Last week, Nafeez Ahmed posted a piece on The Guardian that presents a breakdown of the findings from a study led Safa Motesharrei, an applied mathematician, and sponsored by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Mr. Motesharrei’s Human and Nature DYnamical (HANDY) model “investigates human-nature of…past cases of [civilization] collapse” to report that our current worldwide wealth inequity and rampant resource-usage have us on the verge of a collapse similar to those seen by the Roman, Mayan, and Mesopotamian civilizations before us. Mr. Ahmed’s article offers that, based on the study’s findings, if our leaders make changes very soon to how wealth is distributed and how and what kind of energy we consume that we may be on the verge of the fated “end of the world as we know it”. The study and the article’s author will likely come across sounding a bit socialistic to some (hence the above cartoon), but I view these findings as one more piece of evidence that Marxian philosophy not only offers an alternative to the capitalistic system that got us here, but exposes the societal death-wish of unfettered capitalism. Can we trust our leader to make these decisions? Can we stare research in its face and say that everything will be ok? I’m not really sure what to do when information like this comes out, but I know that having real conversations with real people about how we live, how we individually spend our money and consume our resources is a good start to a larger consciousness about the importance of this issue. If we are really looking down the barrel of an end of civilization I hope that we won’t do it quietly and unquestioningly.
If you haven’t read the article already, here is the link:Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’? Read it with an open mind, consider it, and let’s start talking about this a lot more. I realize that most of us have no money/power/resources to make actual change, but beginning to see the system that is currently in place as flawed is the first step in walking away from it. To what? I’m not exactly sure, but I’ve always been sure that this isn’t working: