The latest sport: Charting Collapseniks

10 02 2014

It appears I am far from the only “End of Civilisation as we know it” blogger to be fascinated by other bloggers’ positions on how the Matrix will affect “Civilisation as we know it”…..  It seems that David Holmgren’s shift in strategy from peaceful change by calling for restraint on overconsumption and gradual adoption of the degrowth economic paradigm to ‘Terra-ism’ by calling for “Crash on Demand” – or a strategic decoupling by masses of youth (and elders) from the economic system that is crashing the planet’s ecological equilibrium by simply walking away….  has thrown the cat in among the pigeons.  Are we no allowed a change of heart?

Another interesting side of this debate has been the way I have discovered (or rather been pointed to) Collapseniks I wasn’t aware of.  Like David Cohen… which means I now have a whole lot more reading to do.  How many of us are there?  All the high profile ones are mentioned in this interesting analysis by Albert Bates, another newcomer to my list that I was led to by my friend Kate from Tasmania.  And just to prove we can’t all know them all, nor even think about all of them, quite a few did not make the list (I don’t count – with just 300 followers, I’m hardly ‘high profile’!)  Like Dave Pollard, John Michael Greer gets a mention, but is not on the chart, XRayMike misses out, as do Ran Prieur and Paul Gilding.Collapsenik

Pollard, one of my favourites, left a comment at ‘The Great Change’…:

Thanks Albert. This is somewhat along the lines of a chart I posted last year reviewing David Graeber’s book, which is a bit more complex.

I would say the right side of the chart should be “Active Resistance” not “Violent Revolution”. In the lower right quadrant, that active resistance is holding actions, done to lessen but not with any hope of preventing collapse. With that clarification, I’d put James Hansen, Nicole Foss and Naomi Klein in the lower right, and shift Lovelock in the lower left. Those above the line are not Collapsniks but what I have called Salvationists.

I’d sometimes put myself close to the lower right corner (when I’m angry) and sometimes in the lower left corner (when I’m more at peace with the inevitability of collapse). With time, ‘gravity’ will, I think, move everyone down in your chart until it only has one dimension left.

At any rate, Albert Bates has come up with the chart above, to which I have cheekily added my own name…  Where do you the reader stand?  Does it matter..?

Bates readily admits himself that “the map is not the territory, and this is especially true of mind maps. I am just an impulsive doodler.”  I personally would have put Guy McPherson in the extreme right hand bottom corner, and when trying to place myself even struggled with the fact deep down I am a Green Anarchist.

The other thing I could not help thinking about is how little impact any of us, even the widely read names like Heinberg and Kunstler, Foss and McKibben, and even Chris Martenson have had on the masses.  we read each other’s work, maybe, but in the end, the sheeples are still heading for the cliff at, if anything, an accelerating rate.  You only need to see the way they voted at the recent by-election in the Federal seat of Griffith formerly held by past Prime Minister Kevin Rudd….  If you can stand it, here’s a video of what the candidates had to say..

As usual, the two main contenders repeated the same old boring party lines and platitudes.  And as often happens with by-elections, the field of candidates was a football team’s worth of independents and radical parties, and I have to say I was really impressed with more than one of them…..  there is NO WAY I would have (or could have) voted  for either of the two main parties (I haven’t done so since voting for Gough Whitlam in the 1970’s!).

The Greens got 10% of the vote……  and ALL the other small parties combined garnered 7.4% of the vote between them….  all eight of them, averaging under 1% each.  If that doesn’t demonstrate the electorate’s lack of imagination, I don’t know what does.  What a missed opportunity to vote for the Pirate Party, or the Stable Population Party, or either of the two independents……  anybody but the laborals…..  I don’t know who said it, but if voting made a difference, they’d make it illegal.

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13 responses

10 02 2014
foodnstuff

The masses just don’t get it. We collapsniks are just reading one another. Still, it’s the only way to get some sanity. I’d put myself somewhere in the bottom right…surprised you put yourself on the line, Mike. Thought you’d be over there too.

10 02 2014
mikestasse

Maybe tomorrow……… 😀

10 02 2014
daniel koeppel

Hello Mike!
Great idea on this latest blog from which I am continuously learn a lot!
My question(s) would be why all those smart and visionary writers have such a small impact? Because “the ignorance is bliss” argument kind of answers that, let’s ask the other way round. What did those readers motivate, who suddenly read your blog, or any of the other works, and sat back and said: this makes scary sense!
Is it above average education in environmental issues? Are they economically burnt out? Or the opposite – made a lot of money externalising costs and now wanna start pacify that guilt?

10 02 2014
Terry Wall

I was reading the other day: The reason why people do not seem to care or listen or think even, is more to do with thousands of years of evolution, rather than what is said or written in the short term. When you think about it, that is the correct survival response based on Darwin’s theory of evolution. Humans have indeed been by far the greatest cause of death and destruction to other humans. It is sound science that they be more suspicious of their fellow man. Nothing has changed with our current situation as it has been caused by man against man.

Problem is : This one is out of the hands of man now – we all gunna fry J unless us fullas are mistaken.

PS The reason why mass civil rebellion probably won’t work, is written into the above paragraph, not that I won’t give it a try.

Terry Wall

Shoal Bay, 2315 NSW Australia

mikestasse posted: “It appears I am far from the only “End of Civilisation as we know it” blogger to be fascinated by other bloggers’ positions on how the Matrix will affect “Civilisation as we know it”….. It seems that David Holmgren’s shift in strategy from peaceful ch”

10 02 2014
Eclipse Now

Really? We need to look at Tony Abbott’s election to measure the way some negative trends are growing exponentially? Wow. I thought we just had to look at carbon emissions! Yet while there are exponential negative trends, there are also exponentially growing positive ones as well. EV’s are at the beginning of a long doubling curve.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/electric-vehicles-racing-to-7-of-global-sales-by-2020-2020

Major new lithium reserves have just been discovered right near important ingredients in the mix.
http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/New-Wyoming-Lithium-Deposit-could-Meet-all-U.S.-Demand.html

Russia’s building a few waste-eating breeder reactors, the BN-800 (800 MWe) at Beloyarsk, due sometime in 2014, and the BN-1200 (1200 MWe), expected to be completed in 2018. So good stuff is happening. It’s not all bad.

11 02 2014
lemmiwinks

You are the epitome of techno-hubris, but if it makes you happy, so be it. 🙂

10 02 2014
Rapideffect

I have tried for years to get the people I know to understand my point of view on why civilization is set for a correction (collapse), and that endless growth is an error which nature will correct. Go back several years and my ideas seemed possible/plausible to most, although too far into the future to be of any issue to them currently (at that time). I find that now those same people are becoming more concerned about the future, especially for their childrens future. Some are even following your blog Mike!

“Where do you the reader stand?”

I would add another box at the bottom ‘Realistic Collapseniks’ and depending on what new facts I discover, I would move around that box.

“Does it matter..?”

Probably not.

The correction will not be pretty, but many positives can come from it…

11 02 2014
Eclipse Now

Hi Rapideffect, “endless growth” is not predicted by the demographic models. Today’s population growth is not exponential but a declining s curve. It’s slowing, due to a bunch of well documented demographic factors, such as the education and empowerment of girls.
“The correction will not be pretty, but many positives can come from it…”
I find all such statements of doomer-faith quite disturbing, given the catastrophic effect on young lives that I have encountered. (Suicide). This thing is more like the ultimate Melbourne Cup race, where the negative exponential horse is up against the favourite, the positive exponential. Once *again*, when France could go from 8% to 70% nuclear power in a mere 10 years… all sorts of things are possible.

12 02 2014
Idiocracy

Demographic transition is one thing, but ‘civilisation’ and population is still growing at an unsustainable rate, which I think was Rapid’s point.

“If all humans consumed as much food and resources as people in the United States do, the Earth could sustain only about a quarter of the current population. Humanity as a whole is becoming more wasteful as people across the globe define themselves and their successes by what they own and what they consume.”

The Consumer Class cannot go on forever… http://www.worldwatch.org/node/810

12 02 2014
Eclipse Now

Idiocracy, heard of seawater greenhouses?
Fact: they’re economical now, and the commercial prototype is now expanding to 4 hectares outside Adelaide. seawater + desert + solar power + greenhouse = food. Know anywhere with lots of desert and access to the ocean within a few hundred km? 😉

12 02 2014
Idiocracy

Hooray for seawater greenhouses! Now we can send even MORE food (and packaging) to landfill… http://www.unep.org/wed/quickfacts/

Fact: humanity is becoming more wasteful as the consumer culture grows. If you know how to fix this, what are you waitin’ for?! ;-P

12 02 2014
Eclipse Now

Well, I’m at least glad you acknowledge Seawater Greenhouses can produce *so* much food that some might go to waste. But did you ever stop to think that people are integrating these into not just producing some hydroponic food, but are integrating it to produce algae for fish, and even some outside crops by lowering the *outside* temperatures? Deserts bloom if you just add water. Add industrial-grade permaculture systems thinking, and you could green the Sahara, sequester carbon, solve world hunger and provide all the food and fibre that we’d need.

11 02 2014
cecilia

Mark Twain I believe, I think, I will check. Am horrified to find I am on the passive side, quietly building my own little space far from the madding crowds and they are out of their madding minds here in the midwest! I just toddle along not eating the bad stuff, trying not to use too much of the good stuff. Taking cutsie pie pics (you will HATE todays!) to try and attract attention to the cool side of living simply.. morning mike! c

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