Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Something will survive. It may even be approximately human, but probably only in a Mad Max kind of a way. After a few generations things may pick up again, depending on how much damage has been done. Or not - it depends on how bad the crash is, and how much warming happens.

I don't think we can go back to a happy hippy agrarian existence of vegetables and spliffs with a bit of Internet for distraction. You can't expect a city of millions to survive on a few square miles of allotments. It's not physically possible. Those of us out in the wilds stand a chance. But LA, London, Tokyo and the rest - not going to happen.

And the Internet won't work without a city infrastructure to support it.

I wish I had an answer. These days it's pretty much down to prayer (always interesting when you're not a theist), and hoping that either aliens or some kind of technological Deus Ex will appear and solve the problem.

But that's like expecting to win the lottery just because you've maxed out your plastic and have no other way to pay.

So I am not, at the moment, feeling very optimistic.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 22nd, 2007 at 09:57:49 PM EST
I am more optimistic.

The collapse appears to be a transcendental phenomenon in the biological or social sense - human civilisation did not experience anything like that before, probably. Or do those Apocalyptic Rapture myths communicate us some bits of the picture how civilisations like ours - descendants of Babylonian and Roman "progress" cultures - tend to collapse?

Anyway, to break through the empirical transcendence, we can use logic - our brains are big, after all. Not everyone will be able or willing to use it - but hey, not everyone would adapt to any big change. If human population drops just sixfold to 1 billion, it will not even be a collapse of this civilization probably - but that would be quite an episode of real "natural selection".

Most importantly, Mad Maxs of the future have little chance. Even the ones outsmarting all others in their locality will have hard time surviving in a deserted world. To survive and live, cooperation will be a necessity. The sensible survival unit will be a community, not an individual. There lies (inevitable) opportunity for revival of morality and all nice things. In particular, the best chance for you individually to survive extreme times is to live in a moral community, and be useful there. Some people will realize this. The Holywood myth of "survival of meanest" will make little sense - some (even really smart) Newtons of survival will meet bad luck, some idiots will live through against all odds. In extreme times, you won't really think of grabbing, eating and fucking as much as possible - that would help very little. You will be just glad to find a sense of your struggle and risks while alive.

by das monde on Wed May 23rd, 2007 at 01:51:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What about this prediction, from Graham Greene, "The Quiet American":

If I believed in your God and another life, I'd bet my future harp against your golden crown that in five hundred years there may be no New York or London, but they'll be growing paddy in these fields, they'll be carrying their produce to market on long poles wearing their pointed hats. The small boys will be sitting on the buffaloes.
by das monde on Wed May 23rd, 2007 at 01:55:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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