In the News (from The Guardian): “A new study sponsored by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
“Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that ‘the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.’ Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.’
“The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary ‘Human And Nature DYnamical’ (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.
“By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, population, climate, water, agriculture, and energy. …
“These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: ‘the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity;’ and ‘the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]’ These social phenomena have played ‘a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse,’ in all such cases over ‘the last five thousand years.’
“Currently, high levels of economic stratification are linked directly to overconsumption of resources, with ‘Elites’ based largely in industrialised countries responsible for both:
“… ‘accumulated surplus is not evenly distributed throughout society, but rather has been controlled by an elite. The mass of the population, while producing the wealth, is only allocated a small portion of it by elites, usually at or just above subsistence levels.’…
“However, the scientists point out that the worst-case scenarios are by no means inevitable, and suggest that appropriate policy and structural changes could avoid collapse, if not pave the way toward a more stable civilisation.
“The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth.
“’Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.’”
My Comment: Human egoism cannot be stopped; it irresistibly leads us each and everyone to death. Even in the face of death, it will not be able to contain itself! So, we cannot even talk about the awareness of death. Only a global war, in which everyone will lose everything, will stop our egoistic civilization and compel us to reassess our attitude to life. Or we can advance if we accept the method of integral education and upbringing.