Collapse

Podcast

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Lewis Dartnell: How To Rebuild The World From Scratch

If society collapsed overnight, how would we re-create it?
Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 3:24 PM

If our technological society collapsed tomorrow, what crucial knowledge would we need to survive in the immediate aftermath and to rebuild civilization as quickly as possible?

Ask yourself this: If you had to go back to absolute basics like some sort of post-cataclysmic Robinson Caruso, would you know how to recreate an internal combustion engine? Put together a microscope? Get metals out of rock? Or produce food for yourself? » Read more

Podcast

California Department of Water Resources

Scott Cahill: Collapse Risk At The Oroville Dam Is Still Unacceptably High

Bungled repairs and new concerns at the tallest US dam
Sunday, August 20, 2017, 5:20 PM

Remember the crisis earlier this year at the Oroville Dam? 

The overflow from California's winter of heavy rain threatened to overpower our country's tallest dam. A cascading failure of the dam's main gates, its primarily spillway AND its emergency spillway had the world watching hour by hour to see if a catastrophic breach was going to occur.

Fortunately, the rains stopped long enough for the situation to be brought under control. The dam remains in place and repair crews have been working all spring and summer.

But should we breathe easy at this point? Not at all, says dam safety expert Scott Cahill.  » Read more

Podcast

Archeoguidaroma

Joseph Tainter: The Collapse Of Complex Societies

What history predicts about our future prospects
Sunday, June 25, 2017, 11:20 PM

By popular demand, we welcome Joseph Tainter, USU professor and author of The Collapse Of Complex Societies (free book download here).

Dr. Tainter sees many of the same unsustainable risks the PeakProsperity.com audience focuses on -- an overleveraged economy, declining net energy per capita, and depleting key resources. 

He argues that the sustainability or collapse of a society follows from the success or failure of its problem-solving institutions. His work shows that societies collapse when their investments in social complexity and their energy subsidies reach a point of diminishing marginal returns. That is what we are going to be talking about today, especially in regards to where our culture is today, the risks it faces, and whether or not we might already be past the tipping point towards collapse but just don’t know it yet. » Read more

Podcast

Rangizzz | Dreamstime.com

Shaun Chamberlin: Surviving The Aftermath Of The Market Economy

What we'll need to persevere through collapse
Sunday, January 8, 2017, 1:23 PM

Historian and economist David Fleming undertook the writing of Lean Logic a grand vision that projected out the likely path of collapse for our currently unsustainable way of life, as well as the key success factors society will need to cultivate to come out the other side.

Following his death, his writing partner Shaun Chamberlin distilled the book's prime conclusions into the more accessible Surviving The Future: Culture, carnival, and capital in the aftermath of the market economy. Shaun, who has also been deeply involved with Rob Hopkins in the Transition Movement since its inception, stresses that localized communities that pursue developing as much independence from the central economy as possible will be the foundations for entering a sustainable, enjoyable future. » Read more

Blog

What Triggers Collapse?

Massive disruption often happens quickly
Friday, October 14, 2016, 6:33 PM

Though no one can foretell the future, it is self-evident that the status quo—dependent as it is on cheap oil and fast-expanding debt—is unsustainable. So what will trigger the collapse of the status quo, and what lies beyond when the current arrangements break down?  Can we predict how-when-where with any accuracy? » Read more

Podcast

Daron Acemoglu: Why Nations Fail

It's what you do with what you've got
Sunday, August 7, 2016, 12:17 PM

Why do some nations rise while others wither? Why have some of the world's largest empires eventually crumbled? What are the 'best practices' that a modern nation should follow if it desires sustainable prosperity for its citizenry?

To answer these questions, we welcome MIT professor Doran Acemoglu and co-author of the book Why Nations Fail. His observations? Yes, national prosperity has some correlation to the resources available to the State, but importantly, it's determined by how those resources are put to productive -- and fair -- use. » Read more

Podcast

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FerFAL: Understanding Societal Collapse

Warnings we should heed from Venezuela's crisis
Sunday, May 22, 2016, 1:18 PM

As we write about the risks of our over-indebted economy, of our unsustainable fossil fuel-dependent energy policies, and our accelerating depletion of key resources, it's not a far leap to start worrying about the potential for a coming degradation of our modern lifestyle -- or even the possibility of full-blown societal collapse.

Sadly, collapse is not just a theoretical worry for a growing number of people around the world. They're living within it right now.

This week, we catch up with Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre, who began blogging during the hyperinflationary destruction of Argentina’s economy in 2001 and has since dedicated his professional career to educating the public about his experiences and observations of its lingering aftermath. Given his first-hand experience with living through, and eventually escaping, economic collapse in South America, we asked him to offer his insider's perspective on the current crisis in Venezuela, as well as the devolving situation in Brazil. » Read more

Insider

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Preparing for the Coming Breakdown

Protecting yourself from social collapse
Friday, April 24, 2015, 12:18 PM

Executive Summary

  • The boom in fossil energy has allowed us to enjoy a stability that we may not be able to maintain in the future
  • As society erodes, power concentrates in those intent on grabbing it
  • Nurturing cultural capital is key to maintaining freedom and fairness
  • Strategies for reducing your risk to societal breakdown

If you have not yet read Part 1: Rising Police Aggression A Telling Indicator Of Our Societal Decline available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Now we need to prepare those people who live in borderline uncivilized nations, which include the US, Mexico, much of South America, and a few European nations for what is coming next.

Ask yourself this: If tensions are this bad now, while relatively abundant resources exist, how bad do you think they’ll get during the next economic downturn or financial crisis?

One of the core predicaments is that the future simply cannot be more wonderful than the past in terms of ease of life and living standards. The pie is no longer growing like it used to, and someday it will begin to shrink.

My Monkey Brain

I have a confession to make. I react strongly to injustice. It simply makes my blood boil. Writing this article has been one of my less fun adventures in a while because of all the horrible injustices I had to wade through to assemble it.

For a long time I thought that my angry reaction to injustice had to do with old childhood slights around unequal Christmas gifts or something, but I’ve since learned it’s a more primal reaction than that.

Or perhaps I should say primate reaction.

Watch how Capuchin monkeys react an unfair situation and if you are like me, you’ll... » Read more

Insider

Dreamstime.com

On Creating a World Worth Inheriting

Our current actions will define our future
Monday, July 14, 2014, 3:52 PM

We all know that the current paradigm is unsustainable over longer time frames. Here are a few of the ways in which we can express that concept more specifically: » Read more

Podcast

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FerFAL: Here's What It Looks Like When Your Country's Economy Collapses

Argentina is showing us the playbook in real-time
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 3:36 PM

Argentina is a country re-entering crisis territory it knows too well. The country has defaulted on its sovereign debt three times in the past 32 years, and looks poised to do so again soon.

Its currency, the peso, devalued by more than 20% in January alone. Inflation is currently running at 25%. Argentina's budget deficit is exploding and, based on credit default swap rates, the market is placing an 85% chance of a sovereign default within the next five years.

Want to know what it's like living through a currency collapse? Argentina is providing us with a real-time window.

So, we've invited Fernando "FerFAL" Aquirre back onto the program to provide commentary on the events on the ground there. What is life like right now for the average Argentinian? » Read more