stone foundation

All who listen to my instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock.

When the rain comes in torrents, when the floods rise, when the storm winds beat against it and when the earth shakes, it will not collapse, for it is built on solid rock.

But those who hear my instructions and ignore them are foolish, like a man who builds his house on shifting sand.

For when the rains and floods come, and storm winds beat against his house, it will fall with a mighty crash.

Easter Island Night Sky

The Limits to Growth

Collapse Awareness: Tragic Consciousness

When Systems Crumble: Looking Beyond Global Capitalism

The World Shadow Government Destroys its Own Home Planet?

The global industrial economy has outgrown
the capacity of the Earth to support it.

Ecosytem collapse is accelerating.

No culture, however technologically advanced,
can survive the collapse of environmental systems.

"Can we just realize that there are limits to growth?" - David Marquez

"Imagine what happens to a culture when it becomes based on the idea of transcending limits and enshrines that as the purpose of global civilization.

Predictably it will live in the grip of the technological imperative, devoted unceasingly to providing machinery to attack the possible.

Imagine then what happens to a culture when it actually develops the means to transcend limits, making it possible and therefore right to destroy custom and community, to create new rules of employment and obligation, to magnify production and consumption, to impose new means and ways of work, and to control or ignore the central forces of nature.

It would no doubt exist for quite a long time, powerful and expansionary and prideful, before it had to face up to the truths that it was founded on illusions and that there are real limits in an ordered world, social and economic as well as natural, that ought not be transgressed, limits more important than their conquest." - Kirkpatrick Sale

Global consumer culture, consuming renewable resources faster than they can regenerate, discharges greenhouse gases into the atmosphere much faster than nature can recycle them.

The incapacity to satisfy global consumer culture is apparent in:

shrinking forests and eroding soils;

crop-withering heat waves;

villages abandoned because of invading sand dunes;

ocean dead zones;

dying coral reefs;

collapsing fisheries;

expanding deserts;

deteriorating rangelands;

melting glaciers;

disappearing species;

aquifers pumped dry and fracked into toxicity.

Harvests of less than 10% of historic highs is considered collapse in fishing.

In 1950, only six commercial seafood species worldwide had collapsed.

By 2003, more than 2,200 species - 29% of all commercially fished species on Earth - had collapsed.

Resources accumulated over eons of geological time are being consumed in a single human lifespan.

Global consumer culture notes problems only when commodity skyrocket, leaving little time to adjust.

Once a natural threshold is crossed there is no time left to modify explotation.

We see this time and again as species go extinct.

When agriculture began, humans, their livestock, and pets accounted for less than 0.1% of the total weight of all vertebrates on the land and in the air.

In 2005 Paul MacCready estimated that humans, their livestock, and pets accounted for 98% of the total vertebrate biomass, leaving only 2% in the wild.

98 tons of prehistoric, buried plant material is required to produce each gallon of gasoline we burn in our cars.

Fossil fuel consumption in 1997 equaled the energy in 7.1 trillion kilograms of carbon in plant matter.

Land plants today contain 31.6 trillion kilograms of carbon above ground.

"The amount of plants that went into the fossil fuels burned since the global industrial Revolution began in 1751 is equal to all the plants grown on Earth over 13,300 years. Fossil fuels developed from ancient deposits of organic material, and thus can be thought of as a vast store of solar energy. It took an incredible amount of plant matter to generate the fossil fuels we are using today." - Jeff Dukes

Many earlier civilizations found themselves in environmental trouble as Jared Diamond notes in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

Some were able to change course and avoid economic decline and some - Sumerians, Mayans, Easter Islanders - were not able to make the needed adjustments in time.

We know from earlier civilizations that the lead indicators of economic decline were environmental and not due to the churning of derivatives.

The trees went first, then the civilization itself.

Nature has many thresholds that we discover only when it is too late.

To archeologists, the sequence is all too familiar.

The Earth is in what ecologists call an "overshoot-and-collapse" mode.

Overshoot leads sometimes to decline and sometimes to a complete collapse.

1944 US Coast Guard introduces 29 reindeer on remote St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea to serve as the backup food source for the 19 men operating a station there. World War II ends, the base is closed and the men left the island.

1957 US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist David Kline visits St. Matthew Island. He discovers a thriving population of 1,350 reindeer feeding on the four-inch-thick mat of lichen that covers the 332-square-kilometer (128-square-mile) island.

In the absence of any predators, the population exploded.

1963 A population of 6,000 reindeer on the island.

1966 St. Matthew Island is strewn with reindeer skeletons and not much lichen. 42 reindeer survive: 41 females and 1 unhealthy male. There are no fawns.

1980 The remaining reindeer had died off and there is no lichen.

In decline, a remnant of the population or economic activity survives in a resource-depleted environment for a period of time.

As the environmental resource base of Easter Island in the South Pacific deteriorated its population declined from a peak of 20,000 to fewer than 4,000.

In contrast, the 500-year-old Norse settlement in Greenland collapsed during the 1400s, disappearing entirely in the face of environmental adversity.

2005 42 countries have population that are stable or declining slightly in size as a result of falling birth rates.

For the first time demographers are projecting population declines in African countries because of rising death rates, among them Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland.

Welcome to the Asylum

The Dissolution of the West

America's Descent Into Madness

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?

Collapse of Complex Societies by Dr. Joseph Tainter

Collapse Awareness and the Tragic Consciousness

Derrick Jensen: Civilization and Enlightenment

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, A Rebellious World or a New Dark Age?

Why Does the World Shadow Government Destroy its Own Home (Planet)?

Will the Collapse of Civilization Begin With Global Fascist Totalitarianism?

unique library index

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