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[flagged] Societal Collapse Due to Climate Change Now Inevitable Jem Bendell BA PhD [pdf] (lifeworth.com)
51 points by Pausanias 32 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments


"There are three main factors that could be encouraging professional environmentalists in their denial that our societies will collapse in the near- term. The first is the way the natural scientific community operates. Eminent climate scientist James Hansen has always been ahead of the conservative consensus in his analyses and predictions. Using the case study of sea level rise, he threw light on processes that lead to “scientific reticence” to conclude and communicate scenarios that would be disturbing to employers, funders, governments and the public (Hansen, 2007). A more detailed study of this process across issues and institutions found that climate-change scientists routinely underestimate impacts “by erring on the side of least drama” - (Brysse et al, 2013). Combined with the norms of scientific analysis and reporting to be cautious and avoid bombast, and the time it takes to fund, research, produce and publish peer-reviewed scientific studies, this means that the information available to environmental professionals about the state of the climate is not as frightening as it could be. In this paper I have had to mix information from peer-reviewed articles with recent data from individual scientists and their research institutions to provide the evidence which suggests we are now in a non-linear situation of climactic changes and effects."

If society collapses even for just one generation, that's the end game. There isn't enough readily available energy available on the surface to restart society. We depend on large amounts of energy and energy requiring infrastructure to get the remaining oil and gas to the surface for consumption. China might have enough accessible coal (I simply don't know) but if there is a societal collapse for a generation or so and if they do have accessible coal today it's likely to be sufficiently valuable in the interregnum that it too will be stripmined away before society is able to try to recover. (Solar, wind, and energy all take far too much education to get running at large scale, and educated individuals are likely to be in equally short supply of society collapses for a generation).

We have to keep society running. We won't have the energetics to get it started again if it stops.

We have to keep society running. We won't have the energetics to get it started again if it stops.

That's what I tell myself lying in bed every morning.

Alarmism. Societal change is inevitable, societal collapse is not. Society has survived a hell of a lot. Chinese society survived the Mongols. European society survived losing a third of its population to the black plague. Is climate change going to wipe out a third of the world population anytime soon? I doubt it.

A big difference now is the ease of mobility. A catastrophe in equatorial Africa a thousand years ago didn’t result in mass migration to Southern Africa. A catastrophe today will result in massive mobilization from one locale to another. The only example I can think of of mass migration was the steppes peoples but even that wasn’t that quick to happen.

There's not a lot of great data from that time period, but another potential example is the bronze age collapse which was in part caused by a mass migration of "the sea peoples" into the great empires of the time.

The societal collapse so great that we forgot and had to reinvent writing after it had existed for millennia.

Mass migration over time though. Not civilization ending.

You should be more concerned about a meteor or giant vulcanic eruption than catastrophic climate change.

I empathize with the powerful craving to see reprehensible climate change denialists punished, but giving in to it results in a just-world fallacy. The universe is indifferent to scum. Only humans judge.

> Some of the people who believe that we face inevitable extinction believe that no one will read this article because we will see a collapse of civilisation in the next twelve months when the harvests fail across the northern hemisphere.

OK, I gather that means fall 2019. If that were going to happen, I'd have expected some drop-off in 2018 harvests. And I don't see news about that.

But let's see what happens this year.

> They see social collapse leading to immediate meltdowns of nuclear power stations and thus human extinction being a near-term phenomenon. Certainly not more than five years from now.

That's still possible, I guess. But it too seems like a worst possible case.

But whatever, I'll be happy if the next decade or two is ~OK.


Your first sentence is a logical fallacy (your second clause does not follow from the first) and casually introduces the topic of intentional murder and genocide of billions of people. You're the first to bring that suggestion up, but you attribute the idea to non-existent 'others'. Your next sentence is also a logical fallacy and AFAIK is simply untrue: "almost every...decentralizing the west"? I've never heard of any such proposals. This is no way to have any kind of reasonable discussion.

William S. Burroughs satirized that approach in several of his novels. What I find is this, however: https://books.google.de/books?id=rbJvbXXvYUgC&pg=PT94&lpg=PT...

> Horn mentions The Club of Rome as a big player in the global conspiracy game. They are heavy into cutting down population.

> Me too, before they breed their peasant assholes into the sea.

I have no idea of who espouses option no. 2. No sane person thinks that.

One important issue I do not see, is population stabilization in places where growth is unsustainable.

> 2) nuking some combination of India and China

No one is advocating for #2 or anything like it because it's a completely incompetent and reprehensible idea.

Better than letting human society collapse though. If that’s what you really believe will happen.

Pitting societies against each other when we all live on the same planet is appalling amoral trolling. I choose that we all survive together.

Starting a preemptive nuclear war with another nuclear super power is probably the fastest way to ensure the collapse of human society.

That cannot be the logical follow-through. A collapsing society can do its best to recover - a nuked and destroyed, murdered wasteland cannot.

Climate-precipitated societal collapse is surely preferable to all over a large-scale nuclear war that is suggested to have been unilaterally invoked, tantamount to murder of billions and multiple genocides. That kind of 'solution' has no place in reasonable discourse about climate change mitigation or adaptation.


It does not make sense to do that, unless you're a psychopath.


Psychopaths make up a very, infinitesimally small minority.

The world is not "full of" them.

You're a belligerent person, but you hold few facts.

Dealing with climate change is a really important thing. It’s also a thing that scratches the itch of authoritarians and moralizers. (Right cause for the wrong reasons.) I suspect that’s why conservation and population control get so much more attention than say nuclear power or genetic engineering of agriculture.

Corruption. Our political-economic systems favor a tiny fabulously wealthy minority who care not a whit for the long term survival of the planet, so long as they get to enjoy the narcotic high of lording over their fellow human beings during their short lives.

> moving production to vastly less efficient areas overseas

As a staunch, lifelong environmentalist, I am astounded to hear such advocacy attributed to my milieu: this is the first I am hearing of it.

How did you come to this belief about the climate-concern platform?

Edit: the closest sentiment I could find in the OP was this:

> Examples include withdrawing from coastlines, shutting down vulnerable industrial facilities, or giving up expectations for certain types of consumption. The third area can be called “restoration.” It involves people and communities rediscovering attitudes and approaches to life and organisation that our hydrocarbon-fuelled civilisation eroded. Examples include re-wilding landscapes, so they provide more ecological benefits and require less management, changing diets back to match the seasons, rediscovering non-electronically powered forms of play, and increased community-level productivity and support.

I think their inference is that by proposing higher (pollution kerbing) standards for already industrialized nations versus developing economies, one is virtually doing just that.

I don't know to what you're referring, but it doesn't resemble Deep Adaptation.

Sorry but this is getting silly. You dont get to claim scientific basis without being able to demonstrate your conclusions. This is speculation not actually scientifically demonstrated.

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