• During the fuel depot blockades in the UK in 2000, the supermarkets’ just-in-time supply-chains broke down as shelves emptied and inventories vanished. Anxiety about the consequences rose to such an extent that the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, accused the blockading truckers of “threatening the lives of others and trying to put the whole of our economy and society at risk”.

• The collapse of Lehman Brothers helped precipitate a brief freeze in the financing of world trade as banks became afraid to accept other banks’ letters of credit. [1]

Download the full paper at DavidKorowicz.com

 

Catastrophic Shocks in Complex Socio-Economic Systems—a pandemic perspective

Off the keyboard of David Korowicz
Podcast off the Microphones of David, RE & Monsta

Article Published on FEASTA on July 19, 2013
Podcast aired on the Doomstead Diner on July 20, 2013

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The globalised economy has become more complex (connectivity, interdependence, and speed), and delocalized, with increasing concentration within critical systems. This has made us all more vulnerable to systemic shocks. This paper by David Korowicz provides an overview of the effect of a major pandemic on the operation of complex socio-economic systems using some simple models. It discusses the links between initial pandemic absenteeism and supply-chain contagion, and the evolution and rate of shock propagation. It discusses systemic collapse and the difficulties of re-booting socio-economic systems.

Download the paper

Related posts:

  1. Sustainable currency and the green economy: An Irish perspective
  2. Trade Off: Financial system supply-chain cross contagion – a study in global systemic collapse
  3. Comment on Liquidity Networks: local trading systems using a debt-free electronic currency by Bruno Ricardo
  4. Energy & Food Constraints will Collapse Global Economic Recovery
  5. Seeing Systems: a short course on applying systems thinking

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