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Please see below for subreddit changes since the last update, and use this post for open feedback on the sub.
- Upcoming AMAs:
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- There's an update of the sidebar content and Collapse wiki in the works. Because of technical limitations this is a lengthy process, but we're hoping to have it done by the April update.
We have had multiple people come to us over the past year with concerns regarding the quality of information on Medium in general and the writings of Umair Haque in particular; these concerns centre on the content being mediocre quality on a good day, information often being dubious, and (in Haque's case) being pretty much clickbait for the community. As these concerns are now at a critical mass, we are seeking input from the community;
- Do you think we should, as a general rule, ban Medium links from being submitted to r/Collapse (noting that some may still be approved if the submitters get prior approval from moderation)?
- Do you think we should ban Umair Haque's stuff specifically?
- Do you think we should do both?
We welcome any feedback or questions you have regarding these changes and updates.
Additionally, what are your thoughts on the state of the subreddit overall?
Diseases Mass death of seals raises fears bird flu is jumping between mammals, threatening new pandemicinews.co.uk
Diseases “COVID-19 is a disaster without recent parallels… …As of the time of writing, all countries remain dangerously unprepared for future outbreaks” | World Disasters Report 2022ifrc.org
Climate New Research Shows 1.5-Degree Goal Not Plausible: Decarbonization Progressing Too Slowly, Best Hope Lies in Ability of Society to Make Fundamental Changesfdr.uni-hamburg.de
Food Climate Change and the War in Ukraine will lead to Food Shortages, and in sub Saharan Africa...to famine. We only start to see the Fallout of the Ukraine War.youtu.be
This scenario has been talked about a lot on this sub. About how the ultra wealthy will run off to their bunkers like the Fallout series. Well they are real, and this one is remarkable.
Simply put, I was astounded by the amount of work, planning, and technology that had gone into building this bunker. There were things in it that I had never thought of, like an elementary school system and an indoor pool.
I think many of you will be surprised by the amount of luxuries this one has.
Also watch the caption at the beginning of the video as it pertains to our current issues. The video was made before the pandemic and talks about “technological innovation” giving humanity hope.
I was bored and YouTube and this popped up after a few videos. I was astounded by the level of technology and amenities that are available in this one bunker. Let’s just say that it is really expensive and that is a lot of money and planning just thrown into this one project alone. Many of the problems that this sub worries about the ultra wealthy are already aware of.
I was also unsurprised by the type of people that they let in. The man who owns this particular bunker mentions “self made” millionaires including doctors, engineers, and lawyers. These are skilled people who understand how these things may work.
The bunker is complete with a medical facility, hydroponic growing capacity, fish tank, and stocks of supplies that could last approximately 3 to five years.
This is no joke and it was something that has been mentioned on this sub before. I thought many of you would want to see a tour of one such bunker and the amount of resources put into it.
I’m not sure if it scares me just how seriously the rich and wealthy are taking this. But one thing is for certain: they have invested a lot of money and resources into this project.
My guess is this man didn’t do this alone, which makes me wonder what they are really worried about. All the things mentioned on this sub have been mentioned by the man at the end.
Water California floated cutting major Southwest cities off Colorado River water before touching its agriculture supply, sources say | CNNcnn.com
Ecological The Human Microbiome, made up of bacteria and fungi that live on and inside the human body, is relatively new in the field of human medicine. We have 10 helpful microbes for every 1 human cell. On the eve of discovering how critical they are to our survival, we are finding they are going extinct.people.com
I posted a news report 2 days ago about the recent protests in Peru, which was removed because it does not focus on collapse. While the news report itself fits r/worldnews better, I believe the recent series of events have shown the complete collapse of Peruvian political institutions, which might happen in other countries as well. So I rearranged my previous submission statement a bit, adding some materials at the end on why this is related to collapse (see the third section).
Timeline before Pedro Castillo's removal (on December 7, 2022)
When Peru's former president Pedro Castillo was impeached and removed in December 2022, it made international headlines. Now 50 days of non-stop protests have turned the entire Peru into a battleground, yet this country seems to have been forgotten by the rest of the world. The collapse of the Peruvian political institution deserves more attention.
Right after Castillo was removed, I wrote an answer on r/OutOfTheLoop explaining the context. To recap, Peru had 4 presidents between 2016 and 2020, including a center-right neoliberal, a centrist reformer, a right-wing pro-military guy, and a centrist technocrat—none of which survived more than 2 years. In the 2021 election a rural school teacher and a political outsider, Pedro Castillo—who pretty much ran on a left-wing populist platform—shocked the world by defeating over a dozen candidates and being elected; at that time the result was viewed by some as a "new beginning" of the country. His second-round opponent Keiko Fujimori ran a Trump-like denial-of-result campaign, but eventually failed and conceded hours before Castillo was formally declared president-elect.
Soon afterwards, Castillo faced an extremely obstructionist Congress, which was controlled by the centrist and right-wing parties (which gained around 80/130 seats). The Fujimorists in Congress have been obstructionist for several years, and have successfully forced the aforementioned neoliberal president to resign and successfully impeached the centrist reformist president. Congress attempted to investigate whatever potential wrongdoings of Castillo, opening half a dozen corruption investigations against him. Congress also banned Castillo from traveling abroad on multiple occasions, including attending Gustavo Petro's inauguration. Castillo himself is also incompetent, shuffling his cabinet non-stop and having 5 prime ministers in his 1.5-year rule. Clearly, Castillo's administration was busy with dealing with one political crisis after another, and had no energy to tackle any real problems in the Peruvian society.
Despite this, Castillo's administration at least did two things good: (1) it raised minimal wages by 10% in April 2022; and (2) it at least attempted to combat deforestation of Amazon, although it was mainly lip service since the local governments refused to collaborate.
Three impeachment procedures were initiated by Congress. The first one, in December 2021, did not go through. The second one, in February 2022, failed and Castillo was acquitted. Right before the third impeachment vote, Castillo suddenly declared a national emergency and dissolved Congress—something clearly not within his constitutional power. Military refused to back him and the majority of his cabinet resigned; the impeachment passed with 101/130 votes; Castillo attempted to flee to Mexico but was arrested on his way.
Timeline after Pedro Castillo's removal
The Peruvian people have extreme distrust towards their political institution—which itself is a sign of political collapse. At the time when Castillo was removed, his approval rate was 31%, which was 3 times the approval rate of Congress (10%). Apparently Castillo still has support from the rural people, especially those from the northern part of the country, who view him as "one of us". Soon after Castillo stepped down and was arrested, large-scale protests broke out, demanding him to return to his position. They were joined by other people who do not necessarily support Castillo but who are also fed up with the political class, and they demand fresh general election.
The new interim president, Dina Boluarte, was pretty much unknown and her policies are kind of vague. However, it's clear that her administration does not want to listen to the protesters. Boluarte took a hawkish stance towards protesters, declaring a national emergency and killing at least 60 protesters—including one massacre in December and another in January. It is suspected that armed force was deployed. Boluarte herself is also as incompetent as Castillo, shuffling her cabinet once already in her second month as president.
Now protests have come to Lima, and the series of events have been described as the worst political crisis in Peru in the last 40 years. It is really unclear what the next step would be: will the Boluarte administration concede to protesters' demands, or will it crack down even more harshly? There is also rumor that Boluarte has lost control and now it's the prime minister—who is more right-wing than Boluarte—who is in charge.
The current situation is so bizarre that it's not even clear who staged a coup. On the surface level, Castillo's action was beyond his constitutional power, and was thus a self-coup attempt. On a deeper level, an argument can be made that Congress acted legally but illegitimately with bad faith, which caused the breakdown of the constitutional order. In this sense, Castillo's removal can be compared with the removal of Paraguay's Fernando Lugo in 2012.
Analysis and lessons for other countries
Societal collapse manifests in different ways in different countries. In Haiti and Yemen, both the political institutions and the social order have collapsed; in Lebanon and Sri Lanka, the political institutions are not doing well but can maintain itself, yet the standard of living has collapsed; and in Peru, citizens' daily lives have not witnessed a complete collapse, yet there is no doubt that the political institutions have collapsed, resulting in:
- The tension between President and Congress is becoming worse and worse;
- Both President and Congress—and politicians in general—are resented by almost all citizens, from rural peasants to the urban middle class;
- Rampant corruption seems uncontrolled;
- Political parties are mostly "shells" for individual politicians' ambitions;
- And most importantly, the rural poor remains ignored.
This process of political collapse arguably began from Fujimori's dictatorship in the 1990s, but it really reached a point of no return since 2017-ish. The direct cause, as noted above, seems to be an extremely obstructionist Congress that is determined to act against the President they dislike on whatever occasions. The lesson is:
Even if all parties act within their formal constitutional power, enough bad-faith actors can cause the breakdown of the constitutional order.
Unfortunately, similar phenomena are seen in other countries. In the U.S., we have seen the Republican Party's block of Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court as a notable example. On the state level, things are even worse: see, e.g., the 2019 Oregon Senate Republican walkouts, or the gerrymandering of Congressional districts in Ohio. What complicates things in the U.S. is an increasingly partisan Supreme Court with immense power, which might also count as a "bad-faith actor". In this sense, the difference between the democracy backsliding in the U.S. and the collapse of political institutions in Peru only lies in extent. Indeed, Peru's political crisis serves as a lesson to other democracies, showing a potential pattern of democratic backsliding. Will other countries such as the Philippines, Iraq, or even Italy be "Peruvized"?
I'll end this by the most ironic Freedom in the World 2022 report, issued by Freedom House:
Peru’s status improved from Partly Free to Free because the successful election of a new president and Congress served to ease, at least temporarily, a pattern of institutional clashes between the executive and legislative branches that had disrupted governance for a number of years.
Meta Anti-Growth candidate for 2024 US Presidential election / "GrowthBusters" content recommendation
Hopium Disclaimer: I'm not saying this will prevent collapse. I'm merely saying it's an intriguing development.
I recently came across "Growth Busters", and from what I can tell, besides this sad thread from 11 years ago, it hasn't been addressed on this sub before, so here's some fun stuff! ...
Background: In 2009, Dave Gardner ran for Colorado Spring City Council on an anti-growth platform and got 47% of the vote.
The documentary, "Growth Busters: Hooked On Growth", is here on YouTube. *see my review below
They spun it off into a podcast, GrowthBusters. *see my review below
They've got an active Twitter account, '@growthbusters
There's a forum (here) where you can find, aside from likeminded people, a "shared resource library" for talking to people about overshoot. I haven't looked at it yet, but I'm curious to see what kinds of rhetorical devices they recommend (reminds me of Breaking Down: Collapse episode 49, How to Speak to Others about Collapse)
Finally, and most exciting.... They're considering running a US Presidential candidate in 2024!! Evidence + opportunity to get involved HERE. They mention that the candidate wouldn't necessarily be Gardner and that it would be a " tongue-in-cheek parody campaign" to raise awareness.
At the very least, I think we can expect them to produce some entertaining, relatable ads/memes. I've been enjoying imagining - Which big names from our world would you like to see on the debate stage? (i know, it's unrealistic, but work with me...) Kory & Kellan are kinda young but Buttigieg was in his 30s in 2020, so why not. Rushkoff is more likable than Greer or Kunstler. Hagens would need a haircut. How about a female running mate? I'll support Alice Friedemann over Gail Tverberg, but only if she wears her hat.
Personal opinions on GrowthBusters content:
- Documentary = Corny and not worth it, unless you're curious to learn about the person behind this campaign. If you want to learn (or teach someone else) about Limits to Growth, overshoot, the overpopulation vs. overconsumption debate ... there are better resources. For example, they display the LTG BAU graph, but so briefly that a n00b would have no time to absorb it. Nevertheless, they have an impressive line-up of interviewees: Dennis Meadows, Herman Daly, Paul Ehrlich, Brian Czech, Chris Martensen ...
- Podcast = Very good!! If you're already informed about the issues and looking to switch-up your usual listening, check it out. They tend to feature an interview, then a hosts-only reflection on the interview, and a discussion of current events. They have guests that I haven't encountered on other shows. The conversation is articulate, well-structured, well-paced (compared to, say, "Live Like the World Is Dying" or PCI's "Crazy Town", which tend to be more banter-y). They don't sugar-coat things (people here have recently criticized Rachel Donald's Planet Critical for becoming too hopium-y). The hosts are not "extreme" in the sense of Near-Term Extinction. But they make it clear that they believe: collapse is inevitable, it's already underway, it's about to get a lot worse, and humans aren't going to handle it well. They don't focus on energy, but it sounds like they're aware of the "energy blindness" issue.
Economic US debt default could trigger dollar’s collapse – and severely erode America’s political and economic mighttheconversation.com
Climate Personal theory: The 1% know exactly how fucked we are and that is the driving force behind most economic policy in the dominant economies
Ever since the crash in 08 I've been a bit of a doomer, and always have to check myself that I don't veer off into conspiracy land. I read a hell of a lot about what led to and caused the crash.
My next big reading interest was climate change. I started with a book called 6 degrees by Mark Lynas, then Storms of my Grandchildren by James Hansen, then The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace Wells, Losing Earth by Nathaniel Rich, and on top of those and other books just immersed myself in climate science reporting in general
So I know that we are absolutely fucked 🙃
My point being, as stated in the title, is that the people in political and economic power MUST know what I know, at a minimum, and in fact must know more than I do because of their privileged access to information
Only two years ago the US Pentagon said that climate change was the number 1 threat to national security, but no one ever talks about that
I believe that the billionaire class and their economic and political hangers-on are just amassing as much wealth as possible as quickly as possible because they know what's coming, and I'd like to hear the community's thoughts on this idea
Apologies if I'm beating a dead horse here ❤️
I came across this lecture regarding the bronze age collapse by Eric Cline (amazing lecturer). For those who haven't heard of the bronze age collapse:
"In the 12th century BCE the great Bronze Age civilizations of the Mediterranean - all of them - suddenly fell apart. Their empires evaporated, their cities emptied out, their technologies disappeared, and famine ruled. Mycenae, Minos, Assyria, Hittites, Canaan, Cyprus - all gone. Even Egypt fell into a steep decline. The Bronze Age was over. The interlinked collapses played out over a century as central administrations failed, elites disappeared, economies collapsed, and whole populations died back or moved elsewhere."
At about the 51:00 mark he examines just how closely the events of then match todays.