Society Collapse Imminent

Guardian

New Member
Hi, I'm new here. Originally I posted all my debunks and thoughts on cosmophobia. But this is different...

I don't know where this fit's in but I have place this here for my own safety,

http://metro.co.uk/2014/03/16/nasa-...eversible-collapse-in-coming-decades-4605677/


Although when I first heard the headline "Experts have warned that the world as we know it could be doomed to suffer ‘irreversible collapse’ in the coming decades."

The first word that came to me was weasel words... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Hi, I'm new here. Originally I posted all my debunks and thoughts on cosmophobia. But this is different...

I don't know where this fit's in but I have place this here for my own safety,

http://metro.co.uk/2014/03/16/nasa-...eversible-collapse-in-coming-decades-4605677/


Although when I first heard the headline "Experts have warned that the world as we know it could be doomed to suffer ‘irreversible collapse’ in the coming decades."

The first word that came to me was weasel words... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word
Here is the study in question . . . http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~ekalnay/pubs/handy-paper-for-submission-2.pdf

It uses four math models to simulate future scenarios one of which is based on a predator vs prey interaction. Interesting but based on many assumptions that we understand the interrelationships and assume to have accurate historical information to base the analysis on. It assumes two controlling factors 1) Ecological Strain and 2) Economic Stratification.
 
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Guardian

New Member
Wouldn't a new society be built if the one we live in collapses? People aren't going to sit around and watch humanity crumble....
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Wouldn't a new society be built if the one we live in collapses? People aren't going to sit around and watch humanity crumble....
Well so far that has been the outcome. If it were not true, we would not be here to discuss the theory. ;)
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Thanks :) Awesome site by the way.
You are welcome and yes Mick West has done an excellent job with his creation here at Metabunk.

It is very common by-the-way for each generation to think their's may be the last and eventually one of those generations might be correct. Is our present situation anymore dire than those of the past? I would personally say no! Why? Because we are aware of the problems, we have world wide recognition of them for maybe the first time in history and the capability and the technology to make quick and massive changes in resource use and behavior. So I am actually optimistic of the future!
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Just in case posting in inappropriate boards gets you a warning or a ban, haven't got used to the in's and out's of the site so far..

The focus should be on asking very specific questions about individual bits of evidence. A very complex claim like "society is heading for collapse" cannot be answered briefly - so we need to break it down. What is the evidence? Pick one piece of that evidence, does it stand up?
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
The focus should be on asking very specific questions about individual bits of evidence. A very complex claim like "society is heading for collapse" cannot be answered briefly - so we need to break it down. What is the evidence? Pick one piece of that evidence, does it stand up?

"society is heading for collapse"

Been hearing that hysterical notion for more years than I care to mention.
 

Guardian

New Member
I would probably say that overpopulation is probably the best solid evidence. But I could say finding a suitable planet to live on or living underground would be the best solution. And for something like a demand for resources I would leave that for science to fix up a solution..
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
"society is heading for collapse"

Been hearing that hysterical notion for more years than I care to mention.

It's not all hysterical. However it is very complicated. It's not exactly something you can just debunk. There are a large number of factors that are in themselves complex and chaotic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse:_How_Societies_Choose_to_Fail_or_Succeed
Not that we should avoid talking about it. As it's quite important.

I think the bunk in the original link is the framing of the study as if collapse is inevitable in our lifetimes. The study gives probabilities. There is also the probability that the earth could be hit by an asteroid in the same time frame. Unless we can put numbers to the "could be..." it's just scaremongering.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
I think the bunk in the original link is the framing of the study as if collapse is inevitable in our lifetimes. The study gives probabilities. There is also the probability that the earth could be hit by an asteroid in the same time frame. Unless we can put numbers to the "could be..." it's just scaremongering.

That is my point and what has been hysterical about it all along.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Getting to the bunk here (which is the misrepresentation of the study as indicating a likely short term collapse).
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...f-civilisation-in-coming-decades-9195668.html
How long is "quite a long time"? If you look at the actual paper (thanks for the link @George B )
http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~ekalnay/pubs/handy-paper-for-submission-2.pdf
They don't really simulate the current state of the world, just some very simplified models, and their results indicate ranges of hundreds of years, not decades. They model two types of collapse, one taking 500-900 years and one taking 250 years.
You can see how this misrepresentation happens. The conspiracy culture consists of many groups who think that collapse is not only likely in the coming decades, but is actually happening right now. They are constant posting "THIS IS IT!!!!" posts every time something happens like a local police force buys a new truck. So the idea of hundreds of years of stability is incredibly foreign to them.

It think this study will end up being framed as some kind of academic agenda-21 propaganda.
 

Melbury's Brick

Senior Member.
But I could say finding a suitable planet to live on or living underground would be the best solution.

Another planet is a bit of a non starter.....

http://thebigbangtonow.wordpress.com/2007/12/29/could-we-survive-the-thip-to-another-planet/

In addition, how do you finance such an idea, and how do you persuade the remaining population that this is the way forward, after all it's not something you could organise at the last minute!
 

00Mark

New Member
Another planet is a bit of a non starter.....


In addition, how do you finance such an idea, and how do you persuade the remaining population that this is the way forward, after all it's not something you could organise at the last minute!

No doubt a conspiracy theorist would posit the secret elite (Illuminati?) building an escape craft in some covert location (I'd suggest North Korea, Antarctica or perhaps the Bermuda Triangle), using some (suppressed) Tesla engine paid for by the wealth they are accumulating from the rest of us. (See http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/news/375-years-national-minimum-wage-worker-earn-pay-ftse-100-ceo )

More seriously: I am not a mathematician, but it does seem to me impossible to predict the behaviour of complex systems beyond the short term - think of weather forecasts, not to mention economic forecasts and turbulent fluid flow. So it would seem quite infeasible to predict a date when society would collapse through the interplay of economic and social factors, the climate system and the ecosystem (and of course one ought to define exactly what would constitute societal collapse: for instance would forsaking the petroleum economy and going back to an agrarian lifestyle count as a collapse or an adjustment?)

It may well be bunkum to pretend to know when a collapse will happen. But it is also clear that everything does at some point come to an end - as the principle of entropy, and the fate of all previous civilisations, makes clear. As Greens are fond of pointing out, it is irrational to aim for endless growth in a finite world. I hope we don't throw out the baby of legitimate concern with the bunk...
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
I think the scepticism in this case is towards the presentation of the study, not the plausibility of these eventualities or the sense in some forward-looking concern.
 
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