Natural and social scientists develop new model of how “perfect storm” of crises could unravel global system.
Here’s How NASA Thinks Society Will Collapse. By Alex Brown. National Journal, March 18, 2014.
Too much inequality and too few natural resources could leave the West vulnerable to a Roman Empire-style fall.
Did Nasa fund “civilisation collapse” study, or not? By Nafeez Ahmed. The Guardian, March 21, 2014.
About that Popular Guardian Story on the Collapse of Industrial Civilization. By Keith Kloor. Discover, March 21, 2014.
Judging the Merits of a Media-Hyped “Collapse” Study. By Keith Kloor. Discover, March 21, 2014.
What happened to space exploration? NASA’s new project predicts the end of civilization. By Glenn Beck. GlennBeck.com, March 18, 2014.
NASA-backed study says human civilization is headed for irreversible collapse. By Scott Sutherland. Yahoo! News, March 19, 2014.
Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies. By Safa Moteshaerrei, Jorge Rivas, and Eugenia Kalnay. Ecological Economics, draft accepted for publication. Also here.
There are widespread concerns that current trends in population and resource-use are unsustainable, but the possibilities of an overshoot and collapse remain unclear and controversial. How real is the possibility of a societal collapse? Can complex, advanced civilizations really collapse? It is common to portray human history as a relentless and inevitable trend toward greater levels of social complexity, political organization, and economic specialization, with the development of more complex and capable technologies supporting ever-growing population, all sustained by the mobilization of ever-increasing quantities of material, energy, and information. Yet this is not inevitable. In fact, cases where this seemingly near-universal, long-term trend has been severely disrupted by a precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common. A brief review of some examples of collapses suggests that the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history, making it important to establish a general explanation of this process.