Register

Peak Oil is You


Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)


Page added on April 29, 2008

Bookmark and Share

Why the demise of civilisation may be inevitable

DOOMSDAY. The end of civilisation. Literature and film abound with tales of plague, famine and wars which ravage the planet, leaving a few survivors scratching out a primitive existence amid the ruins. Every civilisation in history has collapsed, after all. Why should ours be any different?


Doomsday scenarios typically feature a knockout blow: a massive asteroid, all-out nuclear war or a catastrophic pandemic (see “Will a pandemic bring down civilisation?”). Yet there is another chilling possibility: what if the very nature of civilisation means that ours, like all the others, is destined to collapse sooner or later?


A few researchers have been making such claims for years. Disturbingly, recent insights from fields such as complexity theory suggest that they are right. It appears that once a society develops beyond a certain level of complexity it becomes increasingly fragile. Eventually, it reaches a point at which even a relatively minor disturbance can bring everything crashing down.


Some say we have already reached this point, and that it is time to start thinking about how we might manage collapse. Others insist it is not yet too late, and that we can – we must – act now to keep disaster at bay.


New Scientist



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *