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5 Reasons Not to Predict the End of the World

5 Reasons Not to Predict the End of the World

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.”

— Haruki Murakami

So you want to talk about the end of the world without sounding like a crank?

Rule #1 should be: Don’t predict when it will happen.

A lot of the writing on this site has to do with the collapse of civilization (and what that means). Following Jem Bendell, author of the now (in)famous “Deep Adaptation paper”, I anticipate “inevitable collapse, probable catastrophe, and possible extinction”.

Of course, all civilizations collapse. And all species die. Eventually, everything ends. But we are now in a process of acceleration toward that end. When will this happen? Who knows. The best answer I have read is “sooner rather than later”–which doesn’t really say much.

I have noticed, though, that a lot of people who are in the Doomer and Post-Doom communities are not so circumspect when it comes to putting a date on the end of the world.

Here’s five reasons why you shouldn’t put a date on the end of the world.

1. You’re wrong. (Collapse is complex.)

The collapse of any civilization is a complex phenomenon. Our global industrial-capitalist civilization is incredibly complex. And it stands to reason that the collapse of that civilization will be complex as well. And that makes predicting it that much harder.

I think some of the tendency to over-simplify collapse is driven by an unconscious desire for control. We feel out of control in our lives. Contemplating collapse only amplifies this. Imagining a simplified collapse gives us a sense of control. A false sense. The desire for control is a big part of the reason people deny collapse. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that we would see vestiges of this desire in the doomer and post-doom communities.

When you talk about collapse as something simple, you’re wrong. Because it’s complex.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Richard Heinberg: Post-doom with Michael Dowd

Richard Heinberg: Post-doom with Michael Dowd

What is Post-Doom? – Another End of the World is Possible #ClimateCrisis #Ecocide #Overshoot #auspol #Energy #Consumption #Population Listen to the scientists.

What is Post-Doom? – Another End of the World is Possible #ClimateCrisis #Ecocide #Overshoot #auspol #Energy #Consumption #Population Listen to the scientists.

Post-doom has a gorgeous sunrise.”

— Connie Barlow


Why I am not a “Doomer”

After several years of mobilizing with 350.org and other environmental groups, I came to realize that the whole movement had been addressing a surface level problem–where we get our energy from–instead of the underlying problem–how much energy we are using. In other words, the movement was focused on fossil fuels when it should be focusing on capitalism and the growth economy. There are several reasons for this misplaced focus, which include psychology and marketing (it’s easier to imagine a transition to fossil fuels than powering down our economy), as well as complicity (there’s a lot of money invested in renewables).

I also realized that it was very unlikely that our society would ever voluntarily power down, and so a collapse–economic, social, and environmental–is probably unavoidable. Following Jem Bendell, author of the now (in)famous “Deep Adaptation paper”, I anticipate “inevitable collapse, probable catastrophe, and possible extinction”. It’s impossible to say how long it will take, but I would guess that it will take generations. I would guess that it will be a prolonged and staggered collapse, a series of mini-collapses followed by partial recoveries. I believe that this collapse has already begun, that it has been going on for a while, and that climate change is only one aspect of it.[FN1]

Now, this realization might lead a person to throw up their hands and say “F@#k it!” And, in fact, there is a whole community of people called “Doomers” who seem to revel in the thought of collapse and make a pastime of nihilism.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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