(UR) Worldwide— Clues unearthed by archeologists suggest that our society is doomed for collapse. Researchers from University College London and the University of Maryland recently studied 2,378 archeological sites from Neolithic Europe to discover some tell-tale signs indicating when an ecosystem was shifting into instability. After looking at the data, it seems that every single civilization gave clues to its own impending demise — including our own.
Signs that a society is about to collapse, or undergo a massive reorganization, included fragility in systems that had undergone ‘slowing down’ or ‘flickering’ from impacts such as disease, warfare, resource degradation, or crop failure.
The researchers describe ‘flickering’ as a change in a society’s response to these perturbations resulting in the society becoming caught in a socio-ecological trap that reinforces the same bad behavior that caused the issues to begin with, and prevents adaption with new action.
Every time a society ‘flickers’ it loses recovery time, and you could consider it as moving closer to destruction. The team found that these flickering signs signified an eventual demise of the society, all showing up well before the actual collapse.
As we continue to suffer from massive environmental degradation, crop loss due to manufactured and changing weather (over $17.3 billion was just paid out last year by the Federal Crop Insurance Program), heavy use of agrichemical pesticides and fertilizers, abundant corporate polluting, and never-ending warfare, surely our society is ‘flickering,’ too.
Harvard released a study just a year ago stating the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for American taxpayers has been between $4- and $6 trillion dollars. Only recently, news verified that $1.2 billion worth of ammunition is being used in Afghanistan. And this is just the beginning of the possible ‘indicators for demise’ mentioned by the researchers of UCL and UMD, caused by the military-industrial complex.
What remains to be seen is if we can adapt and change fast enough to save our society before it is destroyed or if we will simply ‘reorganize’ into a society which no longer perpetuates these masochistic activities.
Baring global ecophagy, the phenomenon described by Robert Freitas where an ecosystem ‘eats itself alive’; a nuclear Armageddon; a robopocalypse — Terminator style, where machines rule our lives in place of natural, organic systems; or AI (Artificial Intelligence) taking us over with machine-induced slavery — we should be able to unshackle ourselves from imminent doom.
We are relinquishing our addiction to fossil fuels, with cleaner energies breaking records all the time; some of the biggest GMO crop promoters are now switching to organic due to consumer demand; and entire organizations are working toward saving animals from extinction. If we can learn ways to get through drought and natural disasters with more acumen and help our fellow humans, along with all sentient creatures on this planet, we might actually avoid the fate of thousands of societies which failed before us.
The researchers concurred that we must take action:
“It remains unclear whether modern technological innovation can continue to outpace demand,” the authors wrote,“and it is important for sustainability scientists to consider the possibility that generic mechanisms can contribute to demographic collapse in human societies, as well as to develop ways to detect declining resilience.”
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