Killer Facts: Why we should be preparing for social collapse


I found this to be a thought provoking speech. Particularly the part about social collapse which starts at 18:50. Building on the scientific facts which start at 10:58.

It is easy for people to stay relaxed about this issue until too late because we are not engaged with the concept of exponential change which means that things can rapidly escalate at an ever increasing speed as one issue impacts on another. For example Roger mentions how as the arctic ice melts that will also mean less light is reflected meaning even more rapid heating of the planet.

For people who are somewhat familiar with ecosystems and complex systems it is easier to make sense of these warnings.

The question that then springs to mind is what to do with this information?

Roger advocates for rebellion to try and help wake governments up to this issue. However I think it also makes sense to pursue another action as well. Planning for the worst and creating mobile, self sustaining homes and communities to try and save life, protect species and spread knowledge before, during and after social collapse.

This is because it seems like we may be too late to persuade society to change course. That is still the ideal. But perhaps seeing some people building Noah style Arcs and planning for the total collapse of life as we know it, rather than paying into pensions which fund the world’s destruction, will be a better wake up call that the crisis is coming.


I help to grow Vegan Permaculture.

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  1. These are my notes on the main environmental and social “facts” that Roger mentions:

    Killer environmental facts:
    The arctic is melting. 75% of the volume in the Arctic ocean has melted in the past 30 years. No permanent ice will be left by 2022 (according to the Harvard scientist who discovered the O-zone layer). Once you remove ice from dark water you have the latent heat effect which means that you dramatically increase the temperature. The gulf stream is being disrupted because the difference in temperature between the arctic and the equator is becoming less so it’s slowing down and creating weather blocks. Once the ice is gone, it’s going to be completely chaotic… in the next 10 years.

    Since pre-industrial times the average temperature increased around 1.1 degrees centigrade. There is a thing called carbon lag which means when more carbon enters the atmosphere it take 10 – 30 years to lead to higher temperatures. So even if we stop putting carbon into the atmosphere now we’d still have the last 20 – 30 years worth coming through and affecting the planet. Recent paper predicted there is still 0.7 degree increase in temperature to come through even if everything stopped tomorrow.

    Global dimming (2015 peer reviewed paper). Fossil fuel particles shade the sun’s rays so when we finally stop emitting fossil fuels… the sun will come through stronger and potentially heat the earth even more. Up to about 0.7 degrees centigrade.

    When soil is heated up it releases more carbon so it is predicted this could lead to another 1 degree centigrade rise in temperature.

    Meanwhile carbon emissions are still going up. Parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere have been going up exponentially for the past 100 years.

    Killer social facts
    We’re facing the end of civilisation. For examples of what social collapse looks like look at places like Somalia or Afghanistan. Begins with economic crisis e.g. when the asset bubble of global coastal properties bursts. “Fiscal crisis of the state” means the state runs out of money. Means welfare payments not happening, not enough money to pay for public services: schools, hospitals… police.

    Food running out. Due to unpredictable weather food production was down 20% in Europe, North America, Russia in 2018. Sustainability professor of 30 years said “if that happens 3 years running, there’ll be mass starvation in Europe”.

    At a certain point the body can not survive heat and humidity and it dies in 6 hours. It’s non-linear so we are not seeing mass effects now but at a certain point with temperature rise we suddenly will. Potentially 3 million people will die. This is already happening in the animal kingdom. On the Russian Stepp a few years ago 200,000 deer died in 3 days.

    When hundreds of millions of people are fleeing the tropics it is likely to lead to war.

    When social collapse comes it’s going to be fast. A few days or a few weeks because everything is connected.

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