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Articles on Collapse


Collapse, Transition, The Great Turning: Why Words Matter  by Carolyn Baker  5/21/10  - It may be that our species, tortured and toxified by industrial civilization as it has been, is incapable of beginning the world all over again without having lived through the ghastly consequences of what unprecedented growth and disconnection from the earth invariably produce. Perhaps we need this death in order to mould, shape, treasure, and protect the new life we ache to create.  Above all, it appears that we are being asked to allow our old way of life to die. Perhaps we need that death in us in order to unequivocally grasp in every cell of our bodies that disconnection, endless growth, competition, and entitlement kill everything in the universe. Perhaps humanity requires devastation of this magnitude in order to become a new kind of species – the kind of species that will never again allow such madness to prevail on this planet.  I do not wish to imply that we cannot experience joy or celebration until the Great Turning is complete. Even in the face of horror, we can have moments of humor, play, and elation. In fact, accepting the natural process of collapse as the first step in the Great Turning is profoundly liberating and empowering.


BP and the 'Little Eichmanns'  by Chris Hedges  5/17/10 - Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to be perhaps as much as 100,000 barrels a day, is part of our foolish death march. It is one more blow delivered by the corporate state, the trade of life for gold. But this time collapse, when it comes, will not be confined to the geography of a decayed civilization. It will be global.


Peoples Agreement: Final Declaration of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, Cochabamba, April 2010  - We confront the terminal crisis of a civilizing model that is patriarchal and based on the submission and destruction of human beings and nature that accelerated since the industrial revolution. The capitalist system has imposed on us a logic of competition, progress and limitless growth. This regime of production and consumption seeks profit without limits, separating human beings from nature and imposing a logic of domination upon nature, transforming everything into commodities: water, earth, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, the rights of peoples, and life itself.


Zero Point Of Systemic Collapse  by Chris Hedges  2/12/10  - The levers of power have become so contaminated that the needs and voices of citizens have become irrelevant. All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance. It means turning our energies toward building sustainable communities to weather the coming crisis, since we will be unable to survive and resist without a cooperative effort. We will have to grasp, as the medieval monks did, that we cannot alter the larger culture around us, at least in the short term, but we may be able to retain the moral codes and culture for generations beyond ours. Resistance will be reduced to small, often imperceptible acts of defiance, as those who retained their integrity discovered in the long night of 20th-century fascism and communism.


Dark Green  by Robert C. Koehler  5/13/10 - No matter how comfortable we are, no matter how securely gated our community, we live with profound insecurity, at the event horizon, you might say, of awareness: Civilization cannot go on this way. Our way of life is unsustainable. If we are indeed poised on the edge of massive and unprecedented change, and I believe we are, anyone pushing a comprehensive, detailed agenda of what to do next is probably a charlatan. I agree that the "solution" is not primarily technological. We have to give up the idea of being in control of the natural world; more to the point, we have to stop drawing the distinction between human beings and nature. We have to figure out how to reconnect with and befriend the rest of the planet and surrender, like an addict in a twelve-step program, to a higher power - to the universe itself. And in the process of surrender, we will discover, I believe, not a dependence on but an interdependence with, all that we have consumed, exploited and taken for granted these last half-dozen millennia. We're part of the cosmos, but we have to learn to listen to it.


The Imminent Collapse Of Industrial Society  by Peter Goodchild  5/9/10  - The collapse of modern industrial society has 14 parts, each with a somewhat causal relationship to the next. (1) Fossil fuels, (2) metals, and (3) electricity are a tightly-knit group, and no industrial civilization can have one without the others. The decline in fossil-fuel production is the most critical aspect of the collapse, and most of the following text will be devoted to that topic. As those three disappear, (4) food and (5) fresh water become scarce. Matters of infrastructure then follow: (6) transportation and (7) communication. After that, the social structure begins to fail: (8) government, (9) education, and (10) the large-scale division of labor that makes complex technology possible. After these 10 parts, however, there are four others that form a separate layer, in some respects more psychological or sociological.


The Western World View: Past, Present And Future, Interview with Richard Tarnas by Russell E. DiCarlo  - A world view is a set of values, of conceptual structures, of implicit assumptions or pre-suppositions about the nature of reality – about human beings, about the relationship between humans and nature, about history, the divine, the cosmos – which constellate an entire culture's way of being and acting. A world-view shift reflects a very profound archetypal dynamic in the psyche that closely resembles a perinatal process – a birth process. One has been within a "womb," a matrix of thought, a conceptual matrix, a conceptual womb for quite a while. You've developed within it until that conceptual matrix is no longer large enough to contain your evolving mind. It becomes seen as a problem, or constriction, as something to be overcome, and a crisis is created. After a very critical period of transition, of tension, of deconstruction, of disorientation, a sudden new birth is precipitated into a new conceptual matrix. There is a sudden revelation of a new Universe, which seems to open up. In this experience of a shift in world view, one re-experiences one's own birth on an intellectual level. It involves a very deep archetypal death and re-birth process.


How Much Oil Is Left?: interview with Richard Heinberg  by Lars Schall  4/7/10  - The reason it’s bad for both an energy crisis and a financial crisis to occur together is that each makes the other harder to address. Without adequate credit and investment capital, how will we build renewable energy infrastructure to replace our current fossil-fuel-dependent transport and electricity systems? And without cheap energy, how can we dig ourselves out of a financial crisis?  Both are indeed happening now, and this should be no surprise given the inherent linkages between energy prices and the health of the economy. Will we see global violence as a result? Of course I hope the answer is “no,” but the likelihood of war would be substantially reduced if the general public had a better idea of why their standard of living is eroding. Since politicians don’t really understand what is happening, I suppose they can be somewhat excused for not telling their constituents. But that means that the most likely response will be a hunt for scapegoats. If the world is to return to stability, an entirely new economic system, based on a new and different form of money, will be required.  Our current money system requires constant growth so as to enable repayment of the interest on the debts that created the money to begin with, so it cannot function well in the context of general resource scarcity and economic contraction.


What Do Empires Do?  by Michael Parenti  2/13/10  - While we hear a lot about empire, we hear very little about imperialism. Now that is strange, for imperialism is what empires are all about. Imperialism is the process whereby the dominant investor interests in one country bring to bear their economic and military power upon another nation or region in order to expropriate its land, labor, natural resources, capital, and markets – in such a manner as to enrich the investor interests.  Empires do not just pursue "power for power's sake." Empires are enormously profitable for the dominant economic interests of the imperial nation but enormously costly to the people of the colonized country.  In addition to suffering the pillage of their lands and natural resources, the people of these targeted countries are frequently killed in large numbers by the intruders. The purpose of all this killing is to prevent alternative, independent, self-defining nations from emerging. 


The Common Link with Climate Change, Peak Oil, Limits To Growth, Etc. - Belief Systems  by Nate Hagens  12/10/09  - Many of the issues discussed on this bandwidth are large, long term, and threatening. Consider the three primary society-wide topics of analysis and discourse: climate, energy and the economy. It is my belief these 3 are linked by an underlying cultural growth/debt imperative running into a planet with finite sources and sinks. But within each category you have, still, despite the same access to facts and considerable passage of time, widely disparate and strongly held opinions. If you find yourself in a debate about any of these issues you'll find apathy or you'll find cognitive biases underlying a polarized opinion.  This post will address some social and psychological reasons why the urgency of our resource situation may not be being addressed on an individual level and only at a snails pace on the governmental level. Among the phenomena we will explore are a) why we have beliefs and how they are changed, b) our propensity to believe in authority figures, c) our penchant for optimism, d) cognitive load theory, e) relative fitness, f) the recency effect, and several others.


Collapse  by Roger Ebert  12/9/09  - I have no way of assuring you that the bleak version of the future outlined by Michael Ruppert in Chris Smith's "Collapse" is accurate. I can only tell you I have a pretty good built-in B.S. detector, and its needle never bounced off zero while I watched this film. There is controversy over Ruppert, and he has many critics. But one simple fact at the center of his argument is obviously true, and it terrifies me.  That fact: We have passed the peak of global oil resources.


Chris Hedges warns of pageantry's perils  by Brad Buchholz
 12/5/09  - Chris Hedges, who wrote Empire of Illusion, examines America's identity crisis in an age of consumerism and spectacle.  He sees, in America, a nation that has lost its way. He sees a country that places prosperity above principle, celebrity above substance, spectacle above nuance and introspection. He sees a "timid, cowed, confused" populace disconnected from language, governed by consumerism, ambivalent toward the common good, enamored by an American myth that has no basis in the American reality.


Bottleneck by William Catton - A Review by George Mobus  11/24/09  - An ecological bottleneck (also called a population bottleneck) is where radical changes in the environment of a species causes a die-off of all but the most hardy of the population; hardy, that is, in terms of the selection pressures arising from the change. Of course there may be no sufficiently hardy individuals left or the ones that manage to survive cannot reproduce sufficiently to produce a new population. In that case the species goes extinct. It is the rate of change that matters as much as the degree or magnitude of change when it comes to shocking a population.  We are changing the world in ways unfavorable to human survivability more rapidly than we can either adapt or mitigate. And we have already passed the point of no return.


The Human Ecology of Collapse, Part One: Failure is the Only Option  by John Michael Greer  12/9/09  - A great many people aware of the limits to fossil fuels have assumed that the question that needs answering is how to sustain a modern industrial society on alternative energy.  The question that has to be asked is whether a modern industrial society can exist at all without vast and rising inputs of essentially free energy, of the sort only available on this planet from fossil fuels, and the answer is no. Once that’s grasped, other useful questions come to mind, but until you get past the wrong question, you’re stuck chasing the mirage of a replacement for oil that didn’t take a hundred million years or so to come into being. As the world’s political leaders busy themselves in Copenhagen for a round of photo ops and brutal backroom politics, though, the unasked question that hangs most visibly in the air is why human societies, faced with choices between survival and collapse, so consistently make the choices that destroy them.


Which Way Out?   by Jerry Mander  11/18/09  - This Forward to Richard Heinberg’s “Searching for a Miracle: ‘Net Energy’ Limits and the Fate of Industrial Society,” briefly summarizes the gist of that report:  For the first time we are able to fully realize the degree to which our future societal options are far more limited than we thought. With fossil fuels fast disappearing, and their continuing supplies becoming ever more problematic and expensive, hopes have turned to renewable sources that we ask to save “our way of life” at more or less its current level.  Alas, the “net energy” gain from all alternative systems is far too small to begin to sustain industrial society at its present levels. Our beloved “way of life” must be reconsidered and more viable alternatives supported.  It is mandatory that we build and take action at the local grassroots level, while also demanding change from our governing institutions, locally, nationally and internationally. But in any case, the status quo will not survive.


Searching for a Miracle: ‘Net Energy’ Limits and the Fate of Industrial Society  by Richard Heinberg  9/09  - A joint project of the International Forum on Globalization and the Post Carbon Institute, this report is intended as a non-technical examination of a basic question: Can any combination of known energy sources successfully supply society’s energy needs at least up to the year 2100? In the end, we are left with the disturbing conclusion that all known energy sources are subject to strict limits of one kind or another. The report explores some of the presently proposed energy transition scenarios, showing why, up to this time, most are overly optimistic, as they do not address all of the relevant limiting factors to the expansion of alternative energy sources. Finally, it shows why energy conservation (using less energy, and also less resource materials) combined with humane, gradual population decline must become primary strategies for achieving sustainability. PDF, 83 pp.


Beautiful Ruination: Hard-core may be the new green for a town at the end of the line  by Ginger Strand  9/09  - Braddock, PA, is a formerly booming steel town near Pittsburgh that has fallen into abandonment and ruin, like other towns in the Rust Belt.  Instead of becoming a consumer mall with big-box chain stores, Braddock is acknowledging the reality of the end of industrialism and decay by turning to salvaging and recycling the remnants of the past – and making art out of it.   It is also turning to urban farming.  It may represent the cutting edge of the future. 


"Peak Civilization": The Fall of the Roman Empire  by Ugo Bardi  7/22/09  - A delightful presentation, richly illustrated and peppered with dry wit, on the collapse of the Roman Empire and how its lessons apply to industrial civilization.


Definancialisation, Deglobalisation, Relocalisation  by Dmitry Orlov  6/16/09  -  We have to prepare for a non-industrial future while we still have some resources with which to do it. If we marshal the resources, stockpile the materials that will be of most use, and harness the heirloom technologies that can be sustained without an industrial base, then we can stretch out the transition far into the future, giving us time to adapt. I believe that people who start the process now stand a fairly good chance of making the transition in time. But I don't think that it is too wise to wait and try to grab a few more years of comfortable living. Not only would that be a waste of time on a personal level, but we'd be squandering the resources we need to make the transition.


Waking Up in a Former Empire at the End of the Industrial Age - Or:  Is It ‘Mean’ to Tell Someone Their House is on Fire?  by Suzanne Duarte  5/15/09  - The reason that we are in a climate emergency – in fact, a biological holocaust, as it was identified over 20 yrs ago – is that the dominant Western, globalized culture has been in a ‘cultural trance,’ drunk on oil, living in a delusional bubble for about 60 years.  Now, the question is, is it unkind or rude or unskillful to try to wake people up from their cultural trance and point out that we are endangering the future of our species, and many others, to remain asleep?  Is it ‘mean’ to wake somebody up to tell them that their house is on fire?  A lot of people seem to think so.


Reader Thoughts on Collapse, Part 1: What are we looking forward to?  5/4/09  - In April 2009, Culture Change put out a call for reader responses on three questions about collapse: 1. What we are acting toward? What main outcome might we be looking forward to?  2. What do we relish leaving behind, as collapse begins or as it will be intensified?  3. What do we not want to leave behind unresolved; or, what needs to be done before it's too late to accomplish it?  In this article, Part 1, we publish responses to the first question.

Reader Thoughts on Collapse, Part 2: What do we relish leaving behind?  5/6/09

Reader Thoughts on Collapse, Part 3: What needs to be done before it's too late?  5/9/09


Does understanding complexity beget a tragic view of life?  by Kurt Cobb  4/26/09  - Paradoxically, the tragic view of life doesn't beget mere glumness. Instead, it teaches prudence which can be a good thing and occasionally a lifesaver. It actually inculcates a more profound appreciation of those moments of happiness and bliss. As we mature we are ushered into the complexities of life. But when the willingness to accept these complexities is blunted or eliminated, maturity never arrives. Many remain in an adolescent state preferring an optimistic gloss on a simple-minded model of the world. The tragic view of life teaches humility in the face of complexity.


A Beguiling Veneer Of Normalcy  by Richard Heinberg  4/24/09  - Are we at the beginning of an epic Depression, or at the bottom of a nasty recession with brighter days only months away?   These reasons for concern pale in importance before the deeper, more profound and systemic problems of our time. While surface appearances could lead one to think that not much has changed from the status quo ante, in fact the beams, rafters, and studs that hold up the façade of normal everyday existence in modern industrial society are rotting and crumbling. In essence, we are witnessing the shift from a century of unprecedented growth to a century of contraction.


Thinking About The Future   by Keith Farnish  4/22/09  -  We are perhaps in the terminal stages of a terrible collective state of denial, manufactured by a system that dares not speak the truth about the future: Industrial Civilization is close to ending, taking with it a great sweep of the global ecosystem as the machine claws at the air, the earth and the seas in a last-gasp attempt to stay alive. That future is one that even the most hardened survivalist would struggle to contemplate in all its dystopian horror. It mustn’t get to that stage; but have no doubt, it will if we don’t stop Industrial Civilization soon.


Burning Our Bridges To The 21st Century  by Dmitry Orlov  4/7/09  - The future does not resemble the past – or does it? When the lights go out, people burn candles and oil lamps, just like they used to before the electric grid came into existence. When we find out that the supermarket is out of food and that the cupboard is bare, we hunt, fish, forage, plant kitchen gardens, and start experimenting with raising poultry and rabbits. Those who are incapable of doing so, or who feel that such lowly pursuits are beneath their dignity, become dependent on the charity of those who are more adaptable, or starve.


Timing  by Richard Heinberg  4/2/09  - The general picture is clear enough. A combination of peak oil, climate change, and the bursting of the mother of all economic bubbles will result in a collapse of the global economy, perhaps of civilization itself. If we are still to avert the worst of a crisis that could eventuate in untold death, destruction, and tragedy, we need to restructure the world's energy systems and money systems immediately.  This message (in one form or another) is issuing from scores of independent writers, environmental organizations, and economic analysts. Indeed, even before anyone had ever heard of a Credit Default Swap, going all the way back to the early 1970s if not earlier, similar warnings were periodically heard.


Post Carbon Institute Manifesto: The Time For Change Has Come  3/4/09  - Post Carbon Institute is dedicated to answering the central question of our times: How do we manage the transition to a post-growth, post-fossil fuel, climate-changed world?  It will be Post Carbon Institute's role to publicly discuss these issues in accessible ways, and as aspects of a systemic, interdependent web of crises. We will gather and analyze response strategies (whether proven or under experimentation), and disseminate them to the individuals, communities, businesses, and governments who need them. We will develop the framing and messaging of these issues so as to significantly raise the visibility and impact of emerging solutions.


Social Collapse Best Practices  by Dmitri Orlov  2/14/09  - Based on his experience of the collapse of the USSR, Orlov suggests how the American Empire can be expected to collapse.  With ironic wit, he describes practical ways to provide Food, Shelter, Transportation and Security in the midst of social breakdown. “What we can do is prepare ourselves, and each other, mostly by changing our expectations, our preferences, and scaling down our needs. It may mean that you will miss out on some last, uncertain bit of enjoyment. On the other hand, by refashioning yourself into someone who might stand a better chance of adapting to the new circumstances, you will be able to give to yourself, and to others, a great deal of hope that would otherwise not exist.”


Energy and ecology: why societies really succeed and fail  by Dana Visalli  2/1/09  - Most members of modern society are currently psychologically bound by the genetic command to obey the dictates of the clan; they are largely incapable of thinking and acting from an ecological perspective. World military expenditures illustrate this point; while the ecological and humanitarian needs of the world go begging, global society taken as a whole spends two trillion dollars a year on technologies and organizations whose function is the destruction of living organisms and ecosystems. This sum represents the majority of human discretionary wealth and resources. Individuals who wish to rectify this misguided abuse of available resources will want to make other arrangements for the assets flowing from their lives. Sustainable human culture will be impossible until the individual’s first allegiance is to the earth and ecological integrity.


Slo-mo Splat  by Richard Heinberg  1/5/09  - Remember the wall that environmentalists (like the 1972 "Limits to Growth" authors) have long been saying that industrial society would eventually hit? Permit me to make the formal introduction: Industrial society, meet wall; wall, meet industrial society. It's understandably taking a while for the recognition to seep in. We are not accustomed to seeing every indicator of economic well-being, in virtually every country in the world, slam into reverse over the course of a few short months. I still have random conversations with businesspeople and bankers who say we've hit bottom and recovery is at hand; in their view, this is just another business cycle. I see things a bit differently: to my eyes the world situation looks like a slow-motion film of a train wreck, and the sheet metal at the front of the locomotive has only just begun to crumple.


History, Meaning, and Choice  by John Michael Greer  12/31/08  - Like biological evolution, the cultural evolution I am proposing is in no way inevitable. The crises that surround the decline and fall of civilizations very often become massive choke points at which many valuable things are lost. One reasoned response to the approach of such a choke point in our own time thus might well be a deliberate effort to help the legacy of the present reach the waiting hands of the future. The same logic that leads the ecologically literate to do what they can to keep threatened species alive through the twilight of the industrial age, so that biological evolution has as wide a palette of raw materials as possible in the age that follows, applies just as well to cultural evolution.


The Five Stages of Collapse  by Dmitry Orlov  11/11/08 - I am quite certain that no amount of cultural transformation will help us save various key aspects of this culture: car society, suburban living, big box stores, corporate-run government, global empire, or runaway finance. We can wait until the lifestyle that is killing the planet and is making us crazy and sick is no longer physically possible, or we can opt out of it ahead of time. And what we replace it with can be difficult at first, but quite a lot better for us in the end.  The sooner we start letting go of our maladaptive cultural baggage, the more of a chance we will stand.


Protecting Our Families And Future In A Time Of Crisis - Carolyn Baker reviews Sharon Astyk’s Depletion and Abundance  10/15/08  - Protection equals preparation, which equals devoting a significant amount of our time and energy to lifestyle changes and conscious, arduous work as well as the expenditure of some money. It means devoting time and energy to gardening, cooking from scratch, insulating one's home, recycling, consuming far less than we do now, buying used items when possible, heating and cooking with renewable energy sources, and so much more.


Sorry, No Gas: Survival Strategies For The Post-Petroleum World By Peter Goodchild  8/24/08  - The main difference between America and previous civilizations is that, from now on, the cycle of "civilization" cannot be repeated. Oil is not the only mineral that will be in short supply in the 21st century. In the future, after the collapse of the present civilization, the necessary fuels and ores will not be available for that gradual rebuilding of technology. The loss of both petroleum and accessible ores means that history will no longer be a cycle of empires. But village life has a way of transcending disasters.


The Tempo of Change  by John Michael Greer  8/20/08  - The continuity of history as a lived experience imposes requirements on planning for the post-peak future that haven’t always been noticed. Like the imaginary lifeboat ecovillages that would make perfect economic sense in an imagined world, but can’t even scrape together the funding to get built in this one, a good many of the plans and projects that have been discussed as a response to peak oil make no provision for the fact that people will still have to live their lives and make a living while they wait for those projects to justify themselves. Those projects that make good practical sense here and now, or at least place no great burden on the people who choose to pursue them, will be a good deal more viable than those that can only support themselves in a radically different world than the one we inhabit.


The Delusion Revolution: We're on the Road to Extinction and in Denial  by Robert Jensen  8/15/08  - Our current way of life is unsustainable. We are the first species that will have to self-consciously impose limits on ourselves if we are to survive. We're in trouble, on all fronts, and the trouble is wider and deeper than most of us have been willing to acknowledge. We should struggle to build a road on which we can walk through those troubles -- if such a road is possible -- but I doubt it's going to look like any path we had previously envisioned, nor is it likely to lead anywhere close to where most of us thought we were going.


Community failure: our worsening morass  by Jan Lundberg  8/7/08  - Loss of community cohesion and mutual support is the fatal self-inflicted wound of the dominant culture. To hear most commentators and politicians, we have so good a system and a caring, competitive citizenry, that we must simply agree on how we might extract more energy for continued mass production. Or how to assure that our corporate empire is not compromised by embarrassing torture policies. Neither of these debates addresses the source of the underlying problem we’re immersed in. It would be futile to try to solve overpopulation or restore community without dealing with the dominance of commerce and profit.


Personal Survival In A World Gone Mad  Carolyn Baker reviews Mike Byron's The Path Through Infinity's Rainbow: Your Guide To Personal Survival and Spiritual Transformation In A World Gone Mad  3/6/08 - Examining the causes, consequences, and interrelationships of the current crises with actionable advice for individuals and governments.



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Orlov and the Wonderful, Terrible, Radical Simplification  by Sally Erickson   2/29/08  - I see the collapse as a piece of the story of the human, a real live myth, a very big and very profound story. I see this time and these events in ways that I imagine Gaia or Mother Earth may see them. What all of this represents is a vitally necessary process of cleansing and balancing.


"Re-Inventing Collapse" by Dmitry Orlov, reviewed by Carolyn Baker   2/27/08 - Lessons from the former Soviet Union on how to survive in a collapsing world.


The Five Stages Of Collapse, By Dmitry Orlov  2/26/08  - Rather than tying each phase to a particular emotion, as in the Kübler-Ross model, the proposed taxonomy ties each of the five collapse stages to the breaching of a specific level of trust, or faith, in the status quo. Although each stage causes physical, observable changes in the environment, these can be gradual, while the mental flip is generally quite swift. 


Responding to Peak Oil and Global Warming: Beyond Power Hierarchies and Economic Growth  by Dave Ewoldt  2/15/08


Back Up The Rabbit Hole  by John Michael Greer  2/6/08  - A concise overview of the connections between artificially cheap energy, the delusional global economy, the throw-away consumer culture, the reckless depletion of resources, and the realities/crises that we must adapt to.


"The Final Empire" By William Kotke, Part 1, a review by Carolyn Baker  2/1/08

Shell Game, By Steve Alten, A Review By Carolyn Baker  1/22/08  - Shell Game's value lies not only in underscoring the catastrophes toward which the human race is hurtling but in analyzing the mindset of empire that has made them inevitable.


Sowing the seeds of a future society  by Ken Whitehead 1/17/08


Celebrating Collapse: The Coming Adventure - Apocalypse No! Part 5  by Juan Santos  1/12/08


The Converging Crisis: Ecology, Energy, and Economics by Paul Chefurka 1/08


The Future that Wasn't, Part Two: The Phantom of Empire  by John Michael Greer  1/2/08


The Post-Bush Regime: A Prognosis  by Richard K. Moore 12/27/07  - Hidden agendas of Federal Reserve elites/Bilderbergers, biofuels, food, genocide, capitalism, power and empowerment.


Agriculture: closing the circle   by John Michael Greer  12/19/07


Stepping Into A New Paradigm As The Old One Crumbles  by Carolyn Baker  12/13/07


Redefining ‘Positive': Collapse From Beyond The Human-Centric Perspective   by Carolyn Baker  12/06/07


Coping or running when nothing’s working  by Jan Lundberg    



"Doomsday Seed Vault" in the Arctic by F. William Engdahl  12/4/07  - Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we don’t!


The Deer Factor ~or~ Bambi vs The Collapse of Civilization   by Tim Bennett


Lifeboat Time  by John Michael Greer   11/29/07


Fascism, Feudalism, and the Future  by John Michael Greer  11/14/07


Civilization and Succession  by John Michael Greer 9/26/07


The end of civilization and the extinction of humanity  by Guy McPherson 8/29/07


Eleven Inherent Rules Of Corporate Behavior  by Jerry Mander 1995 - This list is an attempt to articulate the obligatory rules by which corporations operate. Some of the rules overlap, but taken together they help reveal why corporations behave as they do and how they have come to dominate their environment and the human beings within it. Corporations are inherently bold, aggressive and competitive. Though they exist in a society that claims to operate by moral principles, they are structurally amoral. It is inevitable that they will dehumanize people who work for them and the overall society as well. In dominating other cultures, in digging up the Earth, corporations blindly follow the codes that have been built into them as if they were genes.  We must abandon the idea that corporations can reform themselves. Corporations, and the people within them, are following a system of logic that leads inexorably toward dominant behaviors.


The Perils of Globalization: an Interview with Jerry Mander by Scott London


The Columbian Legacy and the Ecosterian Response  by Kirkpatrick Sale


The Imposition of Technology  by Kirkpatrick Sale on the history of the “logic of industrialism,”a chapter excerpt of Sale's Rebels Against The Future: The Luddites and their War on the Industrial Revolution


Now we are human commodities  by Chris Maser    


Globalization articles from Resurgence magazine


Twilight of the Modern World   by Paul Thompson


Positive Disintegration  by Joanna Macy


The Plan  by William Kötke


Fifty Million Farmers  by Richard Heinberg



Astrological Interpretations of Our Crises and Choices


Uranus Square Pluto, Part 1  by John Hogue, Hogue Prophecy Bulletin  5/31/10  - The bad news for those who wish to hold onto the moribund past at all costs is good fortune for others who take these times as a challenge from existence to redefine and recreate yourself and then join others of like courage and celebration to recreate a better human civilization in harmony with nature. What existence is first trying to teach us this summer with a Jupiter/Uranus square of Pluto is to confront reality. Our spiritual, social, economic and ecological systems are heading for systemic failure. Time to sound the alarm, to "under-stand" and see what is the source of all of our problems so they can be transcended.   


Thrills and Chills: America In Transition, November 2008  by Jessica Murray  10/25/08 - Does it seem to you that Time is speeding up?  The point of all this intensification is not just to make us run faster in one place. The point is to usher precedent-shattering new energies into the slow, recalcitrant systems built by the collective mind.


Empire or Community: Globalization and Relocalization in the 21st Century  by Bill Herbst  7/07  - This article focuses on one significant choice among many in our making the necessary adjustment: continued corporate globalization versus relocalization by revitalizing relatively autonomous human-scale communities.


Power and the Collective  by Henny Rückert & Suzanne Duarte  2004 – Our task today is to connect the question of our own power with a system of beliefs that affirms the value of all life and provides a vision of a sustainable, inclusive human culture for the wellbeing of the whole. 



Sites & Blogs


Cassandra Club - Links to blogs on deindustrialization


Energy Bulletin Covering all aspects and dimensions of collapse


Post Carbon Institute – PCI provides individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, and environmental crises that define the 21st century. We envision a world of resilient communities and re-localized economies that thrive within ecological bounds.


CollapseNet – Michael C. Ruppert’s Collapse Network


Wake Up Amerika: The End of the Amerikan Dream


Life After the Oil Crash


The Dark Mountain Project - This project starts with our sense that civilisation as we have known it is coming to an end; brought down by a rapidly changing climate, a cancerous economic system and the ongoing mass destruction of the non-human world. But it is driven by our belief that this age of collapse – which is already beginning – could also offer a new start, if we are careful in our choices. Our aim is to bring together writers and artists, thinkers and doers, to assault the established citadels of literature and thought, and to begin to redraw the maps by which we navigate the places and times in which we find ourselves. 





About Empire - The monthly show that questions global powers and their agendas.  Be they state, corporate, military or economic the Empire team, headed by Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, will analyse these giants and how they strive to dominate everything from international security and finance to communications and the news itself.  Each month we fuse the best Al Jazeera field reporting and in-depth studio debate with leading analysts and commentators to discuss the most significant geo-political issues of the day. Empire can be seen on Al Jazeera in the last week of every month.


The Lifeboat Movement In Vermont: Confronting The Peak Oil Crisis  by Michael Ruppert  5/13/10  - Michael Ruppert, author of Confronting Collapse, discusses signs of collapse, the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, his predictions for the further breakdown of economic and political systems, and tangible steps to confront the reality of oil depletion. 


Peak Moment: The Twilight of an Age  12/25/08  - In his book, The Long Descent, John Michael Greer observes that our culture has two primary stories: “Infinite Progress” or “Catastrophe”. On the contrary, he sees history as cyclic: civilizations rise and fall. Like others, ours is exhausting its resource base. Cheap energy is over. Decline is here, but the descent will be a long one. It’s too late to maintain the status quo by swapping energy sources. How to deal with this predicament? He lays out practical ideas, possibilities, and potentials, including reconnecting with natural and human capacities pushed aside by industrial life.


Peak Moment: Calm Before the Storm  6/19/08  - Richard Heinberg, author of “Peak Everything”, reviews the accelerating events since mid-2007, including the credit crunch and fossil fuel price volatility, noting that we’ve missed most of the best opportunities to manage collapse. He asks, “how far down the staircase of complexity will our global civilization have to go until we’re sustainable?” His answer: when managed properly, with deliberate simplification, not as far as we might otherwise. In addition to long term efforts to relocalize our economies, he advocates developing community “resilience” to withstand short-term catastrophic events like food shortages or extreme weather. Noting that healthy fear can move us into action, he encourages an attitude of clarity, concern and informed action in this “calm before the storm” that he feels is soon coming to an end. (Audio or video, 27 min)


Joseph Tainter: The Collapse of Complex Societies, part 1 of 3  - According to Joseph Tainter, author of The Collapse of Complex Societies, societies become more complex as they try to solve problems. Social complexity can include differentiated social and economic roles, reliance on symbolic and abstract communication, and the existence of a class of information producers and analysts who are not involved in primary resource production. Such complexity requires a substantial "energy" subsidy (meaning resources, or other forms of wealth). When a society confronts a "problem," such as a shortage of or difficulty in gaining access to energy, it tends to create new layers of bureaucracy, infrastructure, or social class to address the challenge.  In Tainter's view, while invasions, crop failures, disease or environmental degradation may be the apparent causes of societal collapse, the ultimate cause is diminishing returns on investments in social complexity.  Video


Why Are Things Falling Apart?Short video clips from What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire


The Converging Crisis - radio interview with Paul Chefurka  1/08


Dr. Albert Bartlett: Arithmetic, Population and Energy


Peak Everything: Waking up to the Century of Declines - 1-hr. interview with Richard Heinberg  9/22/07


James Howard Kunstler: The Tragedy of Suburbia  2/04  - In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about. Video.


Jerry Mander talks about Paradigm Wars: Indigenous People's Resistance to Economic Globalization.  Video  (56 min.)


The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard - A wonderful little movie about the insanity of our economic system.





Collapse: It’s happened to Every Great Civilization  - "Collapse" is the name of the 2009 movie about Michael Ruppert, his path and view of what collapse will look like. I found it powerful and moving.  Mike Ruppert is kind of a tragic hero.  He doesn't bother with the question of 'why' in the film, which he’s detailed previously, but lays out 'what' he thinks collapse will look like, and how his own path led to this view.  I found his path poignant - former Republican and LAPD detective, and at this point lonely.  This is the film's website and trailer. -SD


What a Way to Go: Life at the End of EmpireA white middle-class guy wakes up to peak oil, overpopulation, species extinctions, and the converging crises of industrial civilization.  2007  2 hours


Children of Men - A world one generation from now has fallen into anarchy on the heels of an infertility defect in the population. The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18 and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction.  2007 109 mins.


Manufactured Landscapes:  A documentary by Jennifer Baichwal on the work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of “manufactured landscapes”—quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines and dams—Burtynsky creates beautiful art from industrial civilization’s materials and debris. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution, inspiring us to meditate on our impact on the planet as we witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste.  Manufactured Landscapes powerfully shifts our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it, without simplistic judgments or reductive resolutions. 2006  90 mins.





Dark Mountain: Issue 1 - Issue 1 is a book-length collection of new writing that goes deep into the roots of our culture, addressing the questions raised by the Dark Mountain manifesto: what do we do after we stop pretending that our way of living can be made “sustainable”? And where do we find new stories with which to ground ourselves, as that way of living passes?  The book brings together a remarkable combination of thinkers, writers and artists whose work engages with these questions.  2010

Time’s Up!  An Uncivilized Solution to a Global Crisis   by Keith Farnish  2009 


The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World  by John Michael Greer  2009


Bottleneck : Humanity's Impending Impasse  by William R. Catton 2009


Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse  by Carolyn Baker  2009 


Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World  by Michael C. Ruppert, Foreword by Colin Campbell  2009


Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front  by  Sharon Astyk  2008


The Long Descent: A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age  by John Michael Greer 2008


The Path Through Infinity’s Rainbow: Your Guide to Personal Survival and Spiritual Transformation in a World Gone Mad by Michael P. Byron  2008


Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines

by Richard Heinberg  2007


The Final Empire: The Collapse Of Civilization And The Seed Of The Future  by William H. Kötke  2007 - When our great, great, great grandchildren look back at the crisis that their ancestors had lived through they will understand why we changed ourselves, our culture, our relationship with our mother the earth and our relationship with the creative spirit of the cosmos.


Imperialism Without Colonies by Harry Magdoff - In the decades after 1945, a new form of imperialism was, in fact, taking shape—an imperialism defined not by colonial rule but by the global capitalist market. From the outset, the dominant power in this imperialism without colonies was the United States.


Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed  

by Jared Diamond


The Collapse of Complex Societies

by Joseph Tainter


Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire

by Morris Berman


The Twilight of American Culture  by Morris Berman


The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption by John Perkins


One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future by Paul R. Ehrlich, Anne H. Ehrlich


Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (American Empire Project)  by Chalmers Johnson


The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization   by Thomas Homer-Dixon


The Case against the Global Economy,  edited by Jerry Mander and Edward Goldsmith


Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World Is Possible by John Cavanagh, Jerry Mander


Globalization and Its Discontents  by Joseph E. Stiglitz








© 2010 Suzanne Duarte