By Sally Erickson
Sunday, 02 March 2008
ORIGINAL BLOG POST (no longer available)
Don’t like the word “collapse”? Stay tuned for “radical simplification”
I just finished reading Dmitri Orlov’s article, The Five Stages of Collapse, published on the Energy Bulletin. I highly recommend it. Orlov helped me, as I believe he intended, to visualize and come to more concrete terms with the likely course of The Collapse of Western Civilization. He presents a lucid picture of what the unwinding will look like in the United States or, as the case may be, the coming “North American Union.” Which political entity will be in place depends, of course, on whether the powers that be will have time to implement their more elaborate political plans for control and domination before the balloon bursts and their insane schemes fall apart.
I very much appreciate Orlov’s analysis and I want to offer a couple of additional perspectives that occurred to me as I thought about it. First, he is incredibly clear and thoughtful about the economic, political and social conditions, but does not factor in the impending torrent of wild fluctuations in weather and climate. To me those forces, as well as global fossil fuel shortages, are likely to hasten the movement through the stages he describes, to accelerate the process. It’s rather sobering to consider crop failures, serious interruptions or losses of basic fuel imports, and likely power grid disruptions from weather events, in addition to the economic and financial failures already in motion.
The other issue that occurs to me is that Orlov doesn’t point to any ultimate “good” to come of collapse, either for humans or for the non-human world. The tone of his article suggests only a sense of failure, that we have “fucked up,” collectively, and that there’s not much to feel but a kind of stupidity and despair, as well as, of course, alarm.
…continued (no longer available)