TO COLLAPSE, OR NOT TO COLLAPSE


In 2005 I read James Kunstler’s ‘The Long Emergency’.  Since then I have studied in some detail (dare I say enormous detail) the likely trajectory of our society in the coming decade or two.

I’ve tended to follow Chris Martenson’s ‘Crash Course’ framework of viewing the world thro’ the tri-focal lens of energy, the economy and the enivronment.

Without boring you to death with the reasons here, I share your view that there is now a greater than 50/50 chance that our ‘complex society’ will collapse within the lifetime of my children.  If you want to learn a little more about the characteristics and leading indicators of societal collapse then I would recommend reading Joseph Tainter’s ‘The Collapse of Complex Societies’, Jared Diamond’s ‘Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive’ and John Michael Greer’s ‘The Long Descent’.

Family Moraymint’s preparations revolve around the sort of advice one gets from Rob Hopkins’ ‘The Transition Handbook’ and John Seymour’s ‘The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency’, to name but two.

Now, I’m off in to the garden with Mrs Moraymint to continue work on my raised seed beds, feed the chickens and channel yet more rainwater into a third 100 litre water butt.  This afternoon I shall continue training my springer spaniel puppy to the gun, in anticipation of the next game shooting season.

Yes, I hold gold and silver coins and have been building my stock of both for the past 5 years.

Believe it or not, the prospect of a serious deterioration in my standard of living doesn’t bother me at all (for it’s coming).  What I do get concerned about is the wider lack of socio-economic resilience in our society, the prospect of growing civil unrest in the face of deteriorating living standards (economic contraction) and, most of all, the abject failure of our political class to understand where (admittedly in my view) the world is heading for the next generation.

Complex societies have regressed time and again throughout history. If one studies that history there’s no reason at all to assume that we’re immune to collapse; on the contrary, in fact. The problem this time around – as Joseph Tainter makes clear – is that any such collapse would almost certainly be global.

[Originally posted as a comment on the Daily Telegraph website 27 May 12]

7 comments

  1. Great article Moray, and comments by your readers. May I suggest as an income stream to think about setting up food co ops. People will always need to eat and by forming a group and sharing resources, one could buy food from local farmers in bulk and sell on at a profit. Although I have a large garden which I have already turned over to growing food, i’m currently negotiating to rent an acre plot of land to grow quinoa on mass for tis very purpose.

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    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks rob and apologies to you (and others) for the tardy reply. I had only really set up this blog to see how it feels for me, apart from anything else! I’m pleasantly surprised to discover that are like-minded people out there. I shall endeavour to reply to commenters where appropriate. I shall also build on developing my blog to fulfil its aim as I’ve tried to describe it in the ‘About’ section. The truth is, there is so much going on in the world at the moment that I am constantly being moved to comment on unfolding events!

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  2. Brian · ·

    Linked to this from the DT. Good to see another awakened soul. I’ve been researching non-stop since 2008. Read all the above books. Have you read “Too Much Magic” yet? A little repetitive but still classic Kuntsler. I’d like to imagine another outcome for the world but just can’t. What is surprising is how slowly this is all playing out. It really gets nerve wracking waiting for the next big event that will send us over the edge. There’s so many to choose from… I’d like to think I’m prepared. But we know that’s probably not true. I’m pretty sure the most valuable item in SHTF situation will be food and I don’t think any of us are willing to start stockpiling enough food to make a difference without alarming friends, spouses and neighbors. I spend more time micro managing news events now hoping I can get the jump on the supermarket queues. Good luck with your preps.

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    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Brian and apologies to you (and others) for the tardy reply. I had only really set up this blog to see how it feels for me, apart from anything else! I’m pleasantly surprised to discover that are like-minded people out there. I shall endeavour to reply to commenters where appropriate. I shall also build on developing my blog to fulfil its aim as I’ve tried to describe it in the ‘About’ section. The truth is, there is so much going on in the world at the moment that I am constantly being moved to comment on unfolding events!

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  3. moraymint · ·

    J

    I know exactly what you mean. I’m also at a stage in my life where what I’m doing at the moment, I’m unlikely to be doing in a year’s time. I’ve also been mulling over (endlessly!) my options for doing something completely different, and probably doing several things at once. That would be hard enough at the best of times, but in the current climate it’s extremely challenging. I’ll probably put up a post dealing precisely with this predicament in the coming weeks. Meantime, best wishes in your endeavours. Really, I suspect we’re two of many, many people experiencing the same situation.

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    1. J Arnold · ·

      Glad to hear Im not alone then! For me, seeing the future the way I do is very liberating as I don’t have to worry about what career to choose and worry if Im going to get that promotion. Yet I still have to find something to do that brings in money and builds some security for my future. I was just talking about this very thing and I think im just going to get involved in local projects and see what happens, maybe that will provide some answers over time.

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  4. J. Arnold · ·

    I totally agree with your assessment and like you am trying to build greater resilience into my life, but apart from obvious stuff like trying to (slowly) re-skill and growing food, I’m struggling to think how I can earn extra cash.

    I figure that if i get made redundant in the next few years (which is highly likely) then i need to be able to support myself and my family, but being able to do that with not many jobs around is hard. I’m trying to figure out how i can get multiple income streams, but am at a loss at the moment (I work in marketing, hardly the most useful job when push comes to shove!).

    I can store all the food I like, but without the ability to continue to get my hands on fresh food and money for the bills Im ‘effed.

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