Tag: Societal Collapse

Climate Change

The Probability of the End of Civilization in the 21st Century

Climate scientists have been calling recently for more research into warming scenarios of 3ยฐC and above because such scenarios are dangerously neglected. According to mainstream models such levels of warming are by no means impossible or even unlikely, and would have catastrophic effects. Luke Kemp and ten colleagues write: Could anthropogenic climate change result in worldwide societal collapse or even eventual human extinction? At present, this is a dangerously underexplored topic. Yet there are ample reasons to suspect that climate change could result in a global catastrophe. The answer to the question in this quote is obviously โ€œyesโ€, but thatโ€™s...
Climate ChangePhilosophySocial Issues

Human Extinction

Apparently, an increasing number of people say that they believe that climate change will cause human extinction. To what extent all of these people are genuinely convinced about this I donโ€™t know, although, for reasons explained elsewhere, I expect that for most of them it is a desperate attempt to find meaning and make sense of an increasingly meaningless and senseless world more than a genuine conviction. Regardless, the topic of human extinction is an interesting one. How likely is human extinction really? And would human extinction actually be a bad thing? These are the two questions I will focus...
Climate Change

A Theory of Disaster-Driven Societal Collapse and How to Prevent It

(abstract) โ€” One of the effects of climate change is an increase in extreme weather and natural disasters. Unless COโ‚‚ emissions are significantly reduced very soon, it is inevitable that the effects of disaster will exceed many (and ultimately all) societiesโ€™ mitigation capacity. Compounding unmitigated disaster effects will slowly but surely push a society towards collapse. Because no part of the planet is safe from the increase in natural disaster intensity and because some of the effects of disasters โ€“ such as refugees and economic decline โ€“ spill over boundaries, this will eventually lead to global societal collapse. Furthermore, just...
Climate Change

The Lesser Dystopia

(This is part 3 in the No Time for Utopia series.) In On the Fragility of Civilization, I argued that due to the slowly compounding effects of an increasing number of relatively localized โ€œnaturalโ€ disasters caused (directly or indirectly) by climate change, a vicious circle of failing disaster management, economic decline, civil unrest, and hunger will trigger a cascade of collapsing societies, eventually leading to global societal collapse in roughly 25 to 30 years from now (give or take a half decade). The world during and after collapse will be very different from what most of us have ever experienced,...
Climate Change

Fictionalism โ€“ or: Vaihinger, Scheffler, and Kรผbler-Ross at the End of the World

In 1911 the now almost forgotten German philosopher Hans Vaihinger published Die Philosophie des Als Ob (The Philosophy of โ€˜As ifโ€™) in which he argued for something approaching global fictionalism. In the preface to the second English edition of his book he wrote: The principle of Fictionalism . . . is as follows: โ€œAn idea whose theoretical untruth or incorrectness, and therewith its falsity, is admitted, is not for that reason practically valueless and useless; for such an idea, in spite of its theoretical nullity may have great practical importance.โ€ Fictionalism is the view that claims in some area of...