But when I hear arguments that “we need” to stand up for our ‘inherent’ rights and freedoms, and wrest ‘control’ of the levers of power from the obscenely wealthy elite, and denounce and protest injustice and inequality, and acknowledge and renounce our role as privileged oppressors, as the first steps to a true social revolution in and political and economic reform, leading, somehow, to a radical redistribution of wealth and power, and a more just society, I am reduced to despair.
The decision to embark on this rite of passage won’t be an easy one. Most people in the developed world have no interest in changing anything about their lives or their worldviews, and are often oblivious that anything’s amiss to begin with. They’re not remotely interested in asking the hard questions that might shed light on a path forward. Even those of us who are open to the rite struggle to take that first step. We’re scared. I’m scared. But we can’t allow this fear to rule our lives, to constrain our lives. A rite of passage isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to introduce us to our edges and the void that lies beyond. I can’t pretend to know precisely what each of these stages of our impending rite of passage will look like, how people in different regions will muddle through, but I trust it’ll be powerful, enlightening and, at the very least, interesting. Perhaps more interesting than we’d prefer. But then we live in interesting times, so go figure.
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?
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.
Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed The Environmental Point Of No Return? By Madhusree Mukerjee
Although there is an urban legend that the world will end this year based on a misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar, some researchers think a 40-year-old computer program that predicts a collapse of socioeconomic order and massive drop in human population in this century may be on target
A new report from the University of Michigan starts off its press release with a not so optimistic phrase: “It’s a message no one wants to hear.”
Just what message is this? That it would take an extreme economic downturn to slow the effects of global warming.
The reason is we have now reached a moment where four words — the earth is full — will define our times. This is not a philosophical statement; this is just science based in physics, chemistry and biology. There are many science-based analyses of this, but they all draw the same conclusion — that we’re living beyond our means.
We’ve tapped underground water sources pretty heavily as well. The water level in the Ogallala Aquifer in the Midwestern U.S. has dropped more than 150 feet in some places, leaving many farmers’ wells bone dry. As water is sucked out of aquifers, the overlying soil and rock can compact or collapse into the dewatered void, causing tall buildings to teeter in Mexico City, automobiles to tumble into sinkholes in Florida, or swallowing tourists on the fringes of the shriveling Dead Sea in Israel and Jordan. With so many rivers, lakes and aquifers going dry, we have to ask: Are we running out of water?
We hold these truths to be self-evident: That the real, physical world is the source of our own lives, and the lives of others. A weakened planet is less capable of supporting life, human or otherwise. Thus the health of the real world is primary, more important than any social or economic system, because all social or economic systems are dependent upon a living planet.
You Can't Kill A Planet And Live On It Too: An Interview With Derrick Jensen By Frank Joseph Smecker
Let’s expose the structure of violence that keeps the world economy running. With an entire planet being slaughtered before our eyes, it’s terrifying to watch the very culture responsible for this – the culture of industrial civilization, fueled by a finite source of fossil fuels, primarily a dwindling supply of oil – thrust forward wantonly to fuel its insatiable appetite for “growth.”