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(EcoWatch)   Physicists say there's a 90 percent chance that we're headed for a massive social collapse within several decades. GO AWAY I'M BATIN'   (ecowatch.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Air pollution, World population, National Rifle Association, Black people, Deforestation, Black communities, study shows, plastic industry  
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4802 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 09 Aug 2020 at 8:45 AM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-08-09 9:52:21 AM  
For the last couple of years I've been saying gloomy things like "It's not like I'll ever have to pay for any of it, the whole thing's going to collapse soon."  whenever I use a credit card.   Not because I'm psychic, but because I'm severely and chronically depressed.   

But damned if I don't look like a psychic now!  I wonder if any of those cashiers are thinking "Okay, that was creepy."

Wait, I get that all the time regardless of what I actually say.
 
2020-08-09 9:54:38 AM  

waxbeans: ObscureNameHere: waxbeans: Decades seems very optimistic.
I say we all, humanity, eats itself alive in the next nine years.

Of course! Just like how we all ran out of oil in 70's, just as The Experts*tm predicted.

/oh wait....

Shall drilling helped. But, dries up as soon as oil prices drop. So, maybe running out of old isn't as important as will we be able to afford it?


The point is (also related to the Malthus discussion above) that most of the self-appointed prophets on these matters are continually tripped up by technological innovation.   They cry to the skies and shout "What will we do?"  Then humans do what they do: invent, adapt, survive.
 
2020-08-09 9:55:13 AM  
It feels like this could make the foundation of a really excellent book.
 
2020-08-09 9:58:33 AM  

durbnpoisn: g.fro: Iowa1984: joker420: If we could find a way to reduce the population by 50% we would be ok.

Nice try, Thanos.

Thanos was a moron. Even if his plan worked like he thought it would, he would just have to do it again in thirty years.

For all the greatness that movie had, the one problem I had immediately is that the primary reason for the antagonist's actions were SO completely nonsensical, that I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to get behind it.

It pulled me right out of the movie when he explained his reasoning.  Because if he could reason that far, he should have been able to reason the obvious flaw in his plan.  So that's just some shiatty writing.
Also - it could have been fixed.  If he could use the stones to wipe out half the population, he could have used the stones to permanently fix the population at whatever number it is RIGHT now.  Every time someone is born, someone else dies.  Somewhere.

Is that so ridiculous compared to what actually happened?


I guess the thinking was that by "only" killing half of all life, his whole "perfectly balanced, as all things should be" schtick would make him seem like a "reasonable" villain. But if his plan had been to eliminate 90%, or even 99%, of everyone, it would have made him not only more terrifying, but actually more logical (by his logic).
 
2020-08-09 9:59:21 AM  
Did I just waste my time clicking on an eco watch link? Seriously?
 
2020-08-09 10:01:22 AM  

kittyhas1000legs: I keep telling the wife we need to get some land, preferably with a little bit of water on it. Grow what we can, can what we grow, and avoid people. Have enough solar/wind to be off grid if need be.


Or you could just move out of America.
 
2020-08-09 10:01:40 AM  

rcain: shiat-tier repeat of the article from a couple weeks ago

They predict 40 years out or more. Honestly, I think it's going to be much sooner than that. More like 20 years

http://web.sonoma.edu/users/s/swijtink​/teaching/philosophy_200/pentagon_wors​t_case_study.htm


Cool, and your untestable hypothesis is even more irrelevant than theirs.
 
2020-08-09 10:03:24 AM  

aagrajag: kyleaugustus: AsparagusFTW: Populations can only grow as there are resources for the survival of that specie. If there is an overabundance of resources, they thrive and over populate. When there is too few resources, they die off or stop baby makin'. There is a natiral equilibrium that humans have vastly been over on, the pendelum has to swing in the other direction for awhile.

Psst!  Your Malthus is showing.

Malthus was dead-on right. He was just off by a few years due to the industrial revolution.


Every time Malthus appears to be right, some idiot changes the parameters and puts off the inevitable.
 
2020-08-09 10:06:31 AM  

Muzzleloader: joker420: If we could find a way to reduce the population by 50% we would be ok.

Not really. The human population has tripled in the last 60 years or so.

50% reduction would take us back to around 1980 levels.

He was making a joke, but bill burr was closer to the mark when he said 80 to 90 % have to die, if you are gonna fix issues with population reduction.

And even then, you would have to implement some kind of child number limit ala chinas one baby per couple rule and make it stick somehow.

Good luck with that.


One one of my favorite facts about humans is that upwards of 50 million people died in World War II, and yet there were more people walking the Earth in 1945 than there were in 1939.

It turns out killing each other is only the thing we're second best at.
 
2020-08-09 10:09:21 AM  

ObscureNameHere: waxbeans: ObscureNameHere: waxbeans: Decades seems very optimistic.
I say we all, humanity, eats itself alive in the next nine years.

Of course! Just like how we all ran out of oil in 70's, just as The Experts*tm predicted.

/oh wait....

Shall drilling helped. But, dries up as soon as oil prices drop. So, maybe running out of old isn't as important as will we be able to afford it?

The point is (also related to the Malthus discussion above) that most of the self-appointed prophets on these matters are continually tripped up by technological innovation.   They cry to the skies and shout "What will we do?"  Then humans do what they do: invent, adapt, survive.


I don't know if I agree that sheal is adaptive. It's horrible for water.
 
2020-08-09 10:17:36 AM  

rcain: shiat-tier repeat of the article from a couple weeks ago

They predict 40 years out or more. Honestly, I think it's going to be much sooner than that. More like 20 years

http://web.sonoma.edu/users/s/swijtink​/teaching/philosophy_200/pentagon_wors​t_case_study.htm


That 2004 article says 'the next 20 years'.  Of course, we accelerated the social unrest part of it regardless of climate change.
 
2020-08-09 10:21:45 AM  
The States were colonies once, and might be colonized again.
China "liberates" the west coast.  East coast remains it's own country or asks to join the EU. Northern states join Canada.  South west form an alliance with Mexico.  Deep south form a theocracy.  Middle of the country is a battle ground over farm land.
 
2020-08-09 10:22:20 AM  
Malthusianism- talking about this doom and gloom since 1798.
 
2020-08-09 10:22:22 AM  
so "several decades", that's like in 4 months right?
 
2020-08-09 10:23:59 AM  
I don't forsee America lasting the next 10 years to be honest.

If you bring me gifts and praises now I will let you stay on my farm when things get bad but its BYOB and I'm gonna hit on your wife
 
2020-08-09 10:27:34 AM  

towatchoverme: Nothing of value will be lost at this point.


Are you eyeing that bath tub, a bottle of vodka and a razor?

Good ideas need a pioneer..
 
2020-08-09 10:27:54 AM  
Coincidentally, Socialists say there's a 90% chance we're headed for a massive physical collapse within several decades.

Which team is right? Place your bets, and tune in live each night for play-by-play coverage of the EARTHBOWL (sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway)
 
2020-08-09 10:31:56 AM  
imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-09 10:32:33 AM  

Catlenfell: The States were colonies once, and might be colonized again.
China "liberates" the west coast.  East coast remains it's own country or asks to join the EU. Northern states join Canada.  South west form an alliance with Mexico.  Deep south form a theocracy.  Middle of the country is a battle ground over farm land.


What does Florida do? Reenact The Purge, but every day of the year?
 
2020-08-09 10:42:32 AM  

khatores: Catlenfell: The States were colonies once, and might be colonized again.
China "liberates" the west coast.  East coast remains it's own country or asks to join the EU. Northern states join Canada.  South west form an alliance with Mexico.  Deep south form a theocracy.  Middle of the country is a battle ground over farm land.

What does Florida do? Reenact The Purge, but every day of the year?


Sink into the Gulf?
 
2020-08-09 10:46:02 AM  
I'd comment about a physicist talking about social issue but I have to call a dentist about fixing my oven.
 
2020-08-09 10:51:00 AM  
Are these scientists proposing the formation of a foundation to go to a remote location and preserve human knowledge?
 
2020-08-09 10:51:36 AM  

g.fro: Muzzleloader: joker420: If we could find a way to reduce the population by 50% we would be ok.

Not really. The human population has tripled in the last 60 years or so.

50% reduction would take us back to around 1980 levels.

He was making a joke, but bill burr was closer to the mark when he said 80 to 90 % have to die, if you are gonna fix issues with population reduction.

And even then, you would have to implement some kind of child number limit ala chinas one baby per couple rule and make it stick somehow.

Good luck with that.

One one of my favorite facts about humans is that upwards of 50 million people died in World War II, and yet there were more people walking the Earth in 1945 than there were in 1939.

It turns out killing each other is only the thing we're second best at.


50? Lol
 
2020-08-09 10:51:38 AM  

rcain: shiat-tier repeat of the article from a couple weeks ago

They predict 40 years out or more. Honestly, I think it's going to be much sooner than that. More like 20 years

http://web.sonoma.edu/users/s/swijtink​/teaching/philosophy_200/pentagon_wors​t_case_study.htm


Not a bad guess...  considering the trends in place, and the fact that too many find laws to be 'inconvenient', and thus ignored, America appears to be regressing to the wild west phase, where the gunslinger rules, minus the showdown phase.. shoot first, just because.. government employees, who were hired to help the people, now help themselves  and ignore the people.. not all, but way too many.. most of congress is too busy 'getting theirs', while it is still there to get, and at this rate, it won't be there much longer.  China saw a way to cut down the competition in their quest to rule the world, and it,s working..  Russia is hanging around to get as much of the spoils as they can, and we are destroying the history we used to learn from...
   My guess, based on plentiful visible evidence, points to 2035-2040  for the grand finale..  and we are doing it to ourselves..  Whether we go out in a blaze of nuclear glory is debatable, but definitely an option, unless China gains control of them first, or Russia opts for the EMP strategy first.   With our dependence on cell phones and all transportation dependent on electronics, we will be back to the stone age in a flash and a bang... comes from putting all the eggs in one basket...   China and Russia will do fine, as they have one person running the show, and have control of their populace.. We will only accept the leader we want, and nobody controls the populace...  United we stood, but we are not united : therefore, we fall... Yippie Kay Yay, Motherfarkers.

PS... Lootie is waiting in the wings.
 
2020-08-09 10:57:54 AM  

g.fro: khatores: Catlenfell: The States were colonies once, and might be colonized again.
China "liberates" the west coast.  East coast remains it's own country or asks to join the EU. Northern states join Canada.  South west form an alliance with Mexico.  Deep south form a theocracy.  Middle of the country is a battle ground over farm land.

What does Florida do? Reenact The Purge, but every day of the year?

Sink into the Gulf?


Seems like every year Jax is sinking more into the filled-in swamp that used to surround the St. Johns River. Maybe we can fill it in with the shell casings from all the shootings.
 
2020-08-09 11:01:20 AM  
FTFA: "While the extent of human contribution to the greenhouse effect and temperature changes is still a matter of discussion..."

No.
No it's farking not.
Humans are 100% responsible for burning fossil fuels and creating the fastest greenhouse effect in millions of years. As someone pointed out above, elected officials, even the ones who want to help fix the problem, are bound by a contract to make life good for us, but only for four or 8 years at a time. No politician is going to do massively unpopular things like ban the entire fossil fuel industry, for example, when they're facing a reelection in a few years. Someone will make a half-assed attempt at mitigation eventually, but until then, start learning how to live off the grid. Adaptation is how us millennials and Gen Z kids are going to survive.
 
2020-08-09 11:02:01 AM  

khatores: Catlenfell: The States were colonies once, and might be colonized again.
China "liberates" the west coast.  East coast remains it's own country or asks to join the EU. Northern states join Canada.  South west form an alliance with Mexico.  Deep south form a theocracy.  Middle of the country is a battle ground over farm land.

What does Florida do? Reenact The Purge, but every day of the year?


Submerges.
 
2020-08-09 11:05:58 AM  

Photoshop This: elected officials, even the ones who want to help fix the problem, are bound by a contract to make life good for us, but only for four or 8 years at a time.


I can think of a few who are violating their contract big time. One orange one in particular.
 
2020-08-09 11:08:07 AM  

montreal_medic: sithon: iheartscotch: 100-200 years? Seems a little presumptuous. After all, it assumes that we don't go *BOOM*

I think the collapse is coming faster than that.

Haven't there been several studies that indicate most empires collapse around the 500 year mark? They consider the various eras of the big old civilizations to be separate empires with collapses and rises, so Rome had the republic, the empire, and the eastern empire and Egypt had a couple of dynasties/kingdoms separated by decades of turmoil and chaos

Seems western civilization is about due for another one soon.

Counterpoint - the previous era of empires ended at the start-middle of the 20th century, with two world wars, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Russian kingdom. The last 75 years have been a historical anomaly and count as the inter-empire period. The next empires are due to rise (China, maybe? The EU?) and we all assume the Americans are relevant despite them being irrelevant (historically) for most of their history, until their recent boom of being the only power not destroyed by war on their soil


Well, not important, except the food, and tobacco, and *vomits* slaves. If you ignore those things, America was virtually irrelevant!
 
2020-08-09 11:12:35 AM  
I swear to Christ, if I'm 70 years old and the entire world is collapsing around me, I'm going to score an ounce of coke or H and go out on my own terms.
 
2020-08-09 11:12:50 AM  
th.bing.comView Full Size

Not my problem.
 
2020-08-09 11:19:12 AM  

MythDragon: kittyhas1000legs: I keep telling the wife we need to get some land, preferably with a little bit of water on it. Grow what we can, can what we grow, and avoid people. Have enough solar/wind to be off grid if need be.

Don't worry, when the ice sheets finish melting, most land will have some water on it.
[i.pinimg.com image 794x1200]


Actually sea-level rise won't be anywhere near high enough to cover all the land. I checked not long ago because I wanted to know whether the area I'm in will be affected. (It will. The central valley will be an enormous lake.)
 
2020-08-09 11:20:38 AM  

durbnpoisn: g.fro: Iowa1984: joker420: If we could find a way to reduce the population by 50% we would be ok.

Nice try, Thanos.

Thanos was a moron. Even if his plan worked like he thought it would, he would just have to do it again in thirty years.

For all the greatness that movie had, the one problem I had immediately is that the primary reason for the antagonist's actions were SO completely nonsensical, that I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to get behind it.

It pulled me right out of the movie when he explained his reasoning.  Because if he could reason that far, he should have been able to reason the obvious flaw in his plan.  So that's just some shiatty writing.
Also - it could have been fixed.  If he could use the stones to wipe out half the population, he could have used the stones to permanently fix the population at whatever number it is RIGHT now.  Every time someone is born, someone else dies.  Somewhere.

Is that so ridiculous compared to what actually happened?


It's not a popular opinion but Keven Feige is farking terrible.
 
2020-08-09 11:22:12 AM  

neongoats: Because physicists are you ask about the causes of societal collapse?


Physicists are the only group more likely than computer scientists to think they have perfect understanding of every other discipline. Perhaps it's and ASD thing or perhaps it's just arrogance.
 
2020-08-09 11:25:16 AM  

macadamnut: Not much is natural about human society.


Everything about human society, from iPads to Chinese concentration camps, is entirely and wholly natural. What else could it be?
 
2020-08-09 11:28:51 AM  

durbnpoisn: It pulled me right out of the movie when he explained his reasoning. Because if he could reason that far,


I think he was rationalizing, rather than reasoning. The desire to kill half the universe came first; the Malthusian justification was thought up afterwards.
 
2020-08-09 11:34:48 AM  
The issue with social collapse is that it's never just one thing.

The Aztecs could have easily handled 200 Spaniards. But unfortunately they had a long history of pissing off their neighbors by killing hundreds of them on top of pyramids. So you don't hear about Cortez having an army of 8,000 pissed off Indians who thought this guy was their passport to freedom. (Ooops.) And then of course, the small pox thing. So the Aztecs didn't collapse because some pissed off honcho had swords, they also had to deal with their own crap administration and lack of immunity.

The Romans had an extremely robust system of laws, roads, ports, and taxation. If it had JUST been the Antonine plagues, or just the Huns, or just the Goths, or just a rogue military eating up the budget, they might have made it for hundreds of more years. But the system couldn't handle all four of these at once.

I could go on, but you get the drift: the United States might be able to handle climate change, by itself. It might be able to maintain the cost of a world wide empire, if that was the only challenge. But our extreme political dysfunction, plus COVID, plus climate change, plus a military that is cracking under the stress, is creating an overlapping set of challenges that could easily overwhelm the system. It's happened before.
 
2020-08-09 11:40:58 AM  
Astrophysicists say it don't matter.......space rock is on it's way!  Rock on!
 
2020-08-09 11:41:22 AM  

joker420: mr-b: joker420: If we could find a way to reduce the population by 50% we would be ok.

America leaving would only be 5% of the population but would save 24% of the resources. So you only need 30% total to achieve your goals.

Lol, stay in school.


Not to sound critical, but I have you farkied as the person who claims that car air filters protect other cars.
 
2020-08-09 11:43:57 AM  
Sociology Song
Youtube mB97Qe2D4V0


They used to just sue math alone to make it look less soft science, now i guess they just gonna rebrand?

Don't get me wrong, i find it to be one of the more important fields we could study, as we can't make good laws and social systems for us if we don't actually understand us.
But yeah it is a field that will never be "right" about anything because what we study there is not an unchanging constant of the universe.
No proof can be derived for us in this way as whatever we are today is just for now as we are ever changing.

What we find to be socially acceptable one day can be wildly immoral the next. There is not a constant like that to be found in us, we are ever shifting from a combination of environmental influences (stuff we can't control and are just subject to cope with) and social evolution (influences we just choose to say have to be and just assume to indoctrinate the next generation to it when they may actually decide other wise for themselves later anyway).

Thus as a field of study where there will never be a proof that you were wrong, and the reining sociological theories of the day, are merely the ones that have been hardest fought for (those who yell the same idea the most and the loudest get to be considered right, until a different idea gets louder).

Then this field's intrinsic nature does attract all the shiatty underbelly jack rag con artists seeking status and position only (tenure with six figure salary) or wanting to push their own POV on social order, are drawn like moths to the flame to this ambiguous word salad debate filed that supplants observational descriptions with mathematical formula in a grab at a form of legitimacy, that is not genuine to the nature of this field of study.

Does the math hold a variable for the human element, like an MLK or a Gandhi type of personality to rise to influecne on the direction we take?
Did it ever have a variable for the rise of a trump type influence too? Where was that formula when we needed to see it?
 
2020-08-09 11:45:59 AM  

aagrajag: kyleaugustus: AsparagusFTW: Populations can only grow as there are resources for the survival of that specie. If there is an overabundance of resources, they thrive and over populate. When there is too few resources, they die off or stop baby makin'. There is a natiral equilibrium that humans have vastly been over on, the pendelum has to swing in the other direction for awhile.

Psst!  Your Malthus is showing.

Malthus was dead-on right. He was just off by a few years due to the industrial revolution.


Malthus failed to account for advances in agriculture & food science that he couldn't possibly have predicted.  Not that it's necessarily a predictor or directly applicable to climate change.  I'm just saying, he was dead on correct for the data he had... but conditions changed in the meantime.
 
2020-08-09 11:47:39 AM  

g.fro: Iowa1984: joker420: If we could find a way to reduce the population by 50% we would be ok.

Nice try, Thanos.

Thanos was a moron. Even if his plan worked like he thought it would, he would just have to do it again in thirty years.


He shoulda been snapping like a beatnic at a jaz gig.
 
2020-08-09 11:48:07 AM  

powhound: joker420: mr-b: joker420: If we could find a way to reduce the population by 50% we would be ok.

America leaving would only be 5% of the population but would save 24% of the resources. So you only need 30% total to achieve your goals.

Lol, stay in school.

Not to sound critical, but I have you farkied as the person who claims that car air filters protect other cars.


You just proved my point. R.I.F.
 
2020-08-09 11:53:59 AM  
THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING
 
2020-08-09 11:54:46 AM  

Muzzleloader: joker420: If we could find a way to reduce the population by 50% we would be ok.

Not really. The human population has tripled in the last 60 years or so.

50% reduction would take us back to around 1980 levels.

He was making a joke, but bill burr was closer to the mark when he said 80 to 90 % have to die, if you are gonna fix issues with population reduction.

And even then, you would have to implement some kind of child number limit ala chinas one baby per couple rule and make it stick somehow.

Good luck with that.


take it down to 20 million worldwide with six fertile females

that should do it

and yes I would push the button without hesitation if it meant my own demise

I've seen the other side, I've been good with dying
 
2020-08-09 11:56:04 AM  
I'm good with dying (damn you google voice)
 
2020-08-09 12:06:24 PM  

orbister: neongoats: Because physicists are you ask about the causes of societal collapse?

Physicists are the only group more likely than computer scientists to think they have perfect understanding of every other discipline. Perhaps it's and ASD thing or perhaps it's just arrogance.


Physics is the study of everything
Chemistry is a small subset of physics
Biology is a small subset of chemistry
Almost every other discipline is a tiny subset of biology

/Not a physicist
//Without physical laws, chemistry can't happen
///Without chemistry life itself is impossible
////Without biology, the other disciplines are irrelevant
 
2020-08-09 12:08:35 PM  
Sounds like someone needs to set up a Foundation. Or two.
 
2020-08-09 12:11:47 PM  

orbister: macadamnut: Not much is natural about human society.

Everything about human society, from iPads to Chinese concentration camps, is entirely and wholly natural. What else could it be?


Fark user imageView Full Size


"The carbon-units are not an infestation. They are ... a natural function of the Creator's planet."
 
2020-08-09 12:40:27 PM  

crackizzle: montreal_medic: sithon: iheartscotch: 100-200 years? Seems a little presumptuous. After all, it assumes that we don't go *BOOM*

I think the collapse is coming faster than that.

Haven't there been several studies that indicate most empires collapse around the 500 year mark? They consider the various eras of the big old civilizations to be separate empires with collapses and rises, so Rome had the republic, the empire, and the eastern empire and Egypt had a couple of dynasties/kingdoms separated by decades of turmoil and chaos

Seems western civilization is about due for another one soon.

Counterpoint - the previous era of empires ended at the start-middle of the 20th century, with two world wars, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Russian kingdom. The last 75 years have been a historical anomaly and count as the inter-empire period. The next empires are due to rise (China, maybe? The EU?) and we all assume the Americans are relevant despite them being irrelevant (historically) for most of their history, until their recent boom of being the only power not destroyed by war on their soil

Well, not important, except the food, and tobacco, and *vomits* slaves. If you ignore those things, America was virtually irrelevant!


I think he was talking about the broad sweep of history. It's entirely possible the USA falls apart this century, in which case our 200+ year run was pretty good from out point of view, but a blip in the story of millennia. And if not just America collapses, but the whole concept of democracy, and human civilization returns to kings and emperors as had been it's norm (after all, it's harder for the Russians to rig your elections if you don't have any), then our time at the top will truly be meaningless. History is full of powers who were the strongest in the world for a few centuries who no one remembers now.

And I don't know what you mean about American slavery being significant to the history of the world. We didn't invent it, weren't the only ones to get rid of it, and during our time as a world power didn't have it. If humanity turns away from democracy, there's no guarantee slavery won't return.

It's possible America, democracy, and freedom might be a couple of pages in the history books between one imperial civilization and the next.
 
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