The reason many people experience collapse fatigue is that they are waiting for a dramatic, off-the-cliff event that will “prove” to themselves and their detractors that collapse is actually happening—and thereby bring civilization to its knees. Moreover, let’s be honest: Anyone who has researched collapse and is preparing for it has some last vestige of doubt, however miniscule, that the way of life we have known since birth will actually vanish. Why else do hundreds of people tell me that they feel schizophrenic about collapse as they continue knowing what they know, but interact with countless others who are clueless? Why else do some people confess that some part of them thinks they may be crazy for preparing?
This, then, is the inner work of Transition: Questioning and letting go of the comfortable beliefs and unquestioned assumptions – conscious or unconscious – that we take as gospel truth, and that cause us so much stress (especially when the dissonance between them and reality-as-it-is becomes too obvious to ignore).
System Failure: We Are Approaching The End Of Society As We Know It—And That May Be A Good Thing, By Paul Gilding
Paul Gilding says it’s time to stop worrying about climate change; global crisis is no longer avoidable. He believes the Great Disruption started in 2008, as spiking food and oil prices signaled the end of Economic Growth 1.0 based on consumption and waste. Coming decades will see loss, suffering and conflict, but he believes the crisis offers us both an unmatched business opportunity as old industries collapse to be replaced by new ones, and a chance to replace our addiction to growth with an ethic of sustainability.
Here’s the idea in a nutshell. Most geoscientists now agree that human activity is overwhelming natural systems. Whereas civilization developed under planetary conditions that have prevailed since the last Ice Age, a period known as the Holocene epoch, we humans appear to be propelling Earth into a “new normal” through soaring carbon emissions, deforestation, ocean acidification, and a laundry list of other assorted global impacts. Geoscientists have pretty much agreed to call this new period the “Anthropocene,” to reflect the fact that planetary systems are now being shaped substantially by human activity.
On one level, we are only frail beings trying to survive in a rapidly changing, often fearful world; on another level we are nascent geniuses trying to contribute meaning, intelligence and beauty to the world around us.
And so the hypothesis stands: Maximum world economic output is nigh. If that is truly the case, the most reasonable forecast would be for a significant decline soon, as debts default and as investors pull back. We may be in for a series of subsequent booms and busts (the booms never managing to bring us back to current output levels, the busts plunging us further into economic turmoil). Mere stagnation would be a benign outcome, one that would require considerable planning and effort to achieve, but even then resource limits (which we’ll get to in Part 3) would ensure contraction sooner or later.
In sum, a critic looking for evidence to debunk The End of Growth would do best to pretend that Europe simply doesn’t exist. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
I suspect that in the throes of societies in chaos, involvement with men’s and women’s groups will be dramatically minimized by pre-occupation with survival, but regardless of how tumultuous the upheaval may be, the profound soul-making work that has occurred in these groups will not be extinguished. In fact, men and women may discover that groups focusing on the issues of their own gender are more relevant than ever because gender issues will become intensely germane as panic, rage, and scapegoating ensue
I can’t think of a better way to sum up the work ahead of us right now, as industrial society lurches down the far side of its trajectory through time.
Using scientific theories, toy ecosystem modeling and paleontological evidence as a crystal ball, 21 scientists, including one from Simon Fraser University, predict we’re on a much worse collision course with Mother Nature than currently thought. In Approaching a state-shift in Earth’s biosphere, a paper just published in Nature, the authors, whose expertise span a multitude of disciplines, suggest our planet’s ecosystems are careering towards an imminent, irreversible collapse.