Diagram of Doom
It seems relevant that the walled city where the wealthy few live in relative luxury while the masses outside war with one another for survival is pretty much the default premise of every dystopian sci-fi movie that gets made these days, from “The Hunger Games,” with the decadent Capitol versus the desperate colonies, to “Elysium,” with its spa-like elite space station hovering above a sprawling and lethal favela. It's a vision deeply enmeshed with the dominant Western religions, with their grand narratives of great floods washing the world clean and a chosen few selected to begin again. It's the story of the great fires that sweep in, burning up the unbelievers and taking the righteous to a gated city in the sky. We have collectively imagined this extreme winners-and-losers ending for our species so many times that one of our most pressing tasks is learning to imagine other possible ends to the human story in which we come together in crisis rather than split apart, take down borders rather than erect more of them: Naomi Klein, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need,
"The coming years will prove increasingly cynical and cruel. People will definitely not slip into oblivion while hugging each other. The final stages in the life of humanity will be marked by the monstrous war of all against all: the amount of suffering will be maximal." Pentti Linkola
The biggest challenge facing humanity is that our political, social, and economic systems are shortsighted. Long-term planning typically considers years or decades, but the global environmental processes we are now influencing play out over centuries, millennia, or more. We need to instill a sense of geologic time into our culture and our planning, to incorporate truly long-term thinking into social and political decision making. Scott L. Wing essay in Living in the Anthropocene.
“After ages during which the earth produced harmless trilobites and butterflies, evolution progressed to the point at which it has generated Neros, Genghis Khans, and Hitlers. This, however, I believe is a passing nightmare ; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return. ” Bertrand Russell
Jared Diamond wrote about the collapse of earlier civilizations to great acclaim and brisk sales, in a nimbus of unimpeachable respectability. The stories he told about bygone cultures gone to seed were, above all, dramatic. No reviewers or other intellectual auditors dissed him for suggesting that empires inevitably run aground on the shoals of resource depletion, population overshoot, changes in the weather, and the diminishing returns of complexity. Yet these are exactly the same problems that industrial-technocratic societies face today, and those of us who venture to discuss them are consigned to a tin-foil-hat brigade, along with the UFO abductees and Bigfoot trackers. This is unfortunate but completely predictable, since the sunk costs in all the stuff of daily life (freeways, malls, tract houses) are so grotesquely huge that letting go of them is strictly unthinkable. We're stuck with a very elaborate setup that has no future; but we refuse to consider the consequences. So messengers are generally unwelcome. (attributed to James Howard Kunstler.)
"As we are all surely aware, we now face the most ominous decisions in human history. There are many problems that must be addressed, but two are overwhelming in their significance: environmental destruction and nuclear war. For the first time in history, we face the possibility of destroying the prospects for decent existence -- and not in the distant future. For this reason alone, it is imperative to sweep away the ideological clouds and face honestly and realistically the question of how policy decisions are made, and what we can do to alter them before it is too late." Noam Chomsky
"... either one of the two features apparent in historical societal collapses —over-exploitation of natural resources and strong economic stratification— can independently result in a complete collapse. Given economic stratification, collapse is very difficult to avoid and requires major policy changes, including major reductions in inequality and population growth rates. Even in the absence of economic stratification, collapse can still occur if depletion per capita is too high. However, collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion." study (PDF) sponsored by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
"Here's what I've decided: the very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for... What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers or the destroyed. That's about it." Animal Dreams: Barbara Kingsolver
As for the natural world, we must try to restore wonder there too. We could start with that photograph of the earth. It may be our last chance. Even now it is being used in geography lessons, taken for granted by small children. We are the first generation to have seen it, the last generation to take it for granted. Will we remember what it meant to us ? How fine the earth looked, dangled in space ? How pretty against the endless black ? How round ? How very breakable? How small ? It is up to us to try to experience a sense of wonder about it that will save it before it is too late. If we cannot, we may do the final damage in our lifetimes. If we can, we may change the course of and consequently, the course of evolution, setting the human lineage firmly on a path toward a new evolutionary plateau. The Tangled Web: Melvin Konner, 2002: pg 436.
... we are in a race for our lives, as our global economy, reckless in its use of all resources and natural systems, shows many of the indicators of potential failure that brought down so many civilizations before ours. By sheer luck, though, ours has two features that might just save our bacon: declining fertility rates and progress in alternative energy. Our survival might well depend on doing everything we can to encourage their progress. Vested interests, though, defend the status quo effectively and the majority much prefers optimistic propaganda to uncomfortable truth and wishful thinking rather than tough action. It is likely to be a close race. From Jeremy Grantham, The Fall of Civilisations
"Population growth, resource scarcity, world accumulation of weapons, and global climate change are all mixed together, and accelerating and exacerbating each other. It's hard to know even where to begin to talk about them. The big worry is our need to acquire and consume resources. The underlying force here is that, as a species, we keep on needing more of everything, and it has been our consumption of fossil fuels causing global climate change. It's in the pursuit of resources that we create armies. I see the nature of our consuming behaviours as the central issue. If you don't somehow bring that under control, none of the others will be solvable. If we don't reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, there is no hope of addressing global warming, and there is no hope of addressing the plunder of Africa and the other oil-producing countries. So the nature of our consuming behaviors, and the kinds of decisions that societies make about the consumption of resources, is the nub." Michael T Klare quoted in Loving This Planet, Helen Caldicott pg 195
Today, by the end of 2014, we have come to the conclusion that humanity cannot be saved because (1) the overshoot and depletion is far beyond restoration and adaptation, and (2) the people in power positions are unable and unwilling to recognise and act accordingly. So we added the "404 fatal error" page, from a nostalgic IT dawn era. Ecoglobe
"It might be a familiar progression, transpiring on many worlds - a planet, newly formed, placidly revolves around its star; life slowly forms; a kaleidoscopic procession of creatures evolves; intelligence emerges which, at least up to a point, confers enormous survival value; and then technology is invented. It dawns on them that there are such things as laws of Nature, that these laws can be revealed by experiment, and that knowledge of these laws can be made both to save and to take lives, both on unprecedented scales. Science, they recognize, grants immense powers. In a flash, they create world-altering contrivances. Some planetary civilizations see their way through, place limits on what may and what must not be done, and safely pass through the time of perils. Others, not so lucky or so prudent, perish." Carl Sagan: Pale Blue Dot

The 8 Million Species We Don’t Know (3/4/2018)

Extinction is the End Game (12/10/2016)

Automation, Climate Change and Donald Trump: What Kind of Future Are We In For? (12/7/2016)

Can Humanity Survive the 21st Century ? (9/20/2016)

Too Little, Too Late (12/23/2015)

No Escaping the Blue Planet (8/20/2015)

Non-Linear: New York, London, Shanghai underwater in 50 Years ? (7/26/2015)

Scientific model supported by UK Government Taskforce flags risk of civilisation’s collapse by 2040 (6/19/2015)

Forecast 2015 — Life in the Breakdown Lane (1/2015)

The End of History ? (9/13/2014)

The ‘pre-Holocene’ climate is returning – and it won’t be fun (7/24/2014)

It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up (5/27/2014)

On the edge (5/14/2014)

The Triple Crunch - Facing Our Climate, Food, and Energy Challenges (12/24/2013)

The Myth of Human Progress

How to Destroy the Future (6/4/2013)

The Eve of Destruction: 6/3/2013

Jeremy Grantham On The Fall Of Civilizations (And Our Last Best Hope) (4/27/2013)

If Nuclear War Doesn't Get Us, Climate Change Will (3/28/2013)

Could Humans Go Extinct ? (2/22/2013)

Scientific American: Has Civilization Passed the Point of No Return?

Climate Armageddon: How the World's Weather Could Quickly Run Amok (2012)

The Emerging World Order, Its Roots our legacy: Noam Chomsky

Yes Virginia. Our generation IS robbing yours now. Wages are falling, benefits shrinking, working hours longer, vacation time less, pensions disappearing, debt increasing personally and at all government levels, most of the growth rewarded the already wealthy, politics degraded, and the Constitution at risk. (See The Great Risk Shift: by Jacob Hacker.)

Most of the dysfunction of our institutions are caused by extreme income inequality including Campaign finance, lobbying, corruption, polarization, political gridlock, corporate predators, media distortion, religious tribalism, runaway costs in healthcare, pharma, insurance, social pathology, and class stratification. We are, as a result, unlikely to deal with the challenges: climate change, nuclear proliferation, overpopulation, or war.

The Republican agenda was never for the people, but always for the Corporations (That, by definition, is called Fascism.) In fact: union busting, less job security, outsourcing, greedy CEOs, shady book-keeping, auditor's collusion, corruption, and crony capitalism ran rampant. Manufacturing jobs hemorrhaged to third-world sweat shops in what was called globalization. (See Naomi Klein's book "Shock Doctrine".) You will be competing for third-world wages. You will not earn more than we did. Bush's appointees to the Supreme Court reliably continued his policy of corporate supremacy and all but destroyed the republic with Citizen's United. US government no longer serves the people, it answers to corporations.

Trump will likely make even worse appointments. His tax plan will accelerate income inequality, the root of many of our problems.

Financial instability will be evident as the Republican assault on the New Deal continues, energy prices continue to rise, trade deficits get worse, housing foreclosures impact the middle class, inflation escalates, and so does debt. The Fed is out of weapons. The stock market could fall out of bed. The market is responding to Republican deregulation. Their bank deregulation, the rollback of Glass-Steagle, was particularly unwise. Deregulation, regressive tax reform, and degraded labor rights will decrease financial stability. Because consolidation has produced even larger institutions too big to fail, the next crisis will likely be much worse.

The two Bush Presidential elections WERE stolen. (See Conyer's report). The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) became dysfunctional. Any candidate that would serve the people (with, for example, peace) was disqualified. Only Kucinich dared utter such thoughts but he was easily marginalized, kept off the debate stage, and ridiculed by the main stream media. Since the Supreme Court ruled to allow unlimited corporate money into elections with Citizens United, expect the end of any real democracy in the US. Trump won without the popular vote, and that signals the end of democracy in the U.S.

It is evident that US media keeps people distracted, exploited, subservient, misinformed, juvenile, ignorant, and angry for the wrong reasons. Since people don't really have information to make an informed decision, there can be no democracy. Don't trust anything you hear from US media, particularly right-wing talk radio.

Media, already bad, will get worse. It is a major cause of a culture of violence, toxic politics, polarization, and of education failure in the US. The three Republican Commissioners of the FCC decided, with strong Bush encouragement, to further consolidate ownership. (Be realistic; every country manages the news.) Last time they attempted this there was a massive public outcry, but Bush promised to veto any Congressional action if there was any attempt to roll back the new standard. Yet another perk for media moguls. Less foreign reporting, downsized investigative reporting, new legal obstacles for reporters, more classified information, less whistleblower protection, more shock jocks, and more consolidated, down-sized media. Net neutrality is about to be rolled back.

The issues that matter don't get much press: i.e. healthcare, pensions, family leave time, falling wages, union busting, outsourcing, offshoring, environmental damage, etc. What you WILL hear about is deficits, tax cuts for the wealthy, illegal immigrants, religious fervor from Republican candidates, hate speech from Republican shock jocks, If they can get you asking the wrong questions, the answers don't matter. In addition to inciting anger, Republicans insist that everyone has a right to carry guns. What could go wrong with that ?

Federal agencies, under Bush, were populated with party hacks, and career civil servants left in disgust. Incompetence was rampant. There won't be any press for this though. Federal agencies are foxes guarding the henhouses. Trump cabinet picks are considerably worse than Bush's.

The US economy crashed and is returning to feudalism because of spectacular income inequality. It will build walled communities for the affluent, there will be walls along the borders to keep 'them' out, and there will be a steady increase in the population of detention camps.

The Republican War on Science continues to introduce religion into the public dialog and the classroom. Creationism will get a hearing. Ideology trumps science. That's the Republican agenda for improvement of education. Scandinavian education is well ahead of us and so is their media.

We have passed peak oil, and without cheap oil our current lifestyle, food and transportation will be unsustainable. Climate change will result in food shortages, drought, volatile weather events, fisheries collapse, and will leave future generations with a hostile planet Population will need to fall to sustainable levels. This will not be an option. "The 2015 UN global population projections are alarmingly higher than just over a decade ago." (John Seager)

Expect resource wars, such as we are seeing in the middle east. The US reached peak oil in the 1970's and the world probably has reached a peak by now. What's going to happen when we run out of cheap gas to guzzle. Infrastructure now appears too expensive to maintain, so it is becoming unsafe.

Discontent with a falling standard of living, fewer good jobs, a shredded safety net, or serious food shortages can cause a turn to religion, a strong man dictator, or turn many people violent. Widespread, uncontrolled gun ownership will have its consequences including militarization of the police. You will not be safer. Picture the wild west with automatic weapons.

The military-industrial complex is incredibly profitable, and it now rules. Massive military budgets, endless war, militarization of the country will inevitably produce a national security state. Civil liberties are collateral damage. Wiretapping, massive datamining, RFID, large scale surveillance will inevitability result in a totalitarian state. Net neutrality will be a distant dream. You can forget about privacy. The Constitution will be all but meaningless. Corporations rule. Real government will be done in secret. The hallmark of a failed state is its unresponsiveness to its people. The forever war will likely turn nuclear.

The final stage of many empires in history results in 'strong man' head of state. The President has expanded his power so that he can now act in secret without the need to worry about the Geneva Conventions, International Law on Torture, Habeas Corpus, Posse Commitatus, and he can freely disappear or assassinate people even if they are citizens. He does not need to practice 'due process of law'. He is above the law...and the Roberts Supreme Court will likely agree because it will have even more 'conservative justices'.

Congress will not be able to perform oversight because the 'executive branch' doesn't have to tell them anything. This means that we no longer have a Constitution. Checks and balances are history because the President has more power than the King we revolted against. See fascism.

The Presidency has continued to accumulate power at the expense of the democratically elected Congress. We appear to be headed for an imperial Presidency accompanied by an all-consuming effort to build an empire. Like every other empire in history, the outcome will be serious failure if not destruction.

Because war is profitable expect more of it. Resource wars will become more frequent as climate change and mass migrations accelerate. The next war could be on our own soil and it can be more destructive than any of the past. In any event our military-Keynsian economy will self destruct.

Some are predicting that Israel will bomb Iran. (For good reason, the Constitution authorized the Congress the power to declare War, but, really, what's to stop any President from doing it ?)

Unless the US abandons its quest for empire, your generation will sacrifice for endless war for empire, but, since the US is broke, the empire will not last long. Bush created a lot of ill-will. Obama has not held anyone to account. Trump policy is completely wrong.

But wait, it gets worse. CO2 emmissions are not nearly slowed enough and will persist in the atmosphere for centuries. Environmental damage will be catastrophic. 194 countries have signed on to the Paris climate agreement, but the United States, alone, has not. Actually, the Paris agreement is not sufficient to slow the damage much.

Population overshoot is causing the destruction of the environment. Republicans are in denial of that too.

...we can look forward with confidence to character-building bankruptcies, picturesque bread riots, thrilling cavalcades of splendidly costumed motorcycle police. Lewis Lapham (Harper's Magazine Oct. 2005)

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis (1935)

Although this may be a bleak assessment, the tea parties, the political parties, rigged elections, unstable financial system, the compromised media, the shortsighted corporations, the military-industrial complex, a gridlocked Congress and secretive government will likely keep us on our disastrous path toward apocalypse. There is not much reason to think that the system is self-correcting.

All the charts in Limits to Growth seen to show [collapse] nearly inevitable, since we didn't take our foot off the gas when we had the chance. And the seeming solidity of our civilization could be illusory. As Diamond shows with abundant example, "one of the main lessons to be learned from the collapses of the Maya, Anasazi, Easter Islanders, and those other past societies is that a society's steep decline may begin only a decade or two after the society reaches its peak numbers, wealth and power." (in fact, that's exactly when you'd expect it to happen, because that peak wealth usually means peak impact on the environment). We're overleveraged in ways that resemble those past civilizations. In fact, they were pikers compared to us: the Anasazi may have died out when the climate shifted, but they didn't make it happen. And if our societies start to tank, we'll be in worse shape than those who came before. For one thing, our crisis is global, so there's no place to flee. For another, most of us don't know how to do very much - in your standard collapse scenario, it's nice to know how to grow wheat. From Eaarth by Bill McKibbon

Collapse is likely. (See Michael Rupert's film: Collapse.)

Democracy didn't come across on the Mayflower. Indeed not. Nor with the Niña nor Santa Maria. Certainly not. Democracy was here. It was in full flower. It was rampant. It was all over. All nations were free, and that includes the buffalo nation, that includes the fish nations and the nations of trees. They were all free. That's what was here. Not to say that people always got along. That's why we had great councils to keep the peace. And that's what the Haudenosauneeshone leadership is about. We are not actually chiefs. Chief is an English word. We are hoyaneh, which means the peacemakers. We keep the peace. That's what the leadership is about. That's our work, that's our job. To keep the peace and promote peace. I think people wonder about Native leaders and what we do. Some of the activities we're involved in carry us to many places in the world, and our leaders have always been on the move. Oren Lyons - the ice is melting.

It is clear to anyone paying attention that we have damaged the climate beyond repair, climate disasters will become increasingly more severe, food shortages will be widespread as a result of drought and accelerating desertification, mass migrations, widespread violence is likely.

Population pressure and lifestyle are the roots of environmental degradation. Recent collapse of the environment are plain to see in Haiti, Darfur, and others. Republicans are wrong in all of their population policies. Face it, there is no other habitable planet. Climate change, accompanied by extinction events, will cause massive dislocations of, mainly poor people. Republicans, always in denial, refuse to mitigate the damage. Massive immigration is inevitable.

Republican racism, greed, hostility and subservience to the wealthy, makes hypocrisy of their 'religion'.

We were warned in the 70's when computer simulations were done to determine what might be the Limits to Growth for the planet. Results, which today are right on track, indicated that the economy would reach a plateau and then begin a decline. What was not considered in that simulation, was climate change. In 2005 the Stern Report estimated that "the costs of climate change, if not addressed, will be equivalent to losing 5 percent (and potentially as much as 20 percent) of the global gross domestic product (GDP) 'each year, now and forever'. Hundreds of millions of people could be threatened with hunger, water shortages, and severe economic deprivation. Climate change, Stern wrote, is the 'greatest market failure the world has ever seen'. (From Technology Review, July/August 2011). Economic growth will peak and then decline.

In August, 2011 a number of notables including James Hanson, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibbon protested outside the White House against the Keystone Pipeline which is designed to transport oil from Canadian tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico. Hansen, a NASA climate scientist, has said that approval of the pipeline is "game over for the environment".

Climate damage is settled science: and Republicans, since they care more about money than survival, and represent large energy interests, are in denial. (If the Arctic ice caps melt, just think... we can drill for even more oil there.) It is well established that "losses in biodiversity are occurring globally at all levels". Global warming is real and the consequences are occurring more rapidly than the climate models predict. Glaciers are melting fast and that can dry out rivers that make much of the planet arable. Expect wierd weather, food shortages, desertification, more migration, species extinction.

Canada’s biggest science agency has an internal document, introduced to some staff by NRC’s former president days before he left his position in March, that outlines an ambitious view of NRC in 2050. And it shows a management vision of “nation-building” technology and world-saving achievement, all resulting from radical re-organization of what NRC does today.

First, the scenario: Global temperatures will jump by four degrees Celsius by 2025, the document foretells, making regions near the equator uninhabitable for months at a time.One billion people will be in refugee camps or wandering the Earth, looking for a place to live. The world will have 100 super-cities of more than 30 million people, with tremendous strain on resources and health.

Everyone searches for a “global conditioner” for the climate. (From the Ottawa Citizen 9/14/2016)

It gets worse: NASA climate scientist James Hansen forecast a possible 10-foot rise in sea levels before the end of the century. One-third of Florida's population lives below this level, as do more that 700,000 residents of New York City. So do millions in major coast cities. That would force evacuation of hundreds of millions.

Already police are being militarized in preparation for popular uprisings by gangs with automatic weapons. Without wiser policy, nuclear war is probable. That will be the end.

Republicans have us on a path much like Jim Jones.

We have no escape from this planet.

"We must choose, and choose soon, either for or against the further evolution of the human spirit. It is for us, in the generation that turned the corner of the millennium, to apply whatever knowledge we have, in all humility but with all due speed, and to try to learn more as quickly as possible. It is for us, much more than for any previous generation, to become serious about the human future and to make choices that will be weighed not in a decade or a century but in the balances of geological time. It is for us, with all our stumbling, and in the midst of our dreadful confusion, to try to disengage the tangled wing." (The Tangled Web: Melvin Konner, 2002: pg 488)


The World in 2050: Laurence C Smith video (55 minutes)

Earth Extinction 2030

Guy McPherson

Collapse: Michael Ruppert

Surviving Progress

Michael Ruppert - Three Guarantors of Near-Term Human Extinction

The Era of Dissolution

The 11th Hour: Download it for free.


See environment, population, growthpolllution, global warming and books

National Intelligence Council

Daniel Dennett: ‘I begrudge every hour I have to spend worrying about politics’ (2/12/2017)

Felix Dodds

Will Capitalism Destroy Civilization ? (3/7/2013)

Why Our Current Way of Living Has No Future (3/6/2013)

Computation and the Human Predicament (American Scientist: May-June 2012)

The Worst Mistake in the history of the Human Race (Jared Diamond)

Timeline of Doom


Could Anything Make Humans Extinct in the Near Future ?

Existential Risks



Living in the Anthropocene Edited by W. John Kress and Jeffrey K Stine

The Great Questions of Tomorrow: David Rothkopf

The Unnatural World, The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age: By David Biello

Forecast, the Consequences of Climate Change from the Amazon to the Arctic, from Darfur to Napa Valley: Stephan Faris

Brace For Impact: Thomas A. Lewis

The End of Growth: Richard Heinberg

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity: James Hanson

The Next Species, the Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man: Michael Tennesen

The Age of Sustainable Development: Jeffrey D. Sachs

The Collapse of Complex Societies: Joseph A. Tainter (Download the pdf)

Going Dark: Guy McPherson

Too Much Magic: James Howard Kunstler

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Decline: Richard Heinberg

The Sixth Extinction: Elizabeth Kolbert

Field Notes From a Catastrophe: Elizabeth Kolbert

The Fate of the Species: Fred Guterl

Under a Green Sky: Peter Ward (link to an excerpt.)

Deep Future:  Curt Stager

Eaarth: Bill McKibben

Resource Wars: Michel Klare

The World In 2050: Laurence C. Smith. If you want a forecast, read this first.

Beyond The Limits: Donella H Meadows, Dennis L Meadows, Joren Randers

The Future, Six Drivers of Global Change: Al Gore

Threshold, The Crisis of Western Culture (Thom Hartmann)

EndGame: Derrick Jensen

Forecast: the Consequences of Climate Change...: Stephan Faris

The Fate of the Earth: Jonathan Schell

The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power: George Soros.

Common Wealth, Economics for a Crowded Planet: Jeffrey D. Sachs

The Long Emergency: James Howard Kunstler

Futurecast: Robert J. Shapiro

Preparing for the Twenty-First Century: Paul Kennedy

Countdown: Alan Weisman

Ten Billion: Stephen Emmott

The End of Growth: Richard Heinberg

Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future: Peter D. Ward

Stung!: On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean: Lisa-ann Gershwin

Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas: Forest Rohwe, Merry Youle, Derek Vosten

Collapse: Jared Diamond

The Creation: E. O. Wilson

The World Without Us: Alan Weisman

Technology Forecast

10 Future Shocks for the Next 10 Years

Other Forecasts

Future By Design ( an award winning movie by Willian Gazecki)

The Great Transition: A Report From the Future

Gore Vidal's views