The ancient Maya provide an example of a complex social-ecological system which developed impressively before facing catastrophic reorganization.
Articles: collapse of complex civilizations (7)
The illusion of invincibility is far and away the most important asset a mature ruling elite has, because it discourages deliberate attempts at regime change from within.
It’s one thing to suggest, as I did in last week’s post here, that North America a few centuries from now might have something like five per cent of its current population. It’s quite another thing to talk about exactly whose descendants will comprise that five per cent.
Civilizations normally leave a damaged environment behind them when they fall, and ours shows every sign of following that wearily familiar pattern.
Mathematical models may be a lot of fun, but when you use them to project the future of our civilization the results may be a bit unpleasant, to say the least.
The recent announcement of a paper by Motessharrry, Rivas and Kalnay (MRK) on the collapse of complex societies has generated much debate, especially with the publication of an enthusiastic comment by Nafeez Ahmed who defined it a "NASA-funded" study.
Power is nothing without control. And, usually, control seems to run out before power.