Collapse 2.0

Michael Klare on what a 2005 bestseller tells us about human survival.

Summer thunderstorms over Fajada Butte and the Fajada Gap, near the southwestern rim of Chaco Canyon. (National Park Service, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

By Michael T. Klare

In his 2005 bestseller Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, geographer Jared Diamond focused on past civilizations that confronted severe climate shocks, either adapting and surviving or failing to adapt and disintegrating.

Among those were the Puebloan culture of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, the ancient Mayan civilization of Mesoamerica, and the Viking settlers of Greenland. Such societies, having achieved great success, imploded when their governing elites failed to adopt new survival mechanisms to face radically changing climate conditions.

Bear in mind that, for their time and place, the societies Diamond studied supported large, sophisticated populations. Pueblo Bonito, a six-story structure in Chaco Canyon, contained up to 600 rooms, making it the largest building in North America until the first skyscrapers rose in New York some 800 years later.

Aerial view of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. (John Wiley, Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY 3.0)

Mayan civilization is believed to have supported a population of more than 10 million people at its peak between 250 and 900 A.D., while the Norse Greenlanders established a distinctively European society around 1000 A.D. in the middle of a frozen wasteland. Still, in the end, each collapsed utterly and their inhabitants either died of starvation, slaughtered each other, or migrated elsewhere, leaving nothing but ruins behind.

The question today is: Will our own elites perform any better than the rulers of Chaco Canyon, the Mayan heartland, and Viking Greenland?

As Diamond argues, each of those civilizations arose in a period of relatively benign climate conditions, when temperatures were moderate and food and water supplies adequate. In each case, however, the climate shifted wrenchingly, bringing persistent drought or, in Greenland’s case, much colder temperatures. Although no contemporary written records remain to tell us how the ruling elites responded, the archaeological evidence suggests that they persisted in their traditional ways until disintegration became unavoidable.

These historical examples of social disintegration spurred lively discussion among my students when, as a professor at Hampshire College, I regularly assigned Collapse as a required text. Even then, a decade ago, many of them suggested that we were beginning to face severe climate challenges akin to those encountered by earlier societies — and that our contemporary civilization also risked collapse if we failed to take adequate measures to slow global warming and adapt to its inescapable consequences.

But in those discussions (which continued until I retired from teaching in 2018), our analyses seemed entirely theoretical: Yes, contemporary civilization might collapse, but if so, not any time soon. Five years later, it’s increasingly difficult to support such a relatively optimistic outlook. Not only does the collapse of modern industrial civilization appear ever more likely, but the process already seems underway.

Precursors of Collapse

When do we know that a civilization is on the verge of collapse? In his now almost 20-year-old classic, Diamond identified three key indicators or precursors of imminent dissolution:

  • a persistent pattern of environmental change for the worse like long-lasting droughts;
  • signs that existing modes of agriculture or industrial production were aggravating the crisis;
  • and an elite failure to abandon harmful practices and adopt new means of production.

At some point, a critical threshold is crossed and collapse invariably follows.

Today, it’s hard to avoid indications that all three of those thresholds are being crossed.

To begin with, on a planetary basis, the environmental impacts of climate change are now unavoidable and worsening by the year. To take just one among innumerable global examples, the drought afflicting the American West has now persisted for more than two decades, leading scientists to label it a “megadrought” exceeding all recorded regional dry spells in breadth and severity.

As of August 2021, 99 percent of the United States west of the Rockies was in drought, something for which there is no modern precedent. The recent record heat waves in the region have only emphasized this grim reality.

The American West’s megadrought has been accompanied by another indicator of abiding environmental change: the steady decline in the volume of the Colorado River, the region’s most important source of water. The Colorado River Basin supplies drinking water to more than 40 million people in the United States and, according to economists at the University of Arizona, it’s crucial to $1.4 trillion of the U.S. economy.

All of that is now at severe risk due to increased temperatures and diminished precipitation. The volume of the Colorado is almost 20 percent below what it was when this century began and, as global temperatures continue to rise, that decline is likely to worsen.

The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offers many examples of such negative climate alterations globally (as do the latest headlines). It’s obvious, in fact, that climate change is permanently altering our environment in an ever more disastrous fashion.

State and federal officials at the Hoover Dam, on the border between Nevada and Arizona, signing drought contingency plans, May 2019. (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)

It’s also evident that Diamond’s second precursor to collapse, the refusal to alter agricultural and industrial methods of production which only aggravate or — in the case of fossil-fuel consumption — simply cause the crisis, is growing ever more obvious.

At the top of any list would be a continuing reliance on oil, coal, and natural gas, the leading sources of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) now overheating our atmosphere and oceans. Despite all the scientific evidence linking fossil-fuel combustion to global warming and the promises of governing elites to reduce the consumption of those fuels — for example, under the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 — their use continues to grow.

According to a 2022 report produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA), global oil consumption, given current government policies, will rise from 94 million barrels per day in 2021 to an estimated 102 million barrels by 2030 and then remain at or near that level until 2050. Coal consumption, though expected to decline after 2030, is still rising in some areas of the world. The demand for natural gas (only recently found to be dirtier than previously imagined) is projected to exceed 2020 levels in 2050.

The same 2022 IEA report indicates that energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide — the leading component of greenhouse gases — will climb from 19.5 billion metric tons in 2020 to an estimated 21.6 billion tons in 2030 and remain at about that level until 2050. Emissions of methane, another leading GHG component, will continue to rise, thanks to the increased production of natural gas.

Not surprisingly, climate experts now predict that average world temperatures will soon surpass 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial level — the maximum amount they believe the planet can absorb without experiencing irreversible, catastrophic consequences, including the dying out of the Amazon and the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets (with an accompanying rise in sea levels of one meter or more).

There are many other ways in which societies are now perpetuating behavior that will endanger the survival of civilization, including the devotion of ever more resources to industrial-scale beef production. That practice consumes vast amounts of land, water, and grains that could be better devoted to less profligate vegetable production. Similarly, many governments continue to facilitate the large-scale production of water-intensive crops through extensive irrigation schemes, despite the evident decline in global water supplies that is already producing widespread shortages of drinking water in places like Iran.

Isfahan and the dry bed of the Zayandeh Rud River, Iran, 2013. (Water Alternatives Photos, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Finally, today’s powerful elites are choosing to perpetuate practices known to accelerate climate change and global devastation. Among the most egregious, the decision of top executives of the ExxonMobil Corporation — the world’s largest and wealthiest privately-owned oil company — to continue pumping oil and gas for endless decades after their scientists warned them about the risks of global warming and affirmed that Exxon’s operations would only amplify them.

As early as the 1970s, Exxon’s scientists predicted that the firm’s fossil-fuel products could lead to global warming with “dramatic environmental effects before the year 2050.” Yet, as has been well documented, Exxon officials responded by investing company funds in casting doubt on climate change research, even financing think tanks focused on climate denialism. Had they instead broadcast their scientists’ findings and worked to speed the transition to alternative fuels, the world would be in a far less precarious position today.

“Exxon Knew” — San Francisco, July 2017. (Peg Hunter, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Or consider China’s decision, even as it was working to develop alternative energy sources, to increase its combustion of coal — the most carbon-intense of all fossil fuels — in order to keep factories and air conditioners humming during periods of increasingly extreme heat.

All such decisions have ensured that future floods, fires, droughts, heatwaves, you name it, will be more intense and prolonged. In other words, the precursors to civilizational collapse and the disintegration of modern industrial society as we know it — not to speak of the possible deaths of millions of us — are already evident. Worse yet, numerous events this very summer suggest that we are witnessing the first stages of just such a collapse.

The Apocalyptic Summer of ‘23

July 2023 has already been declared the hottest month ever recorded and the entire year is also likely to go down as the hottest ever. Unusually high temperatures globally are responsible for a host of heat-related deaths across the planet. For many of us, the relentless baking will be remembered as the most distinctive feature of the summer of ’23.

But other climate impacts offer their own intimations of an approaching Jared Diamond-style collapse. To me, two ongoing events fit that category in a striking fashion.

The fires in Canada: As of Aug. 2, months after they first erupted into flame, there were still 225 major uncontrolled wildfires and another 430 under some degree of control but still burning across the country. At one point, the figure was more than 1,000 fires! To date, they have burned some 32.4 million acres of Canadian woodland, or 50,625 square miles — an area the size of the state of Alabama.

Such staggering fires, largely attributed to the effects of climate change, have destroyed hundreds of homes and other structures, while sending particle-laden smoke across Canadian and American cities — at one point turning New York’s skies orange. In the process, record amounts of carbon dioxide were dispatched into the atmosphere, only increasing the pace of global warming and its destructive impacts.

Massive fires in Québec, Canada —Lat: 53.06, Lng: -74.71 — on June 22. Image shows an area about 78 kilometers wide. (Pierre Markuse, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Aside from its unprecedented scale, there are aspects of this year’s fire season that suggest a more profound threat to society. To begin with, in fire terms — or more accurately, in climate-change terms — Canada has clearly lost control of its hinterland. As political scientists have long suggested, the very essence of the modern nation-state, its core raison d’être, is maintaining control over its sovereign territory and protecting its citizens. A country unable to do so, like Sudan or Somalia, has long been considered a “failed state.”

By now, Canada has abandoned any hope of controlling a significant percentage of the fires raging in remote areas of the country and is simply allowing them to burn themselves out. Such areas are relatively unpopulated, but they do house numerous indigenous communities whose lands have been destroyed and who have been forced to flee, perhaps permanently.

Were this a one-time event, you could certainly say that Canada still remains an intact, functioning society. But given the likelihood that the number and extent of wildfires will only increase in the years ahead as temperatures continue to rise, Canada — hard as it might be to believe — can be said to be on the verge of becoming a failed state.

Downtown Calgary, Alberta: On May 17, the day this photograph was taken, the Air Quality Health Index from the government of Canada measured 10+, the highest rating possible. (Dwayne Reilander, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

The floods in China: While American reporting on China tends to focus on economic and military affairs, the most significant news this summer has been the persistence of unusually heavy rainfall in many parts of the country, accompanied by severe flooding. At the beginning of August, Beijing experienced its heaviest rainfall since such phenomena began being measured there more than 140 years ago.

In a pattern found to be characteristic of hotter, more humid environments, a storm system lingered over Beijing and the capital region for days on end, pouring 29 inches of rain on the city between July 29 and Aug. 2. At least 1.2 million people had to be evacuated from flood-prone areas of surrounding cities, while more than 100,000 acres of crops were damaged or destroyed.

It’s not that unusual for floods and other extreme weather events to bedevil China, causing widespread human suffering. But 2023 has been distinctive both in the amount of rainfall it’s experienced and the record heat that’s gone with it. Even more strikingly, this summer’s climate extremes forced the government to behave in ways that suggest a state at the mercy of a raging climate system.

When flooding threatened Beijing, officials sought to spare the capital from its worst effects by diverting floodwaters to surrounding areas. They were to “resolutely serve as a moat for the capital,” according to Ni Yuefeng, the Communist Party secretary for Hebei province, which borders Beijing on three sides.

While that might have spared the capital from severe damage, the diverted water poured into Hebei, causing extensive harm to infrastructure and forcing those 1.2 million people to be relocated. The decision to turn Hebei into a “moat” for the capital suggests a leadership under siege by forces beyond its control. As is true of Canada, China is certain to face even greater climate-related disasters prompting the government to take who knows what extreme measures to prevent widespread chaos and calamity.

These two events strike me as particularly revealing, but there are others that come to mind from this record-breaking summer. For example, the Iranian government’s decision to declare an unprecedented two-day national holiday on Aug. 2, involving the closure of all schools, factories, and public offices, in response to record heat and drought. For many Iranians, that “holiday” was nothing but a desperate ploy to disguise the regime’s inability to provide sufficient water and electricity — a failure that’s bound to prove ever more destabilizing in the years to come.

Entering a New World Beyond Imagining

Jared Diamond speaking at University College London in 2013. (HiraV, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Half a dozen years ago, when I last discussed Jared Diamond’s book with my students, we spoke of the ways civilizational collapse could still be averted through concerted action by the nations and peoples of the world. Little, however, did we imagine anything like the summer of ’23.

It’s true that much has been accomplished in the intervening years. The percentage of electricity provided by renewable sources globally has, for example, risen significantly and the cost of those sources has fallen dramatically. Many nations have also taken significant steps to reduce carbon emissions. Still, global elites continue to pursue strategies that will only amplify climate change, ensuring that, in the years to come, humanity will slide ever closer to worldwide collapse.

When and how we might slip over the brink into catastrophe is impossible to foresee. But as the events of this summer suggest, we are already all too close to the edge of the kind of systemic failure experienced so many centuries ago by the Mayans, the ancient Puebloans, and the Viking Greenlanders.

The only difference is that we may have no place else to go. Call it, if you want, Collapse 2.0.

Michael T. Klare, a TomDispatch regular, is the five-college professor emeritus of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and a senior visiting fellow at the Arms Control Association. He is the author of 15 books, the latest of which is All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change. He is a founder of the Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy.

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The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

63 comments for “Collapse 2.0

  1. Duane Grier
    August 22, 2023 at 21:58

    Here’s the elephant in the room, there’s just too many people (and growing) on this planet.

  2. Mike
    August 22, 2023 at 11:50

    As someone who teaches this subject at a university and studies it, I think this is an excellent article. My own fear is focused on extreme events. If I’m not mistaken, Canada lost over 50% of its grain crops last year due to a drought. A similar percentage loss in the US would result in a world-wide famine. While most scientists we hear talk of a gradual kill-off of humanity, I fear it will happen in mass events like major droughts. Diamond spoke of fairly local events, this time it looks to be global.

  3. ThisOldMan
    August 22, 2023 at 08:57

    As a “Professor of Peace and World Security Studies”, I find it quite astonishing the Klare would publish such an article with nary a word about the climate – militarism connection.

    Actually, “connection” understates their relationship: the two issues are joined at the hip, veritable Siamese twins in fact. The oil and gas companies, despite their many nefarious actions, are not all-powerful, but the military is (even at home, though in most countries they prefer not to advertise that fact). And the hard truth of the matter, of which you can be sure they are all aware, is that you cannot fight, let alone win, a modern (non-nuclear) war without access to cheap and abundant oil-based fuels.

    Read “Oil, Power and War: A Dark History” by Matthieu Auzanneau.

  4. Henry Smith
    August 22, 2023 at 08:30

    Sorry, I don’t buy into the current politically motivated panic.
    Mr Diamond’s book deals with how communities can be affected by actual climate changes, as opposed to normal weather extremes. People are resilient and if conditions are not suitable for their life then they move elsewhere, that’s the real lesson from history – along with the PTB tending to use up available resources to maximise profits with no thought of the future.
    Forest fires caused by bad forest management and arson, floods caused by deforestation and building in inappropriate places are not signs of global warming they are signs of stupidity. And one volcano (Hunga-Tonga) can cause more environmental issues than our insignificant efforts.
    The climate changes, it always has and always will, we live on a dynamic, rotating ball in space getting our energy from a star that varies it’s output in ways we don’t understand at all.
    The end is not nigh, we will adapt and carry on.
    As Douglass Adams said: “DON’T PANIC”

    • vinnieoh
      August 22, 2023 at 13:55

      The thing is, history didn’t contain 8 billion people. How many will need to relocate before you recognize the absurdity of your argument – tens of millions, hundreds of millions, several billion? Most habitable areas of the planet are already occupied, and those occupants will resist, eventually violently, to massive influxes of refugees. The equatorial regions of the planet are quickly becoming uninhabitable due to extreme heat and the resultant unproductivity of once productive agricultural land. The “crisis at the southern border” is nothing compared to what is coming and put that on top of those “American” climate refugees that will be leaving Florida and other coastal population centers due to rising oceans, as well as those leaving many metropolises in the US West as it becomes apparent that an oasis in the desert was always just a fleeting mirage.

      There are morsels of truth in what you say, but not all forest fires are caused by bad management and arson, and neither is all the billions in flood damage entirely attributable to deforestation and mis-location. Even if that last were true, the “DON’T PANIC” mantra is deployed as an excuse and a balm to do nothing.

  5. Eddy Schmid
    August 21, 2023 at 21:40

    I live on the driest continent Australia. I’m 73 years old. All my life, I have experienced droughts, floods, fire. The indigenous people’s of this land, have also within their memories such events thru out the ages. They have even declared some geographic locations in Australia as No Go Areas, because of catastrophic events that occured there in the past, before the white man ever set foot on this land. Since the white man arrived, Australian history is filled with such events happening thru the ages. Consider the fires/floods/drought occuring when the population was tiny, and horse and cart were the main means of transport, fossil fuel was unheard of. The poor old Whale was nearly hunted to extinction for their oil. Yet, strangely enough, we still experienced FLOODS/DROUGHT/FIRE despite the atmosphere being clean as a whistle. During this period, there is one undenyable FACT, that occured which has had devastating effects on our atmosphere, yet no one ever, talks about it, as if it never happened. That is Atmospheric Nuclear Experimentation. Everyone pretends those actions did not caue any harm to the atmosphere despite the FACT our Ozone layer was well and truly cooked. Instead, we lay the blame on Refrigerant gases. What a load of crock. What I find incredible, is the FACT that people fail to see this recent past as reality, and claim events today are because of population increase and increase of fossil fuel usage. BUT, that story is thrown out the window when it comes to fighting a war and trying to steal other’s bounty. No concerns are then displayed for the useage and pollution of fossil fuels in that regard. Kinda contradicts the story we’re being told and expected to accept. For myself, I have seen no indication of sea level rises. The Indian Ocean is still where it was in my youth. What has effected it LOCALLY, is the habit of humans to continually interfere with the currents and natural cycle by instaling break water reefs and artificial harbours to park their fossil fuel guzzling pleasure craft. These marine facilities ensure the alteration of the natural currents and effect the shorelines by erosion thus caused, then we turn around and call it climate change. DUH ! We dredge the ocean bottom to allow larger and larger ships to enter our harbours, whilst at the same time, destroying the flora plant life that’s established on the ocean floor, never to regain it’s hold, again causing the sand to be freely washed around by the currents.

    • Valerie
      August 22, 2023 at 07:56

      You have a valid point on the nuclear tests Eddy. Here is “A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 – by Isao Hashimoto”:


      And one of actual explosions:


      Does make one wonder what these thousands of tests are doing to our atmosphere.

  6. jean maxime
    August 21, 2023 at 19:21

    Our ability to find solutions is inversely proportional to human investment in present way of life and attachment to this civilization.
    No matter what capacity or intelligence humans possess to mitigate or avert looming catastrophe, if structures and institutions supported by said humans oppose any mitigation except that mandated and agreed to that best fit the interests of the controllers, logic will not prevail. Most live on hopium and the self contradictory pronouncements of international organizations now owned and funded by private interests that see great revenue and profit in disasters. Proposed solutions all include some form of further planetary rape or rage from far out to Zany. But the solution is simple – stop! This position is usually laughed off as being too simple and certainly oh so naïve.
    In the meantime, small traditional farms are being pushed out to make room for far more polluting agribusiness, seafood (call it food, if you like) is mostly polluted especially when farmed, and the war industry – yes, that – the single most polluting and planet threatening element is seeing the highest rise in funding. If one delves even lightly into governmental priorities, it’s pretty clear that people, the planet, common welfare. figures near the bottom and only as a sound bite. The serious business at hand is war and total conquest of all resources in as few hands as possible. Meanwhile, the oceans to which we owe most of our oxygen, have lost ~90% of life, plant life struggle against UV and heat, we talk incessantly of CO2 even as the far more potent gas is methane (ah, yes, blame cows not industry) and on and on… we slice and dice every which way to confuse all issues until nothing can be done but go onward. We’ve entered the age of denial.
    Groups may have reversed course when madness was discovered, but civilizations apparently not. No braking system in this design, no way to stop. Today we have a system that has pushed industrial capability planet-wide and cannot escape its trajectory. By hook or by crook the planet will be largely decimated – how could it not? All the signs are there to indicate a tight linkage between government and industry allowing little if no choice at all in all decisions as the media bullhorn largely belongs to industry and hammers its points to all who watch and listen.
    “Turn on, tune in, drop out” anyone?

  7. Bushrod Lake
    August 21, 2023 at 17:40

    All these commenters hit my heart. These are very perilous times, which everybody above acknowledges. It appears to me there has to be some kind of spiritual growth in the human species that previous evolutionary life didn’t develop; it was desirable to love your neighbor, but not necessary.
    The way forward has to integrate our ignoble traits with those that are more enjoyable – it’s more fun after all to romance somebody than to degrade somebody (unless you are a psychopath) – in order to survive. If we deny the more evil parts of our psyche they break though and overcome us and we will destroy ourselves.
    Still, we live in a beautiful place with a chance to make it even better.
    Collapse is a good book. The Collapse Of Complex Societies by Tainter is even better in some ways.

    • Eddy Schmid
      August 21, 2023 at 21:49

      Good post, Bushrod Lake. I believe the earth has gone thru these changes many, many times in the past. Each time humans reach a certain level, instead of learing from their history, we blindly ignore those lessons, and bullishly forge ahead repeating them over and over. Despite KNOWING and being AWARE, continuing such behaviour will doom us all. Until humans develop the brain power, to recognise the error of our ways, and LEARN from our mistakes, work together to progress from those mistakes, we will simply continue to destroy everything, and start over again, and again, and again. It never ceases to amaze me, the human need to gather as much money during one’s lifetime, as possible, that 6 or 7 lifetimes will not be enough to spend it, whilst others live a poor life and homeless struggling to survive at all. As long as humans consider such behaviour as acceptable, nothing will change.

    • Alex Goslar
      August 21, 2023 at 22:46

      For the foreseeable future, changes caused by humans are likely to remain the same.
      However, prioritizing the reaction to change will undoubtedly shift.

  8. bardamu
    August 21, 2023 at 16:13

    May the ever-nominal “elites” impale themselves. They are not working on solving problems and cannot. They cannot even usefully frame them. They do not always know when they usurp things and destroy them.

    Populations need to act directly. Catch water from the roof. Garden the yard with grey water. Cut a curb so the gutter water runs to your trees. Stop buying. Feed scraps to the chickens or worms. Grow a tree and turn down the AC. Quit worrying that it’s not all your fault; renewal does more than sacrificing anyway.

    No one thing solves everything, so it all looks and feels a bit petty at first. But then one day you are paying half for gasoline, a quarter for food, less for climate control. And fresh herbs and fresh fruit and fresh eggs really are not so bad after all, it seems.

    • Eddy Schmid
      August 21, 2023 at 21:54

      How is that even possible when living in multi storied buildings and infill housing ????? How are you going to grow anything, when you don’t even have a space for a garden, where will the chickens run ?? I had worm farms for many years, every year they provided me with a wheel barrow full of excellent fertilizer. But that wheel barrow full was a drop in the bucket in reall terms. You could not sustain even just two people in such a manner. There’s a really good reason, that folks considered the 1/4 acre block the ideal sized plot for families.

  9. JonnyJames
    August 21, 2023 at 14:39

    It’s dead simple: capitalism is unsustainable. Capitalism is not going to fix our problems, it is exacerbating them by the day.
    (Let’s not forget the looming threat of nuclear war with Russia/China either. Nuclear war will not save the planet, quite the contrary)

    As interesting as past unsustainable societies are to study, the current situation is quite different: we have international capitalism and billions more inhabitants.


    The legal political and framework protects the sanctity of unlimited private property and unlimited wealth hoarding. The centers of power don’t want to undermine their revenue streams and profit centers. The oligarchy profits from so-called green energy and greenwashing capitalism. Environmental destruction, species collapse, and climate issues are only worsening. So far, the greenwashed capitalist PR BS has done nothing and conditions worsen. Folks need to be honest about the issues before we can fix them.

    For example: Mandating electric cars won’t do damn thing to “save the planet”, but it will generate 100s of billions in sales, govt. subsidies, and giveaways to BigEnergy and automakers. Like many “green capitalist solutions” it is just a PR facade covering up massive profits for the oligarchy.

    Is there any political will to overhaul the legal framework that sanctifies unlimited private property and wealth hoarding? I don’t see any at the moment. I do see some great investment opportunities for the oligarchy though.

    • Valerie
      August 21, 2023 at 17:14

      “Is there any political will to overhaul the legal framework that sanctifies unlimited private property and wealth hoarding?”

      No. The politicians are rich. They don’t want to change a thing.

      • August 22, 2023 at 15:18

        They must be forced to change, by the public.

        • Duane Grier
          August 22, 2023 at 21:54

          Good luck with that. At this point (67 years old) I am reduced to being a witness to insanity.

  10. CaseyG
    August 21, 2023 at 14:04

    There is an old movie, SOYLENT GREEN—that’s pretty scary. Humans take up too much food and water and space. {plus they can’t seem to get along—) so at some point the government sets up places so that all people will look at some films where Earth was once beautiful—and as the people watch this past beauty that no longer exists—they get sleepy and die ( supposedly happy)

    Maybe if all the militaries in the world are invited to a place of great communication–where these armies are told that Earth will soon be ending. But as pain will soon be growing, THEY can escape now. Hmmm, —well that might be the way to save the planet. Considering that wars are killing the planet. Although, I suppose all the nations would rather kill off most of their own people instead. The fatal flaw in humanity-many speak of what could be done for equality for all—- oh never mind——-I think that the planet is finished with us. –

    • Steve
      August 21, 2023 at 17:18

      … and how did Soylent Green hold up versus reality?

      The movie is based in 2022 New York City. The 40MM people living there are starving, water is rationed, air pollution is a major problem, the unemplpyment rate is 50%, etc. How does that compare to the real 2022? Less than 9MM people live in NYC, barely a million more than the day the movie was made. Food is abundant, to the point where we waste massive amounts of it and you can have anything you want delivered to your door. Water is abundant. Every home in the city has running tap water and every bodega sells (relatively) cheap bottled water. Air pollution is tiny fraction of what it was in the 1970s and smog is a memory best forgotten. The unemployment rate is about 5%, about 1/10th of what it was in the movie.

      Like most dystopian sci fi, the film’s Malthusian vision of the future was laughably wrong.

      Read more Steven Pinker, and less Malthusian claptrap.

      • Henry Smith
        August 22, 2023 at 08:45

        Unfortunately your rose tinted view doesn’t include the many ordinary and homeless people who cannot afford to eat, cannot get healthcare, cannot get ‘proper’ jobs, and have associated substance abuse issues – maybe caused by their hopeless situation.
        Soylent Green was about the lack of resources needed to support the population. We do have the same situation, but it’s not so much lack of resources but hoarding of resources by the rich, as such Soylent Green, 1984, etc. are not far of the mark, and getting more and more descriptive of the dystopian lifestyles many have imposed on them.

    • Rafi Simonton
      August 21, 2023 at 20:54

      How about a Soylent Green New Deal?

      Eat the rich!

      • Valerie
        August 22, 2023 at 08:00

        “Eat the rich!”

        No thanks Rafi. I’m vegetarian.

  11. Stephen Estes
    August 21, 2023 at 12:37

    The population lacks the education to inculcate an engineering attitude into everyday life. Catastrophism is a form of self-exoneration. At this point the question needs to account for the time to adapt. Replacement of fossil fuels with renewables is slow. Replacement of coal with natural gas is an interim measure that has importance on the adaptive timeline. Reduction of methane leakage from wells and transportation is addressable by existing technical means. Fission nuclear has several problems, most notably waste storage. As an alternative to storing nuclear waste safely on a geological timescale, we remain in the status quo of storage in places vulnerable to natural disaster, container erosion, terrorism, and military damage: in other words, we presume our inability as a civilization to manage this over the long term.

    • August 22, 2023 at 15:30

      Stanford grad students and professor Mark Jacobson crunched extensive numbers to determine that existing technology is adequate and how much it will all cost. It’s relatively affordable, $6 trillion globally, but pays for itself within only a few years. 7 million lives per yr will be saved worldwide from asthma etc. (Of course, overpopulation IS a serious, related prob.) To see proof of how it’s possible to transition quickly w/out natural gas or nuclear or coal, read Jacobson’s “No Miracles Needed.” The “miracle” that IS needed is to create adequate public pressure. If most of the public knew what those studies reveal – that we CAN do it rather quickly, and that transitioning sooner is far less expensive than delaying and will save lives, and careers/jobs will also transition satisfactorily — maybe adequate public pressure would occur. Of course it’s hard due to military industrial media complex, ie incalcitrant late stage capitalism, but we who are “in the know” have no choice but to go for survival and sustainability. Yes, there are tipping points, but we can still mitigate the disasters to come and prevent future tipping points.

  12. August 21, 2023 at 12:25

    Read Stanford professor Mark Jacobson’s “No Miracles Needed.” We were appalled by J. Diamond’s unreasonable pessimism when Collapse was published, and still are, because his thesis leads to cynicism, a self-fulfilling prophesy. Yes, 3 societies’ leadership failed a millennium or so ago, societies that were very different from those of modern times. Collapse should’ve been written as a wake-up call, an urgent call to arms. Instead, it promotes Exxon’s lure to premature resignation. It isn’t human nature to give up in status quo complacency. Caring humans, working together, have solved countless egregious probs that seemed daunting at the time. Jacobson’s book presents proof that we have the technological means to solve the climate crisis, locally and globally, before it “solves” us. From a capitalist standpoint, a quick transition to 100% clean, renewable energy (without nuclear) is less expensive than delaying, so insist on it at every level! We have merely to create the political will via public pressure, as has been done successfully time and again for other issues. Greta Thunberg is a fine role model, but you needn’t act alone. Join/support organizations like Friends of the Earth, Beyond Nuclear, Code Pink, Extinction Rebellion, Move to Amend.

    Get busy! Off the screen and into the streets! If you’ve given up, Joanna Macy’s “Active Hope” may help, but read it in public. Set up a lawn chair at a busy intersection and hold a protest sign while reading, maybe with a friend or two or someone from your church/synagogue/mosque who is in quiet despair and would be delighted to be invited. Giving up is easy, but taking the easy or greedy route is NOT human nature. Yes, humans have caused untold destruction, but remember our magnificent achievements, as well, and take inspiration from activist communities and from Mother Nature’s awesome beauty. What you do matters. Joining this noble effort is emotionally gratifying. What are you waiting for?

  13. John Puma
    August 21, 2023 at 12:05

    Does Diamond’s book name societies that chose to succeed and describe how they did it, if they did it?

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 21, 2023 at 14:50

      Study some history on your own about those societies. Plenty of information on the Internet. Or buy the book. I’ve read it. So should you.

      • John Puma
        August 23, 2023 at 01:55

        Thanks so much.
        I’ll take your comment as a “no” response to my question.

    • vinnieoh
      August 21, 2023 at 16:27

      Not that I recall, but I read it almost 18yrs ago when it was first published. I recall Diamond being careful to say that he didn’t want his work to be considered “environmental determinism.” Other civilizations he discussed therein were the Easter Island inhabitants who carved the statues and the possibility that population, land scarcity, and tribal jealousy were contributing factors in the 90’s Rwandan genocide.

    • Mary Saunders
      August 22, 2023 at 11:11

      A tri-lingual Maya/Spanish/English dictionary, in photos and drawings, was sold in a big-box store for some time in the place where I live. It sold out quickly, as I recall. Maya-as-first-language-persons live now and insist they are not all “gone,” throughout original lands, with a huge number of dialects extant. Maya workers faded into forests, living successfully in small gatherings when cities failed.

    • August 22, 2023 at 15:31

      We wish! Was he motivated by a form of disaster capitalism? Cassandra’s command attention and sell books.

  14. irina
    August 21, 2023 at 11:59

    Canada is certainly NOT becoming a ‘failed state’. Yes it is burning. I live in Interior Alaska, which also experiences extreme fire seasons (although this year was quite modest in comparison to many). There really is no way to ‘control’ these fires and protection
    measures are focused on population and structure. Yes some Native Allotment lands may burn, as do privately held properties.

    Our wonderful Chena Hot Springs resort was under high threat levels a couple years ago, with fire burning almost to the resort itself.
    The fire protection measures held the fire at bay, but almost all of the 2000 acres owned by the resort did burn. We lost a cabin in
    that same area to a firestorm during the epic year of 2004. It’s been fascinating to watch the succession, which happened very fast.
    From charcoaled soils and burning tree stumps (as the sap from the burned trees kept flames alive for weeks) to rampantly blooming fireweed the next summer, followed by grasses and then willows and birch saplings. Now the former climax spruce tree forest has
    been replaced by thick stands of young birch trees. It’s a regenerative cycle and nature is providing needed land clearing services for
    agricultural activities to necessarily move north.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 21, 2023 at 14:52

      Open your eyes. This is not a normal “regenerative cycle”.

      • Irina
        August 23, 2023 at 01:09

        I am Awake. That’s why I live where I do !
        And put my energy into farming in the
        Continental subarctic. Different but very
        Do-able. Best veggies ever, thanks to long
        Photoperiod and cool glacial silt soils. Good
        Country for sustainably raising livestock as
        Well. I foresee seasonal movements of people
        Coming north to escape blistering summers
        And work with us under the midnight sun.
        Then ‘snowbirding’ (as we say) for the winter.

        I didn’t say anything about ‘normal’ succession.
        At least, not the ‘old normal’. I know it’s going,
        Going, gone.

  15. Caliman
    August 21, 2023 at 11:41

    It’s interesting that this article itself points out that humanity has faced these environmental challenges many times before, sometimes succumbing to them (though never for long, as the Aztecs followed the Mayans, etc.) and sometimes adjusting as needed to continue to thrive.

    The most challenging part to climate change is overpopulation … otherwise, dealing with long term climate change with our modern technology would be rather trivial. Again to cite an example from the article, if the “moat” area around Beijing did not have a large population, resettling them to protect the capital would be a permanent solution. I note too that every single advanced nation on earth now has negative population growth if immigration is removed: the big thing is to make sure S Asia and Africa join in on the prosperity and then ride out the population bulge of this century.

    I don’t mean to sound Pollyannaish; but some of the other comments here and the general sense of “doom” in the west puzzles annd annoys me. Remember folks: humans colonized this entire planet, from the tropics to the north pole and every habitable island in every ocean. We are incredibly incredibly adaptable to temperature, food, and habitat. We will find a way to survive and thrive.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 21, 2023 at 14:53

      Another person in denial. You must be a favorite of the petroleum industry.

      • Caliman
        August 21, 2023 at 15:39

        Is it fun, living in fear? I’m not disputing need to act; I’m saying we Will act and will survive and thrive over time. We always have, eventually.

        • Joseph Tracy
          August 22, 2023 at 02:00

          If the earth’s history is any guide, there is no particular guarantee of survival of an adaptive life form. The dinosaurs were doing well for a long time. Being a large badass lizard looked like the way to go. Many species are gone.

          • Caliman
            August 22, 2023 at 13:51

            The dinosaurs are still doing very well … us mammals and birds are their direct descendents …

            There IS a difference in saying “dinosaurs” (many species) were doing well once upon a time and then some failed versus the success humans (one species) has had spreading to every habitable place on land. The latter shows how amazingly adaptable we have been, which is critical in a climate change world.

    • vinnieoh
      August 21, 2023 at 17:04

      I appreciate the nuance of your comment. Note that I said humanity “might not” survive, not that I absolutely believed it would not. Yes, global overpopulation is the part of the equation that earlier man did not have to deal with; as I’ve heard over the years population experts, food experts and other disciplines claim that this planet can support 8-10 billion people I always thought to myself well maybe if like Rodney King asked, “Can’t we all just get along?” Well no, it is evident we haven’t reached that stage of human collective intelligence yet, and we yet are engaged in resource wars. It is true that many, if not most developed countries do have flat or negative population growth: do we have the time for Africa and India to get to the point of cultural development (education, especially for women, and equal rights and freedoms, again especially for women)?

      Then we have to deal with the ideological nastiness that seems not to be diminishing but growing. Have you heard of the GOP Freedom Caucus “Project 2025?” What a bunch of sick bastards.

    • Henry Smith
      August 22, 2023 at 09:14

      So right.
      Many studies have shown that as communities grow, advance and prosper the birthrates drop. In poor societies having lots of babies ensures survival and enough hands to support the society. As conditions improve, the ‘need’ for lots of babies decreases and the population stabilises.
      The west is already seeing this with low birthrates, as is China.
      So, IMO, the solution to over population is obvious. Help poorer and less developed societies prosper then the birthrates will naturally decrease and stabalise. No need for the likes of Gates to poison people.

  16. Joseph Tracy
    August 21, 2023 at 11:37

    I frequently submit comments on this topic, here and other places, because I am troubled that among those who are most critical of the empire, both progressives and conservatives, there is practically no mention of the unfolding global climate disaster and its structural roots in Fossil Fuel addiction.. Let me list a few people who have important things to say about our world , but seem to assiduously avoid this topic: among economists; Michael Hudson, Bill Black, Joseph Stiglitz, Abhijit Banerjee, with minor acknowledgement from Jeffrey Sachs… among those who are defenders of the Bill of Rights and who have been strongly critical of the Democrats; Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Jimmy Dore, Patrick Lawrence, Ben Norton, Aaron Mate… among the anti WEF journalists we get a lot of global warming denialists; Whitney Webb, Jim Corbett, Vanessa Beelly,… even among the most anti-war, anti corruption Libertarians denialists are the norm; Scott Horton, Ron Paul, . I could make a very long list and these are mostly people I admire who do excellent work in many areas but have almost nothing to say about the biggest issue, along with nuclear war, of our time. The problem is not with the ever-growing evidence for this ecological danger. The problem is that there is no simple solution or perhaps any solution that allows the continuation of the modern lifestyles and modes of economic exchange/ production. But the truth is not always comfortable and the truth deferred can quickly become a flood, fire, or contamination that destroys all in its path.
    Even Mr Klare is not spending much of his argument on what can be done. This is clearly one of the most important topics of our time and I hope more will be published. I think there needs to be discussion type formats where ecologists, economists, political activists and energy specialists talk respectfully and wrestle with the scope of this issue rather than push questionable technological solutions all of which are all underway and cumulatively have not reduced the continued growth in fossil fuel use. I hope CN will make a larger commitment to the issue.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 21, 2023 at 14:57

      The problem with many of the writers you list, most of whom I support, is that they fail to accept that climate catastrophe is a GLOBAL problem that requires GLOBAL solution. Separate nation states cannot even make a dent in global climate change. The whole Earth is connected and all national boundaries are artificial. Unless an international society is formed, this global problem will continue. Don’t forget. One of the biggest sources of pollution is WAR. Also a product of nationalism.

      • Joseph Tracy
        August 22, 2023 at 01:22

        Yes that need for global action is clearly one of the problems, made larger by the dominance of the security council members in the UN. I think the connection of our dilemma to war is very deep indeed, not only as a major source of fossil fuel use, but as a mindset of how to solve problems: poisons, defoliants, narrowing thinking to us vs them, fire, explosives, mines. The fears about internationalism though are understandable. People want to keep their cultures and have most decisions be close to home and one may be very legitimately worried about how good international leadership emerges from the current mess.
        The regenerative power of nature is our greatest ally. The biosphere will heal itself if we treat it with the respect and love instead treating it like drive through ATM.

        • ks
          August 22, 2023 at 11:53

          I very much agree. With respect to food production, farming of animals is not the problem, industrial farming of both plants and animals is the problem.

    • JonnyJames
      August 21, 2023 at 16:00

      Hudson has indeed talked about this issue, but it is not his specialty. We can connect the dots: if society allows an oligarchy to dictate policy and hoard all the resources, how can we (the 99%) alter the status quo? When the sanctity of unlimited private property (and debt) is enshrined in the law and political culture, how can we alter the status quo?

    • Henry Smith
      August 22, 2023 at 09:42

      Of course the basic problem, IMO, is that if you want to reduce fossil fuel use what do you replace it with ?
      The current proposed replacements are all, apart from Nuclear, not up to the job, cannot be produced in the timescales and come with their own environmental problems.
      Putting money into research to make what we already have, which works perfectly well, more efficient, less resource intensive and cleaner is the way forward. EVs, Heat Pumps, Windmills, Solar Cells, Hydrogen are a, costly, mistake which will impede progress where it is really needed. We are throwing baby out with the bathwater !
      If people cared about their environment they’d follow real science not politically motivated fantasies.

  17. Valerie
    August 21, 2023 at 11:11

    Excerpts from 2 Guardian articles:

    “The world is facing an imminent water crisis, with demand expected to outstrip the supply of fresh water by 40% by the end of this decade, experts have said on the eve of a crucial UN water summit.” (March 2023 )

    And :

    More than half of the world’s large lakes and reservoirs have shrunk since the early 1990s – chiefly because of the climate crisis and human consumption – intensifying concerns about water supply for agriculture, hydropower and human consumption, a study has found. (May 2023)

    Even Lake Titicaca is drying up.

    I think it safe to say that without some radical global co-operation, then “Collapse 2.0” is not far off.

  18. vinnieoh
    August 21, 2023 at 11:10

    I understand addiction. I am addicted to tobacco; I’ve been smoking since I was a teenager, and although I understood the deleterious health effects, I was physically active in my profession and in my non-working life (I eventually became a soccer referee and officiated high school and adult amateur into my mid-50’s,) and mistakenly believed that I would somehow beat the odds.

    Not so. In my late 50’s I noticed increased difficulty in all physical activities and my doctor diagnosed COPD, which is incurable and progressive, and which will eventually kill me. After several episodes in the ER and the hospital earlier this year I am now on oxygen and pretty much tethered to my home. All this has caused me to contemplate my own death at much length. I am OK with dying – we all die – and we were optimistic when my wife and I decided to have children almost 40 years ago. However, now I am overcome with a dreadful sadness that humanity might not survive much longer than myself, and I am not OK with that.

    Addiction. Collapse. It is my observation/conclusion that people singularly and collectively and generally will do what is easiest. The choices, decisions, and required actions that we face today are very difficult.

  19. Rudy Haugeneder
    August 21, 2023 at 11:09

    Eight billion globally and growing compared to 600 million at the time of Columbus. The number of elderly consumers is also accelerating at a brutal pace as we (I am one) get even older and older while consuming more and more, especially big polluting medical services that are a rapidly accelerating cost to besieged young taxpayers who at some point will demand mandatory euthanasia for seniors, and enforce that decision; a very likely and predictable scenario. Fortunately, by the time this harsh system is implemented I will have already died from the unstoppable ravages of old age no matter how modern medical science attempts to reverse it.

    • Valerie
      August 21, 2023 at 12:05

      “mandatory euthanasia for seniors,”

      That made me laugh Rudy. Not because i don’t think it’s impossible, but i had this “monty pythonish” vision of all the old dears lining up to get their “green dream” shot. (A bit like the crucifixion scene in “life of brian”)

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 21, 2023 at 15:04

      Yours is one of the most pessimistic comments I have yet read. I am also a senior (will be 75 in two months), but I am not going to allow a society to escape it responsibilities to deal with climate change by shrugging my shoulders regarding mandatory euthanasia of the elderly and then thank myself that I will be dead by the time that happens. The idea is to FIND SOLUTIONS to the collapse scenario. This is something capitalism has failed to do. Just as whatever social system the Mayans and the Greenlanders lived under failed to do the sensible thing. And we, as an advanced technological society, do not have the excuse that we do not know what to do. We know what to do and so do our governments. It is their short-sightedness because of their greed, that is the problem.

      • Steve
        August 21, 2023 at 19:02

        It has nothing to do with capitalism. The world’s #1 emitter, by a WIDE margin, is communist China. It’s rational for political leaders, regardless of their political system, to try and better the lives of their citizens by providing them with reliable energy (rather than intermittent energy).

        • daryl rush
          August 22, 2023 at 01:11

          Steve, China is capitalist, they practice state capitalism.
          Still with 3 times US population they produce 2 times ours carbon.
          Our per capita carbon foot print is greater than china’s.
          What we have done is outsourced our carbon pollution.
          We are for sure the culprits in this matter.
          Further for the last 50 years the world looked to US for modeling economies and use carbon.
          We were very bad leaders.

        • Joseph Tracy
          August 22, 2023 at 01:45

          China has a largely capitalist economy. Other capitalist economies, like ours, buy the fossil fuel produced goods made in China and distribute them using more fossil fuels. As to the rest of your statement the problem , which the article describes in all its frightening scope is that short term thinking is no longer rational and is leading to global catastrophe.

        • bryce
          August 23, 2023 at 02:38

          China now is the leading exporter of electric cars to Europe, as well as being very popular domestically with cars and buses.. Their solar-panel and wind-and-water turbine technology are also world class.. As always, they adapt quickly to changing times.
          Btw, roughly 14% of Chinese are communist: 1.3 billion are not..

    • Henry Smith
      August 22, 2023 at 10:19

      Rudy. The world population will eventually stabalise. The major problem is not that we have innefficient resources to feed the world it’s the inequality between the haves and the have nots.
      The cost of living in the USA is around $2,000, whilst in China it is $800 and in India $400. What does that tell you ?
      Also, we currently waste about one third of the worlds food, 1.3 Bn tons, per annum. And that is apparently primarily personal waste rather than retail waste. What does that tell you ?

      There’s enough for everyone if shared equally – Loaves and Fishes !

  20. Mark Stanley
    August 21, 2023 at 10:46

    Thanks to Michael for the book review. I will read that. What this article focuses on is the theoretical anthropomorhic (human caused) reasons for draught. I have been collecting data to try to determine what caused the societal collapses in North America circa 500 A.D. and 1300 A.D. for a video series about the mound builder societies.
    From 1272 A.D. to 1296 A.D. almost no rain fell on the North American continent for 23 years. It has been called the “Great Draught”. Obviously, that event was not caused by humans, nor the event in about 526 A.D., and certainly not the Gothenburg event, resulting in the The Younger Dryas 12,800 years ago.
    In 2011, I published Solar Flare Survival, a basic primer on the power of our sun. Since then, the associated sciences–Heliophysics, Astrophysics, and Geophysics have evolved astronomically (pun intended). The scientists with all of the peer reviewed work have learned so much. I regularly follow Suspicious Observers on youtube, who are associated with
    Last–here is some data to chew on: In the last 100 years, the magnetic field of our planet has been decreasing dramatically, and excellerating in the last few years. The planet is also increasing the speed in which it spins. NASA and NOAO measure these daily. The same thing is occuring on the rest of the planets in the solar system. Check it out.

  21. Paul Citro
    August 21, 2023 at 10:36

    We humans have the intelligence to see catastrophes coming but we don’t have the intelligence to stop them. This may be the fatal flaw of our species.

    • Rafi Simonton
      August 21, 2023 at 21:25

      Somewhere I have a quotation by a famous Sci-Fi writer that of course I can’t find right now. The gist of it is some superior entities designed humans with enough intelligence figure out to build dangerous weapons and exploitive technologies but not the morals or wisdom to prevent misuse. They then sat back to watch the fun.

      A similar idea is a cartoon by Gary Larson. Several multi-tentacled 3 eyed creatures on the moon, their lips forward in the oo-oo-oo sound signifying a *wow* reaction as several “fireworks” in the shape of mushroom clouds light up on Earth.

  22. vinnieoh
    August 21, 2023 at 10:32

    Years ago I found a slim volume on my mother’s bookshelf containing some of the thoughts and quotations of the (at the time) well-known agnostic Jacob Bronowski. One incident that was recounted was when Bronowski was giving a talk to adolescent students in England and a student asked a question about respecting their elders. Bronowski replied that “If children never questioned the wisdom of their parents, then we might still be living in caves.”

    Fast forward to 2023. One strategy that will undoubtedly become ne3cessary to live in a hotter world, and a world increasingly ravaged by more violent storms as the atmosphere attempts to balance a higher temperature/energy content, will be earth sheltered structures – the modern equivalent of natural caves. Of course this will be ridiculed by all the denialists as hysterical, over-reactive, and defeatist.

    It is ironic that our human intransigence will force us back into whence we started.

    Over 40 years ago I was very interested in earth-sheltered living and read probably everything written on it. 25 years later when I returned to the subject, there was no new literature or architectural/engineering advancements to move it forward. Recent investigation (last week) shows signs that some are now realizing this may be a necessary strategy – for those that may survive.

  23. August 21, 2023 at 08:41

    The catastrophe can’t be fixed by the wealthy, who are responsible for the problems. The only way to begin addressing the problems is to confiscate the excess wealth from the extremely wealthy. Once their power has been taken away, they can’t force the system to continue on its deadly course. As long as the elites can game the system with their exorbitant wealth and power, things will continue to deteriorate.

    • Gregory
      August 23, 2023 at 07:54

      Are you saying that just because some one is wealthy that they are evil and should have their money stolen from them ?
      This sounds like envy on your part – using a benevolent facade to obscure your proposed theft.
      Redistribution of wealth leads to destruction of incentives and stagnation – respect for private property is the foundation of a healthy society .

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