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Mon Mar 24, 2014, 03:07 PM

 

NASA Study: Civilization Doomed by Overconsumption, Wealth Inequality (Infographic)

Last edited Mon Mar 24, 2014, 07:25 PM - Edit history (1)




A NASA-funded study looked at factors that cause a civilization to collapse. In the past 5,000 years, many advanced societies have collapsed, resulting in hundreds of years of decline and regression. Basing their model on how predators and prey interact, the scientists concluded that societies that collapsed had two factors in common: overconsumption of natural resources and economic stratification.

http://www.livescience.com/44204-study-civilization-doomed-by-overconsumption-wealth-inequality-infographic.html



Or, we could just keep "compromising" with the .01% 'til we all die, lol!

13 replies, 1915 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Reply NASA Study: Civilization Doomed by Overconsumption, Wealth Inequality (Infographic) (Original post)
grahamhgreen Mar 2014 OP
redqueen Mar 2014 #1
grahamhgreen Mar 2014 #3
Enthusiast Mar 2014 #4
grahamhgreen Mar 2014 #5
librechik Mar 2014 #2
ReverendDeuce Mar 2014 #6
grahamhgreen Mar 2014 #7
GliderGuider Mar 2014 #8
grahamhgreen Mar 2014 #11
GliderGuider Mar 2014 #13
xchrom Mar 2014 #9
GliderGuider Mar 2014 #10
Octafish Mar 2014 #12

Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 03:09 PM

1. Saw this report discussed on the news this morning.

It's sad how often the obvious seems to require repeating.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 05:50 PM

3. When we give people the solutions to these issues, we win elections. It's not rocket science:

 

Tax the rich
feed the poor
medicare for all
no costly trade agreements
get off of oil
organic farming

etc..... the dirty f*cking hippies, are right.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 06:16 PM

4. It can be done.

But we are running out of time.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 07:30 PM

5. Agreed. This messing around with antiquated ideas on the part of so many may cost us the species.

 

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 03:50 PM

2. K & R

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 07:39 PM

6. Well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist... D'oh!

Sorry, had to say it.

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Response to ReverendDeuce (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 08:53 PM

7. Rocket Science - If it was easy....

 

it would be your mom!!!



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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Mar 25, 2014, 07:37 AM

8. Both over-consumption and stratification have a common root cause

 

The root cause is high levels of available energy flow through the society.

High energy flows enable over-consumption by making resources of all kinds more accessible.

They also force the society into higher levels of stratification, because self-organization is driven by energy flow. Deeper hierarchies make it easier to manage high levels of energy flow, so they tend to appear naturally wherever there is a lot of energy to be managed. This effect underlies the structural difference between a forager tribe (low energy, low levels of resource use, very little hierarchy) and a modern corporation (high energy, high resource usage, high stratification). Think of the rise of the gilded age in America, concurrent with the increasing exploitation of fossil fuels.

So long as a civilization has a high level of energy flow we will not be able to get rid of either collective over-consumption or general inequality. These factors are not the result of some failure of the human socio-cultural mind. They are the natural result when our evolutionary tendency towards growth comes into contact with and high, sustained energy throughput. A positive feedback loop results, one that could be expected to drive us along exactly the path we find ourselves on.

I don't think there is any way off this path, because the system of global civilization has no central decision-making control node. As a result we are collectively at the mercy of our evolved nature and the energy flow. So long as global exergy availability (exergy is another term for "final energy use" continues to increase, so will resource depletion and systemic social inequality.

IMHO

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 25, 2014, 01:00 PM

11. Would you consider energy decentralization to be a solution?

 

Such as the move toward individual solar/wind production on site at citizens houses, as well as home powered electric vehicles?

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 25, 2014, 01:38 PM

13. No.

 

Last edited Tue Mar 25, 2014, 02:14 PM - Edit history (1)

In my framework, all that matters is the exergy flow through society, not whether it's centralized.

Centralization allows political structures to accrete more easily around the concentrating nodes. However, if you step back and look at history, even in the days before fossil fuels and electricity societies exhibited increasing consumption, ecological impact and organizational hierarchy. Human activities have always clustered around local energy sources, but in the past, at lower energy levels, our actions did not have the global reach they do today. Centralization is by no means necessary for human damage to be inflicted on the biosphere. It just makes it a bit easier.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Mar 25, 2014, 07:39 AM

9. du rec.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Mar 25, 2014, 09:28 AM

10. K&R nt

 

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Mar 25, 2014, 01:04 PM

12. Well. If they could get a man to the moon...

...we should be able to tackle the problems on earth.

We could, too, if we were to devote a little money to them.

Who should run the program? Let's ask Jacques Fresco.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3575876

Guy's 98 and still got it together.

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