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NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization 401

Snirt writes "A new study (PDF) sponsored by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that 'the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.' Cases of severe civilizational disruption due to 'precipitous collapse — often lasting centuries — have been quite common.' They say, 'Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use.' After running simulations on the survivability of various types of civilizations, the researchers found that for the type most resembling ours, 'collapse is difficult to avoid.'"
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NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

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  • Where? (Score:5, Funny)

    by NEDHead ( 1651195 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @02:05PM (#46493523)

    Is Hari Seldon when we need him?

  • by MRe_nl ( 306212 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @02:05PM (#46493531)

    I foresee the imminent fall of the American Empire, which encompasses the entire world, and a dark age lasting 30 thousand years before a second great empire arises. I also foresee an alternative where the intermittent period will last only one thousand years. To ensure my vision of a second great empire comes to fruition, we should create two foundationsâ"small, secluded havens of all human knowledgeâ"at "opposite ends of the internet".

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @08:37PM (#46495707) Journal

    The oil we used today is as cheap as almost any other time in life. Efficiencies in process techniques and new processes have made this so.

    This is what I don't understand from all the we are out of oil doom and gloom'ers. They say we need to adapt and change because we are running out of a resource but refuse to accept that the industry harvesting that resource has adapted and changed to cope with decline in the resources.

    The US is poised to become the top oil producing nation in 2015. []

    If you consider all the other resources like Coal and Natural Gas, the doom and gloom will only be a slow transition to other resources over a period of several decades or more. And even the article I linked to is basing it's analysis on current tech. Any advancements or innovation can easily change it's predictions on the future output of oil.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern