Timeline for our way of life to collapse in plain language

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Timeline for our way of life to collapse in plain language

 We are now in the decline stage heading towards the collapse. The reasons are; to many humans occupy the planet resources are running scrace or near running out, quality and quantity of food is noteably getting worse, when these things reach a critical point people will start to panic and choas will start setting in. Since resources are running out to sustain the ability to get to work,  put a roof over your head i.e oil, gas, coal, raw materials for cars, clothes, houses, apartments, increasing demand for land to grow more food. Once choas sets in without a foreseable solution it will run it's coarse to a great devastating conclusion. How much only the few lucky survivors will know.     

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Sans Timeline

So, what's the timeline? 
Flesh this out a little more, and it'll make for some interesting dialog.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Timeline is up to the people

 All I can say is that at the present exponential rate of growth and comspumtion it will be maybe 20-50 years. The horrible part is that there is nothing we can do to stop it. Because it will require the elimination of about 6.5 billion humans. And you know the old adage (not me you gotta go) that's a good sign it is close to staring. We are limited to this planet for all our resources. Once essential resources cannot keep up with the populations the chaos and panic will start. We were born at the wrong time of mankinds progressive existence.    

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Timeline to collapse

And yet the U.S. keeps legally importing 1 to 2 million people a year and nobody questions the intelligence of that.  Nice.

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So...

What do you foresee happening, more specifically?

I don't disagree with any particular point, I'm just starting to entertain the notion that things might get wildly out of hand.
Also, I can't hardly imagine what billions of dead would look like. I suppose if it comes to attrition that high, that my chances are slim. The first thing that comes to mind with that many bodies is the secondary and tertiary health impacts that would come from:
1. An increase in bacteriological illnesses associated with decomposition on a drastic scale
2. The horrendous explosion in population of carrior feeders, scavengers and other things that eat remains.
3. The rapid loss of civil infrastructure and the impacts that'd bring.

But I can't think of anything short of:
-Nuclear Holocaust
-Impact by a massive comet
-Extremely virulent disease with a decent incubation period

Actually putting that many people in the grave. It might be "inevitable", and I believe it probably is, but the mechanism and timelines of such a loss of life evades my understanding. Social collapse couldn't possibly bring such a high rate of mortality... that's 6/7ths of the human life on the planet. That's a lot. I can see a few hundred million in some of the more impoverished nations... but the scale you're talking needs more definition. 
Why do you think it'll have to be 6.5B?

Interested in hearing your points (and others, of course)
Cheers,

Aaron 

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Attempt at clarifying the point

The problem is in the exponential population growth and resources. I do not blame the individual that was born, we were all born through no choice of our own. Blame our parents! I don't know if that is fair either. It takes a long time to mature and get in tune with what the world is all about. Most people are to busy trying to make a living, I cannot blame them. As far as the elimination of 6.5 billion people that is also a assumptive calculation based on current scientific knowledge. Think of it this way what happens when a persons belly starts to grumble, thirst is not satisfied, and the body is exposed to extreme elements, no medicine, no jobs, no way to get to a job except walk and if the distance is to far that will not work either. What I am saying is that when the essential none renewable resources are gone that is it. Please keep the ideas flowing maybe their is some hope.   

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A grim picture

No_Fiat,

Quote:

Think of it this way what happens when a persons belly starts to grumble, thirst is not satisfied, and the body is exposed to extreme elements, no medicine, no jobs, no way to get to a job except walk and if the distance is to far that will not work either.

They start destroying everything they can to keep themselves alive.
Or they give up and die.
In either case, the strain on the eco-system starts to mirror the same self-destructive cycle we currently see with the spending and jobs, just no one is "injecting" more food. There is no quantitive easing.

Again, I'm coming more and more around to the "oh S***" camp. Community might be a "good" answer to these problems. It *is* a good answer, and probably the only one that matters. But those communities better damn well be ready to handle a big chunk of their own responsibilities, and that's something Americans are wholly unaccustom to.

I think this Locust Scenario is dangerously realistic.
...And I don't like considering 300 million Apex predators as competition... I just don't like the odds.

This also raises some difficult questions - this is a good time to say this thread could be an extremely valuable exercise in considering some "worst case" scenarios - about how to handle things if the collapse does come on swiftly and bring with it some serious problems.

- How, on a community level, will you decide who to let in and who to cast out?
- How could/would you enforce it? 
- How can you feed a normal sized town (~15,000) without lots of arable land?
- What will happen when food starts running low?
- What are the conerns that accompany starvation?
- How can you preserve not only your flora, but fauna, if you have it, from looters/thieves and the like?
- What will happen if things degenerate into gang mentalities?
- How could/would you mount community defense?
- How can you balance starvation with diminished stocks of wildlife (fish, animals, etc)?

Starvation takes a long time. Months, if not years, for the full effects or mortal aspects to take hold.
These problems won't come or go swiftly, and while I don't like admitting that these things are increasingly possible, we have to face that they exist somewhere along the spectrum of possible outcomes, and therefore we can't assign a liklihood of "0" to it...
It's worth talking/planning about now, I think.

Cheers,

Aaron

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 I am going to try and

 I am going to try and answer the questions in the order you layed them out.

Who will decide will be the person that is most convincing he has a plan to appease the community.

Enforcement will come from those who believe in the plan set forth as viable.

Feeding will be dependent on were you are and what and how much food is available.

When food starts getting low people will get desperate and reasoning will go out the window.

Concerns about starvation is I am going to die if I don not get some food, panic starts to set in.

Preservation will depend on who is the cleverist and more powewrful.

The strongest gangs will survive until someone more ruthless and powerful gets the best of them and so forth.

Defence will be based on numbers, and available weapons and food storage. The bigger the group with the aforementioned resources will prevail.

The last one is a tuff one because the answer is people have to agree to equally share what is available until the very end and then go out with dignity.

These questions are very reasonable and have brought a thought to mind. Maybe this is what happens when man does not understand or ignores nature. heeds. Maybe our only choice maybe to evolve such as be able to sustain oneself on renewable resources such as the animal kingdom does. A gorilla who is about 8 times as strong as an average man lives on vegetaion and berries a renewable resource. Or maybe we may have underestimated that we as a human species could also become extinct one day, as the many species that came before us. Anyone have any other opinions or ideas?  

 

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Cuba

 We could learn some lessons from Cuba and make arable land.  They used  a lot of worms and, unfortunately, forced labor,  and everyone lost about 30 pounds, but they did it.  They had no choice.  

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Cuba

 Cuba had several growing seasons .. we have a decimated gulf coast, and soon to be decimated aquifers in the northeast, due to fracking.

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maceves wrote:  We could
maceves wrote:

 We could learn some lessons from Cuba and make arable land.  They used  a lot of worms and, unfortunately, forced labor,  and everyone lost about 30 pounds, but they did it.  They had no choice.  

Yes! some will try and adapt, but you know as well as I do some will not! the will nots are going to drain our energy in trying to survive.

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Timeline is NOT up to the people
No_Fiat wrote:

 All I can say is that at the present exponential rate of growth and comspumtion it will be maybe 20-50 years.

No my friend, try 2012/2013

Mike

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2012/2013

Mike, et al,

I really am not trying to be difficult, but why do you think it'll happen that soon?
It seems to me that there is still some resilience, if not momentum in the megalith of Western Society.
There's still a semblence of control, and a government capable of enforcing it's will. While this might not be "good", it's something that can't be discounted when projecting a timeline.

Ten years ago, I thought it'd be a certainty in 2 years. Five years ago, I thought maybe another four or five years. Now, I think another ten.
I keep revising my outlook, because societies don't fall overnight. While some might submit that they should fall faster in an age in which everything moves faster, I'd say that so do the handlers. The FED, the Governments involved, the wealthy elites - the decision makers... They have a hell of a lot tied up in this mess, and even if they're only delaying it to extract whatever asset protection they can from the dying system, they will.

So, a monetary collapse is almost imminent. I'd say that 2012-13 is probably a reasonable timeframe for the first big shocks to hit. After QEIII, I wouldn't be surprised to see foreign investors lose their willingness to buy our debt, and the liquidation of bad corporate debt taking prescedence over publically held debt spawned by risky lending is going to heighten tensions.

After this point, I expect austerity that'll last for 5-10 years. A state similar to what you see in a failed state just beginning to realize it's time is up.
At this time (2013-2023) I expect the military to become fully engaged in wars of resource, and cracking down domestically on the population and the wildly out of control drug trade, an abject loss of respect and confidence in Law Enforcement and the legal system in general, and the devolution and death of the just in time delivery system.

Barring some major disaster, this will go on for quite a while.

It's after this point that I just have trouble seeing where things will go. Everyone's not going to start starving at the same time, and the supplies of food, and fresh water won't all just evaporate - so how will things be launched into the chaos that should be considered? What about refugees from the cities? 
This whole thing is just too depressing for me right now. 
...That said, I'm still really enjoying it. =)

Cheers,

Aaron

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Aaron's Timeline

Aaron,

I can generally agree with your timeline with a few highlights and other speculative thoughts:

2012/2013

My sense is that the financial realities are being dealt with right now with the use of chewing gum and scotch tape fto buy time until the next election cycle is over.  New administration or congress doesn't matter.  It will give the sheeple hope.  Within a year into the new admin/congress more sheeple will come to the realization that they are still being fleeced.  Anger will build and be set to explode on the next financial "black swan".  Euro collapse?

This, or another black swan will cause the "greater depression" to become a reality.  Authoritarian control measures by the central government and hyper inflation induced by the Federal Reserve will become the new reality for all of us.  This will result in an ever expanding unemployed populace.

This could go one for quite a while, like you say; however, other potential disasters, either man made or natural could very easily accelerate the unravelling to a total collapse.  When you throw peak oil into this boiling cauldron (please forgive the metaphor), it could be sooner rather than later.

2017/2018

Another major election cycle could potentially reveal the "strong man" solution.  A revolution on several fronts could coalesce (sp) and a break up of the former United States of America would ensue.  There will be a lot of pain and displacement with profound consequences for all of us.

Just a few light hearted thoughts for consideration.

Lindell

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Interesting Thread

This is pure speculation, but I wonder if it is fair to categorize the present day as part of the initial phases of the collapse.  If 2008 was the first part of the crisis, and our governments reacted in a certain way, what else is possible?  Thinking about the future, specifically when and what might happen can be a bit scary, but the worst does not have to happen.

Within the context of the present, our way of life seems to already be slowly collapsing.  Benefits for public and private sector employees have been on the decrease for years.  Millions of people unemployed.  Millions recieving government benefits.  One of the best places of employment for the middle class is the military....

With respect to any sort of timeline it is difficult to forecast.  In 2008 numerous people claimed that if there had not been any government funding to prop up the system, some sort of massive shut down was likely.  Whispers of martial law, the banking system freezing up....

If we were close in 2008 to that sort of general chaos and disruption, imagine what will occur the next time.  It could be on the horizon with Greece and the European debt situation, nobody knows.  As CM has been saying for awhile the crash does not have to be a massive dislocation if we just accept that these changes are coming.  Some who have posted in this thread seem to think the general populace will not be able to adjust, that they will violently try to maintain the status quo.  Governments may try to do the same.

I'm not sure it is possible to fully prep for a SHTF scenario....where the spiral starts with one event and things unravel from that point.

However, with respect to the timeline....if the disruptions are not too harsh, then the transition coming, the peak oil transition will just be something that happens.  Hopefully, over the next five to ten years, people understand that they must start growing their own food, that they must start communicating and relying on their neighbors.  If the "collapse" of what has been built is gradual and morphs into a sustainable civilization, than CM again has it right.  Our lives will have more meaning.

I hope this point of view is not too idealistic.

 

Jason

 

 

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Hi everyone:   There is an

Hi everyone:

 

There is an excellent article on The Oil Drum on this subject if you would like some other input by someone who has really researched the subject.

www.theoildrum.com/node/8530

Cheers All,

Ernest

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Damnthematrix wrote: No_Fiat
Damnthematrix wrote:
No_Fiat wrote:

 All I can say is that at the present exponential rate of growth and comspumtion it will be maybe 20-50 years.

No my friend, try 2012/2013

Mike

Yes! I will agree with you Damnthematrix, because now it is overpopulation, resources and fiat monetary system working againest the people. It's like we are in a catch 22 situation. 

 

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Timeline

I think I would fall in the camp of by the end of 2012.  There are just too many balls in the air for one not to be dropped.

Cheers,

Ernest

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newborn

I heard this morning that the global population is supposed to cross the 7,000,000,000 mark today.  Happy birthday to some newborn today.

Doug

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inevitable

The euro will fail - for reasons we all know which are too many to list.  I my opinion, theres your trigger.  That will be the event/date that history books record as the beginning of this mess.  China's a joke - ghost cities aside, the worlds hope amounts to nothing more than "vendor financing" of europe and the U.S.  The dollar will soar temporarily due to being the best house on a bad street - an opportunity the fed will use to print like we've never seen.  Thats when I believe we get hyperinflation and all that goes with it.  Just my opinion. 

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treemagnet wrote: The euro
treemagnet wrote:

The euro will fail - for reasons we all know which are too many to list.  I my opinion, theres your trigger.  That will be the event/date that history books record as the beginning of this mess.  China's a joke - ghost cities aside, the worlds hope amounts to nothing more than "vendor financing" of europe and the U.S.  The dollar will soar temporarily due to being the best house on a bad street - an opportunity the fed will use to print like we've never seen.  Thats when I believe we get hyperinflation and all that goes with it.  Just my opinion. 

That sounds like a reasonable scenario. It's as good a guess as any other; nobody really knows for sure. All we can do is hang on, hunker down and prepare as best we can. But it's comin'.

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The great unwinding

The great unwinding ( just made that phrase up) will define how far and how fast the change will come.  I have learned to not underestimate hte powers that be's ability to continue to manipulate this economy.  By that I mean the financial oligarchy will direct the Federal Reserve and the central government into a controlled fall so that they can continue to extract their wealth from the system.

My question is how long and to what degree they will be able to control the unwinding.  Does anyone have a resource they can direct me to for this scenario?  I could use a little more insight in this regard as I continue with stockpiling my beans, bandaids and bullets.

Thanks,

Lindell

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Back to Basics

Lindell,

To your first post, I strongly agree that a "Balkanization" of the U.S. and north America is inevitable. Nothing lasts forever, so the timeline (again) is what we're left with. My thought on this is that it's going to be a couple things:

1. Dependent on how strongly the people protest

2. How Close you are to D.C., or large military installations

3. The Hetrogenuity of the population

Very much like Afghanistan, there are provinces, and there is an authority, but they simply lack the ability to exert any real influence on most of the non-urban areas. This is probably a "long range" forecast - ~50-100 years or so.
This will probably play out on a global scale. Along with the "benefits" that accompany autonomy, such as social representation and accountability on a local level, I think we'll see some of the hard penalties come out of the environment and eco-systems. Over-hunting, deforestation, pollutants and lack of infrastructure will all be extreme liabilities.

As for a timeline to reference, I don't have one but I think this forum could hedge some pretty intelligent bets based on what we know as a team.

The coming depression is going to be like nothing we've ever seen in Human history.
The sheer numbers, density, centralization of agriculture, globalization of labor, general lack of skill in our work force, appathetic population, generation of war veterans with no skills other than warfare and an over-eager federal authority are all going to contribute to a much more volitile collapse than anything that would have been possible a hundred years ago.

What do you all think?
Cheers,

Aaron

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my guess

I can only speak for my corner of the world.  I'm expecting something on order of a 30's great depression, perhaps more....but not less.  God help you if you live in a metro area.  I wonder most about the effects of counter party risk impacting basics such as electricity, water, trash, snow removal, etc.  If you know people in the community (and are known) I think that'll help greatly with whatever happens - or doesn't.  Those folks busy urban or suburban areas who have only met their neighbors, should get on that asap.  Violence will likely happen once or twice - but thats enough to make believers out of anyone.  I wonder how even the threat of violence will change what I know to be my life - how do you protect a family with kids and do what needs to get done?  I also know from my prepping that its not an activity that can be rushed or dealt with when the need and/or opportunity arises. I'm hoping -35 Far. will force at least some of "them" south.   Am I the only one who feels like Noah sometimes? At least Noah could say God told him to prepare, I've only got the guy in the mirror - and sometimes I doubt him!

 

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Non-linear thinking

Thinking about it in terms of straight line growth is a mistake. If you strictly look at present rates of resource depletion you should factor in that exponential population growth leads to exponential resource depletion. Exponential credit crisis fed by increasing debt will also accelerate the debt crisis. In addition to that, the export land model would seem to apply to resource depletion, case in point would be rare earths and china.

It makes a case for sooner rather than later.

What I think however is more likely is the catabolic collapse that John Michael Greer talks about. Picture if you will the slow descent of society as a stair well. It's 20 or 30 steps to the bottom. Step 1 was the GFC. Step 2 was the Arab Spring. Step 3 might be the euro debt crisis. After each step the majority of people are worse off, food costs more, it's harder to get a job and so on. There will be tipping points that might directly impact you, but then again you might get away for a few steps without any problems. One or two steps might be bigger than the others, one or two might be smaller.

I'm not worried about the debt issue or financial issues as they are not critical to production of actual manufactured goods. Resource/Peak Oil/Peak Fertilizer/Floods/Droughts and anything that directly impact food production are the things I am concerned about.

On a side note: I agree with Alpha Mike about the slow impacts of hunger. A few months ago I went 14 days without food and was still able to function, actually I think my mind was clearer and my body was more responsive. I am sure I can survive a month or three without food should the need arise. Do a google video search for people who have managed years without food, it's amazing what some people can endure. That aside, if there is no walmart down the road you will find that there will still be lots of people down the road.

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nigel wrote: On a side note:
nigel wrote:

On a side note: I agree with Alpha Mike about the slow impacts of hunger. A few months ago I went 14 days without food and was still able to function, actually I think my mind was clearer and my body was more responsive. I am sure I can survive a month or three without food should the need arise. Do a google video search for people who have managed years without food, it's amazing what some people can endure. That aside, if there is no walmart down the road you will find that there will still be lots of people down the road.

Fasting has been used therapeutically by those in the know for many, many years.  You'll be able to survive a month without food.  You won't survive three though unless you're built like a weather balloon and even then, you probably won't survive.  Don't believe everything you google.

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Rule of 3's

Nigel/AO,

I generally consider the Rule of Three's to be a useful guide for most people...
3 minutes without Oxygen
3 Hours without Shelter
3 Days without Water (and sleep, but that's rarely mentioned)
3 Weeks without Food

As talked about in the WSID primers, after the 1st 1/3rd of each period, you're going to already be suffering serious impacts from the deprivation.

What's not really implied or expressed with these 'rules', is that it really doesn't take much to 'replenish' your body.
If you're underwater, for example, and you surface for a breath, you just bought yourself another 120 seconds before you enter that dangerous 2/3's consumption zone once again. Similarly, food and sleep can be thought of in a similar manner. When you're starving, you're more keen in some ways because your body is burning the 'premium' fuel... under such circumstances, you're making the most of all your calories, stored and ingested.

If you view the shortage/gasp cycle on a social scale, it buys society a LOT of time...
The process of collapse could be less like a sharp explosion and more like sea-sawing into oblivion over the course of several generations.
I'm sorta ranting here, but I thought it might be interesting.

Cheers,

Aaron

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red pill ^ 2

 

 A different sort of conspiracy theory... for entertainment purposes only.

 What if TPTB are rational, sane and humane....

 What if the OPEC / $ alliance will provide the conditions necessary for a decent transition to a post oil economy.

 What if they've chosen to constrict supply voluntarily to force the world to adjust in time rather than too late.

 Can you really tell the difference between can't pump ... and won't  pump?

  If we're really ruled by short term idiots.. we're ****ed anway.. so. think of it as a Pascal's wager situation..

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,  And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler,  long I stood And looked down one as far as I could  To where it bent in the undergrowth;   Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim...

 

 Think different (tm)

  Oh wow! (tm)

  “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

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Speed

It's the lag time between when there is no food and when people actually need food that is the really scary moment. The three weeks window is one in which people will be looking for food no matter the cost.

I guess it's the space to focus your resilence efforts.

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 I would like to ask a

 I would like to ask a question about how oil comes into existence. I have heard that once the elements are right it takes about 10 thousand years for the substance to become oil and be useable. Is there a chemist  or geologist here that can shed some light. The reason I am asking is to see if the resources we currently use will be available in the quantity required as the population continues to grow. I suspect some of the resources will not keep pace and run out. 

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yes

  Yes I  feel like Noah  but more people are also .   Do not doubt the guy in the mirror .  Prepare  ...  the sooner the better .    Even here in the heartland there has been  livestock  and guns stolen  already .

 FM

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