Truth or fiction… the collapse of civilisations

Monday August 6th, 2012 – Climate change: The great civilisation destroyer?

Recent studies have shown that the decline and fall of many civilisations coincided with periods of climate change, and there were also correlations between climate change, population size and the frequency of wars.


Monday December 26th, 2033

The walls and windows exploded into a riot of color and motion. Even what Ayden had taken to be windows were, in fact, high resolution wall-screens. William’s entire office was an immersive VR room. Everywhere Ayden looked he saw reports on the current state of play in different parts of the world. As Ayden glanced at a scene he heard the audio for that particular scene. William must have slaved the audio to an eye-tracker following Ayden. Probably the sound was also being directionally projected too—so that only Ayden clearly heard the audio for the report he was viewing.

There was nothing new. Drought and nasty little water wars across Africa. Deadly heat waves in Europe. Famine and food riots across Asia as crops failed following the failure of the annual monsoon for the third year running. Massive unemployment and ever more radical political movements in the U.S., driven by decades of economic malaise. Rampant, unchecked development and environmental catastrophes in India. Nothing new, perhaps, but still shocking to view the images, larger than life, all around him.

“Now you’re the one trying to push emotional buttons.”

William smiled. “Sorry. Couldn’t resist. Here are the facts. This year, millions of people will die horribly after short, unsatisfying lives, and billions live in what you or I would consider appalling conditions … conditions which arguably cause much more suffering than an inability to have children. Next year, and every year after that, it’ll get worse. And it will continue to get worse for decades as our numbers march skywards. Much of the ‘developing world’ isn’t. Progress has stalled, and a great many children are not planned, not wanted. They are born because of religious objections to contraception or because ignorance, poverty, or sheer male selfishness doesn’t allow it.

“And if somehow we could address the standard of living of the poorest people on the planet, what would happen? Those improved lifestyles would consume even more resources. We’d need four earths instead of two. So what absolutely must happen? What must be made to occur to reduce suffering for billions of people alive today and countless more billions of people in the future? We must reduce absolute population levels in most parts of the world urgently and move to zero population growth everywhere. There are no other options.”

…read more in INTERVENTION by WRR Munro

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