Jun 10 2020
03:36 pm

‘Collapse of Civilisation is the Most Likely Outcome’: Top Climate Scientists

Steffen told Voice of Action that it’s “highly likely that by 2030 we’ll know what pathway we’ve taken”, “the pathway towards sustainability or the current pathway towards likely collapse”.

“I think the ‘fork in the road’ will come in this decade, probably not a single point in time but as a series of events,” said Steffen.

Steffen told Voice of Action he believes collapse “will likely not come as a dramatic global collapse, but rather as overall deterioration in many features of life, with regional collapses occurring here and there”.

“For example, it appears that the USA is entering a long period of decline in many aspect of its society, with a potential for a more rapid collapse in the coming decade,” said Steffen.

It was difficult to predict a timeline but Turner said he believed “there’s an extremely strong case that we may be in the early stages of a collapse right at the moment”.

“Vested interests and corrupt politicians combined with a population happy to deny problems overwhelm those that are trying to promulgate truth and facts,” said Turner.

Further Reading
Nature Magazine - Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

Science Magazine - A roadmap for rapid decarbonization

Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute - Is Global Collapse Imminent

William Robinson at Great Transition Initiative Global Capitalism: Reflections on a Brave New World

bizgrrl's picture

Geez. Apocalyptic? Can't

Geez. Apocalyptic? Can't handle much more bad news.

Mike Knapp's picture


I think what a lot of us are still trying to wrap our heads around are the policies & the politics that could make it possible to stay under 2°C. In order to accomplish what needs to be done with policy and politics is on the scale of an order of magnitude beyond the Manhattan project, the Marshall plan, the New Deal etc. The solution(s) requires incredible creativity and bold action on a scale that may be rare in all of human history… It should mentioned that only recently have the Democrats been talking about policies that match up with the solutions that are needed. Inslee’s work and the Green New Deal come the closest but still don’t touch on enough for example of the international cooperation and support that’ll be needed.

One thing for certain however is that what must be done is simply incompatible with anything the GOP has in its ideological and operational repertoire. What’s clear is that the first order, threshold item that must be accomplished in order to prevent the horrible prospect of living on a world that was last seen in the Pliocene 3 million years ago is that the GOP must cease to be a political party with any power on policy at any level. This position has become abundantly clear to most reasonable people who have witnessed the deterioration of so many things as the party and its ideological adherents continue to waste away so much in their continuous incompetence and ineptitude.

It’s an idea so radical that even George Will agrees with it.

"The measures necessary for restoration of national equilibrium are many and will be protracted far beyond [Trump’s] removal. One such measure must be the removal of those in Congress who, unlike the sycophantic mediocrities who cosset him in the White House, will not disappear "magically," as Eric Trump said the coronavirus would. Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting."

yellowdog's picture

Capitalism in GOP form or Dem form

both lead to the same place. One will be quicker.

Mike Knapp's picture

Yeah, begs the question about how to organize moving forward

Re: how the econ looks in the future one person who I've always been a fan of is Herman Daly and his "steady state". His 1991 book is here. And their reading list is here with several free choices.

yellowdog's picture

Daly assumes capitalism and profits but his steady state

would be way better than the current trajectory. I agree his work is worth a read.

Mike Knapp's picture

Yes; if you've got some other thinkers this list should read

plz sling them out. Here's William Robinson on the topic, who was once at UTK.

Great Transition Initiative

yellowdog's picture

Too bad Robinson did not stick around.

from the link above: "Rather than restructuring capitalism yet again, it is time to transcend it. A broad-based shift to ecosocialism must underpin any Great Transition. Achieving ecological equilibrium and an environment favorable to life is incompatible with capitalism’s expansive and destructive logic. Non-ecological socialism is a dead end, and a non-socialist ecology cannot confront the present ecological crisis. Here the matters of power and of agency are of critical importance. Who holds power in global society? What are the collective agencies that could bring about a transition to ecosocialism? What elements among the transnational elite may come around to such a transition?"

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