NASA-Funded Study: Unsustainable Modern Industrial Civilization Headed for Collapse

earth by the gunThis isn’t conspiracy theory nonsense. This is one of the latest studies created by top level scientists modeling population, resource consumption, environmental sustainability and wealth distribution. The model is based on analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations over the last 5,000 years.

I believe this is the most important article of this millennium. And, thus, I am sure most people will avoid reading it, either out of blind denial or because it’s just “too scary” or doesn’t fit their religious views.

Interestingly, it took a whole panel of scientists to reach an agreement that we environmentalists, naturalists, permaculturists and ecologists have been warning about for decades. The conclusion is ultimately simple: You have one fish tank and you get one can of fish food every week. You drop in guppies. For a while everything seems fine. The guppies go forth and multiply. The guppies figure the good times will never end. Then there are too many guppies in the tank and they almost all die.

Highlights from the Article:

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.”

The study challenges those who argue that technology will resolve these challenges by increasing efficiency: “Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction.”

Elite wealth monopolies mean that they are buffered from the most “detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners”, allowing them to “continue ‘business as usual’ despite the impending catastrophe.” The same mechanism, they argue, could explain how “historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases).”

Applying this lesson to our contemporary predicament, the study warns that:

“While some members of society might raise the alarm that the system is moving towards an impending collapse and therefore advocate structural changes to society in order to avoid it, Elites and their supporters, who opposed making these changes, could point to the long sustainable trajectory ‘so far’ in support of doing nothing.”

Although the study is largely theoretical, a number of other more empirically-focused studies – by KPMG and the UK Government Office of Science for instance – have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a ‘perfect storm’ within about fifteen years.

However, the scientists point out that the worst-case scenarios are by no means inevitable: The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth.

To read the full article: follow this link: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

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Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “NASA-Funded Study: Unsustainable Modern Industrial Civilization Headed for Collapse

  1. …and they had to do a study to come to this conclusion? 😮 Obviously so dumb they’re smart… :p

  2. Yes, it’s like doing a scientific study to see if you tip a full glass, if it will eventually spill all its contents.

  3. The one thing I wanted when I read the first article was a link to the study. I found it and here is the link if you would like to read it. It is kind of scary…. This is a blog I JUST PUT UP.. the link is at the bottom. http://forhisdream.com/wordpress1/ (remember the links at the bottom)

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