Other Kinds Of Breakdowns Caused By Economic/Societal Decline Or Collapse

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
Other Kinds Of Breakdowns Caused By Economic/Societal Decline Or Collapse

We're so busy thinking about survival and prepping and issues like societal breakdowns, law and order problems, etc.

But how about what might happen when there's less money and resources to fight wildfires? Less money and resources to keep hydro-electric dams in repair, and the reservoirs behind them properly dredged. What happens with the environment we depend on: air, water, soil, biosphere, etc.?

Will we burn a lot more coal? Will we drill a lot more natural gas wells - without putting in groundwater safeguards? How long will those safeguards made of steel and concrete last? Right now there are hundreds of capped oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. What happens when the steel rusts and concrete crumbles in the next 100 or 200 years?

And how about keeping nuclear power plants and infrastructure operating at peak safety and efficiency, then properly decommissioning them and storing and processing the radioactive wastes? A major plague or war - or just half a century of decline - might very well be what leads to meltdowns at various plants worldwide.

Just look at Chernobyl today. The Ukraine already has problems with the current containment system covering the ruins of the plant, so an international consortium has already pledged $1.8 billion to build a steel containment shell to be assembled away from the ruins of the plant, then will slid into position over it. The shell is expected to last about 100 years. And then what?

Ukraine Raises $785m To Seal Chernobyl Under New 'Shell'
"World governments pledge millions for the construction of a 20,000-tonne steel arch to prevent further radiation leaks."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/19/ukraine-funding-cherno...

Chernobyl and Fukushima are great examples. Vast swath of land for miles around is now uninhabitable. Now this may be extreme, but iImagine if the world had half a dozen or more meltdowns like them more - like in India or South Africa - in the next 50 years.

I would love to hear your insights - especially if you have news articles or links to research - as to other problems may affect the environment.

Impetus
I was thinking of this as I read an article on gypsy moths...

How A Clever Virus Kills A Very Hungry Caterpillar
"The caterpillar is the gypsy moth in its larval stage, and the invasive species damages roughly a million acres of forest in the U.S. each year by devouring tree leaves. But the damage would be greater if it weren't for something called a baculovirus that can infect these caterpillars and cause them to engage in reckless, even suicidal behavior, scientists say. The virus is so effective that the government actually sprays it on trees to help control gypsy moth outbreaks."
http://www.npr.org/2011/09/12/140226986/how-a-clever-virus-kills-a-very-...

What if they weren't kept in check? And thank goodness the Rocky Mountain Locust has apparently been extinct for the past 100 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_locust

Poet

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3200
long term hazards

This is one I've thought of for a long time.  Plutonium 239, the stuff they use in civilian reactors, has a half-life of 24,000 years.  That means that the most toxic substance known to mankind will only be half as toxic 24,000 years from now.  That's more than three times the entire written history of humankind.  How delusional do you have to be to think you can keep spent fuel rods safe for that length of time and who knows how many multiples of that for it to be "safe"?

http://swiftspeech.blogspot.com/2011/03/plutoniums-half-life-is-24000-years.html

Quote:

Most worrisome of all is plutonium-239 — for a number of reasons. First of all, the vast majority of a fuel rod is made of plutonium, which means there's just more of it in play. What's more, says Helfand, "It's extraordinarily toxic." Plutonium exposure usually comes from inhalation rather than ingestion, so it's mostly associated with lung cancer. What's more, plutonium's half life is 24,000 years, which means anything released in Fukushima today could be around at dangerous levels for up to half a millon years.

Doug

land2341's picture
land2341
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2009
Posts: 402
Did you ever wonder if we're infested?

 I started reading about these zombie caterpillars and ants that are infested by microorganisms that force them to commit suicide in a manner designed to promote the growth of the invading species.  And I got to thinking.  Humans have become remarkably suicidal over the last 30 years.  I mean we've done really stupid stuff before,  but we tried the whole atom bomb and then after a breather of a decade or two of messing around with chemicals,  we got serious about the whole"Let's destroy the planet and ourselves along with it!" thing.

The three Es are all in crisis and we're stomping on all 3 accelerators like we can see that cliff and are just certain we can fly.  Maybe, I'm just saying, maybe we're infested.  It would explain alot.

xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
Say goodbye to what was once

Say goodbye to what was once a life-sustaining planet.

 

Coral reefs 'will be gone by end of the century' - Nature, Environment ...

9-12-2011

Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.

 

Click HERE to upload graphic (192k jpg)

The claim is made in a book published tomorrow, which says coral reef ecosystems are very likely to disappear this century in what would be "a new first for mankind – the 'extinction' of an entire ecosystem". Its author, Professor Peter Sale, studied the Great Barrier Reef for 20 years at the University of Sydney. He currently leads a team at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

The predicted decline is mainly down to climate change and ocean acidification, though local activities such as overfishing, pollution and coastal development have also harmed the reefs. The book, Our Dying Planet, published by University of California Press, contains further alarming predictions, such as the prospect that "we risk having no reefs that resemble those of today in as little as 30 or 40 more years".

"We're creating a situation where the organisms that make coral reefs are becoming so compromised by what we're doing that many of them are going to be extinct, and the others are going to be very, very rare," Professor Sale says. "Because of that, they aren't going to be able to do the construction which leads to the phenomenon we call a reef. We've wiped out a lot of species over the years. This will be the first time we've actually eliminated an entire ecosystem."

Coral reefs are important for the immense biodiversity of their ecosystems. They contain a quarter of all marine species, despite covering only 0.1 per cent of the world's oceans by area, and are more diverse even than the rainforests in terms of diversity per acre, or types of different phyla present.

read the rest...

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/coral-reefs-will-be-gone-by-end-of-the-century-2352742.html

changingman's picture
changingman
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 15 2010
Posts: 20
Or maybe it's spiritual?

 I started reading about these zombie caterpillars and ants that are infested by microorganisms that force them to commit suicide in a manner designed to promote the growth of the invading species.  And I got to thinking.  Humans have become remarkably suicidal over the last 30 years.  I mean we've done really stupid stuff before,  but we tried the whole atom bomb and then after a breather of a decade or two of messing around with chemicals,  we got serious about the whole"Let's destroy the planet and ourselves along with it!" thing.

The three Es are all in crisis and we're stomping on all 3 accelerators like we can see that cliff and are just certain we can fly.  Maybe, I'm just saying, maybe we're infested.  It would explain alot.

That's an interesting view... Land2341!

I had a conversation with someone last week about the world's economic situation and declining natural resourses. I expressed my worry and concerns about where the human race is heading. WELL!! this guy opened my mind. He is quite a relaxed person and has a deep spiritual belief. I couldn't possibly explain everything he told me without totally confusing you but he mentioned the Mayan calender which ends December 2012. He doesn't believe life will end but change is coming which is also true for most people on the site but maybe in a different sense. He also mentioned the fact that the earth moves and changes through the Universe which will have a direct effect on the way we live our lives on earth. There was more but very deep so i'll leave it at that!

What I took from him was that earth probably isn't the only planet that has a living species on it, The economy is man's creation and it seems to be the only thing the majority think about. How much money have I? what job makes me more prosperous? What car do I drive? etc... All the old ancient people/tribe had deep spiritual beliefs about why they where on earth, the human race now is totally different and we are obsessed with material goods (not spiritual) with little care about the world's natural resourses.

I thought this man spoke a lot of sense and it's made me question the timing of this economic collaspe, dwindling natural resourses, more violent weather, increasing war etc... and the Mayan calender and indeed the Book of Revelations which if interpreted has very similar predictions to what is actually happening in today's world.

Any opinions?

NZSailor's picture
NZSailor
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 62
Way over the cliff...

One of the best times of my life was college 28 years ago- every August I would get in my car and drive off to university excited for new classes, new friends, a great life in front of me.  A road trip across the US with the windows down and my favorite music.  There were no clouds on the horizon and so much to look forward to.

Five years ago I had this vague idea we were in trouble and the more I read and the deeper I looked I realized we were headed for a cliff. 

The last two years have taught me that we are way over the cliff-  $100-200 trillion in debt, an environment well beyond a recoverable limit, and a political/social order that will not be be able to deal with it.  Will we hit the wall tomorrow or next year?  I hope not.  But we will hit the wall in my lifetime and my children will have a different life experience than I will.

I won't get in to global warming discussions any more- 1 deg vs 3 deg temp rises in a hundred years, carbon sequestraion technologies, Kyoto agreements... we will burn coal as oil runs out, crappy brown high sulfur coal.  And then wood and peat and what ever is the lowest hanging fruit at the time. It will not be pretty.

I take my religion and alcohol in moderation but I've taped the popular alcoholics anonymous prayer to the wall behind my desk-

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Its not so much about looking forward now.  Its about enjoying my great family every day, the break of the surf on the local beach, the momma duck and ducklings crossing the street in front of the car this morning in my little town. Life is good, every day...but there are clouds on the horizon now.

Chip

 

 

kaman's picture
kaman
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 24 2009
Posts: 51
Very well

Very well spoken, chip.

Let's hope it's not an epitath.

isildur22's picture
isildur22
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2011
Posts: 22
Wide world of pathogens

Pathogens are often brilliant products of evolution. Another virus (rabies) invades mammals' salivary glands and reproduces there. The virus affects the brain, making the victim crazy and want to bite anything around, plus it makes the victim afraid of water, I guess because it doesn't "want" to dilute the saliva that it uses to spread itself!

But a funny possibility for what's making us humans behave cuturally suicidally is Toxoplasma gondii, a single-celled microbe. It spends part of its life cycle in cats and part in another mammal.  Usually, that's a mouse or a rat, who when infected by the parasite lose their fear of cats and actually become attracted to cat scent!  The rodent approaches the nearest available cat and is promptly eaten, continuing the T. gondii life cycle. Humans can get  the parasite too (fetus development is damaged if the mom is infected, that's why pregnant women shouldn't change litter boxes)... maybe that's why we like cats so much now when historically they were more like functional livestock than pets.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
National Geographic 6 Degrees Link

I'm not posting this to start a debate in a general thread with those I disagree with.

Therefore, this is actually a link to a comment in a "Controversial Topics" thread, where I have postd videos from National Geographic. Click the link below if you wish to go there:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/119043#comment-119043

I'm posting this only because this is another example of other kinds of potential breakdowns - whether man-made or not.

If you want to debate, please go to that above thread instead. Thanks.

Poet

butterflywoman's picture
butterflywoman
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2010
Posts: 46
first of all....time doesn't

first of all....time doesn't just go from now to 100 years from now....it takes 100 years to happen. but yes what we do today affects the following days....it's what we did today that makes the difference. or did we continue the trend to pollute and destroy the earth.while our sustainable life sits ready to go once we go over some cliff?

alot of us are old enough to know that these are not new topics....40 years ago these topics were being looked at.....when was soylent green published. or mad max for that matter? planet of the apes?

 

how many of us are awaiting a "collapse" before we tap into our stores, our " survival mode".....our new way?.how many of us used a gallon of gasoline today, or several....that are gone forever and what did the gasoline do for us.??? how did we waste it or use it?

how many of us said today , i'm going to ride this party til it collapses since it's here right now? then since  i'm ready , i will  change only when i have to.?

how many of us used brown energy(coal burnin electricity) today to do what? and then wonder what the air will be like tomorrow?

how many of us bought a bike which sits in the garage , while we use our cars and trucks to move about?

what are we waiting for?

if we can see what is happening and what is coming and still live like the rest...what's the point?

every year i plant some trees. someone said to me, you'll never live long enough to see them mature......to which i responded....you are right, but i am not just planting them for my enjoyment....my hope is that someone else will be thankful that someone had the foresight to plant them. that someone will stumble onto my homestead and pick the ball up from where i left it.

i challenge all to stop and observe how they do things, what 3 e's are they wasting/destroying.what are peoples rational to continue to use the current wasteful, polluting, destructive lifestyle. look to see how are you saying i'm ok, what i am doing is ok and not harmful or not contributing to the coming pain?

how much more polluting do we have to do, before we finally say, ok i am going to live differently....going to live with the earth, not against it?

i challenge all to take a weekend and turn off the electriclty, the cell phone, the computer, the gasoline....two days....how many of you can live 2 days without these?....and then....why not now?  if not now? when?

then i'd like to hear how and what every one did during those 2 days

 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments