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As World Teeters on Brink, Over 250 Scientists and Scholars Warn of Full-Fledged 'Societal Collapse'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/07/world-teeters-brink-over-250-scientists-and-scholars-warn-full-fledged-societal


The Haydukes will outnumber the Pinkertons when the SHTF. The rich will find that the infrastructure upon which their lifestyles depend will be sabotaged beyond repair. It shall be a great leveling to a low place called Dystopia. Many will proclaim, “no one saw this coming!”


The letter continues:

People who care about environmental and humanitarian issues should not be discouraged from discussing the risks of societal disruption or collapse. That could risk agendas being driven by people with less commitment to such values.

Some of us believe that a transition to a new form of society may be possible. That will involve bold action to reduce damage to the climate, nature and other people, including preparations for major disruptions to everyday life. We are united in regarding efforts to suppress discussion of collapse as hindering the possibility of that transition.

“We have experienced how emotionally challenging it is to recognize the damage being done, along with the growing threat to our own way of life,” the letter concludes. “We also know the great sense of fellowship that can arise. It is time to invite each other into difficult conversations, so we can reduce our complicity in the harm, and be creative to make the best of a turbulent future.”

What went wrong – ?
The violence of the right wing for the purpose of serving their Elite/wealthy bosses –
The reality that there are dishonest men among us who will sell themselves –

That there are Trump’s among us – and people who thrive on doing violence to others –
though I do believe that these people are created because society doesn’t do enough
to educate children as to their own human rights, educating them when it is fair to speak
up, even to adults, superiors and family members.

And there are those of us where it hasn’t registered yet that the responsibility is all ours
now – it’s up to us to take this over and begin moving on what must be done.

And pretty much that’s what should have been going on during this “shut down” period
but the conversation again and again returns to focus on Trump and what he isn’t doing
and what more he is destroying.



i’ve felt this way for fifty years. It’s long been obvious to open-minded observers that the ecology of the Earth is on a path to catastrophe, under human industrial assault.

We need to do more than “… reduce our complicity in the harm, and be creative to make the best of a turbulent future.” Reducing personal complicity and making the best of the future are important. But we need to organize together to completely transform the economy and society. We face powerful economic and political interests that benefit greatly from systems of extractive profiteering.

Corporate libertarianism, neoliberal corporate globalization, capitalism, the world’s largest corporations, concentrated wealth, the one-tenth of one percent, the plutocratic oligarchy, however you want to frame it ideologically or sociologically: the persons and corporate persons in possession of great wealth and power, need to be relieved of the bulk of ‘their’ wealth and power, in a process of intentional democratization of wealth and power, and the adoption of the practice of ecology as a central pillar of all human society and culture.

We need to exercise power, to turn the economic system away from colonizing extractive profiteering, toward meeting ecological and human need. Not human whim, not human desire, not human marketing strategy, not human sales target, not human greed, but human need. The primary human need being a healthy planetary ecology.

All institutions, all governments, all enterprises, all corporations, all families, all individuals, all communities, every human and every human organization of every form, must address the ecological and economic crisis as one whole system. We need to stop the industrial assault against the ecology. People and organizations, governments and corporations, must recognize this and join in the effort, or be made to join in the effort. This is what we need to have hard conversations about.

We cannot address our personal complicity as best we can, and prepare to creatively approach the tumultuous future, without simultaneously stopping the industrial assault against the ecology of the Earth.


Everyone: be prepared to call Senators. McConnell wants 5-year liability protections for business for stimulus, per what I’ve read. It’s an outrage. In many states, you can’t get unemployment if you are fired.

If you are in Virginia, let Mark Warner know that’s unacceptable. If you are in West Virginia, let Manchin know that’s unacceptable. If you are in New Hanpshire, let Jean Shaheen know it’s unacceptable. They are the ones negotiating now.

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I agree with this article.

We’re looking at a general inability to grow much food. Humans need food or they starve.

We need a conversation about the scheduled release of 1.4 trillion tons of greenhouse gases from the Arctic tundra. If your apartment’s stove is leaking gas, the conversation is you screaming “GET OUT! NOW!” Unfortunately the moon’s surface has no natural atmosphere and far too much radiation. So let’s continue this conversation, not be silent about it.

We need a far better conversation about displacing gigatons of new human-source greenhouse gases. The answers are out here. [crickets] Why, specifically, are zero people on earth interested in prototyping some great answers? Is it because there’s no profit to be made? Is it because there isn’t even one loose dollar of R&D money that isn’t redirected to the government’s rich friends? Is your state government as morbidly sick and suicidal as our federal government? How much Kool-Aid do they have on hand?

We need to discuss how we’re going to get the prairies and forests to sequester carbon. What works a bit better than the current plan? What incentive is paid to a pioneering inventor-farmer who improves carbon sequestration by 10%?

Who wants to hold these conversations? Virtual hands up?


The root of the crisis is Extinction Capitalism. How can we break away from this evil, suicidal political-economic system, let alone do it soon enough to avoid the catastrophe already beginning?


web –

Hi – just read your post to my husband –

while citing you as just one absolutely remarkable person here –

Thank you –

Now we have the task of trying to hold ourselves true to what the future requires
of us –


As U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres put it: “The state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal.”

What in the hell will it take before the people that can address this coming apocalypse…DO SOMETHING!


Blessings and thanks to you and your husband. A mighty task indeed!

PS: Sorry if i was rude to your husband! It looks like most of my posts the past week have been sniping with other commenters…

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Facing Planetary Instability:

"You are witnessing chaotic events in the world. Imagine yourself being in those events, surviving those events. Let them teach you what you would have to do, how you would have to prepare and think, what would be the wisest course of action. Let these terrible and unsettling events instruct you. Do not simply avoid them, or be horrified by them, or indulge in your own fears and fantasies. Instead, allow them to instruct you, for they are preparing you for the new world—a new world disorder, a new world instability.

Even geologically, the planet is becoming more unstable. It is affected by the events on the surface and by greater celestial bodies in the physical universe. Humanity has altered the circumstances of life through reckless abuse and overuse of the world’s resources and by polluting the world’s airs and waters and soils.

Now you are going to have to face the consequences and establish a new foundation, a sustainable foundation, for living in the world. This will require a change of heart, a change in thought, a change in activity so profound that most people do not even want to consider it, or they think that it is not possible."… excerpts from the Revelation “Facing Planetary Instability” from the book, The New World, Marshall Summers of The New Message.


I’m fine with this. A key question is “How?”

For the most part our various governments are swimming in corruption. We could use generally accepted measures of actual democracy versus kleptocracy. Then we need improved corruption-resistant forms of people-directed government.

I don’t like gerrymandering. I’d rather have a mathematical law that says all legislative districts shall have a minimized compact centricity to them, given the various land form shapes and locations of cities. The mathematical law would be relatively hard to cheat around, and we need to limit cheating. Our current policy of packing legislatures with one party as a way of stopping gerrymandering is suspicious.

I recommend single transferable votes applied to multiple legislative offices. If 10% of a population is of a certain persuasion, they should get 10% of the legislators, and the Cambridge, MA City Council is exactly like that. For Cambridge I recommend splitting every single successful vote into fractions. Equal fractions of each person’s successful vote go to the winning candidate and then equal remaining fractions slide down to each voter’s second choice. Breaking all successful votes into one million microvotes would do the job too. This innovation solves the recount problem.

I lobbied CommonDreams for a better forum. This is what they built. I want something more democratic. I want great messages to rise to the top of the comments page as voted by THOROUGHLY VETTED voters, hopefully not by one million brand new bots created yesterday by a troll. In theory this would approximate an online consensus process and good ideas would rise to the top of the page. Winning comments would go into a permanent wiki. Having an online hard-to-corrupt discernment process might be a great way to hold a mission-critical conversation. It would be time-efficient and energy-saving.

Big Pharma & Biotech…they too get complete immunity from any damages caused by their vaccine products on you. So if the vaccine that you take or is given to you or your children, causes damages, you cannot get compensation from them, you are on your own…even if it is a mandatory vaccine, they are immune from the legal system… Think that these vaccines are safe?

We protest the symptoms of our annihilation and say we must stop them but we do not look for the cause #1The cause is the psychopaths rule of the world They must be routed out and put away forever. #2 Our tolerance for the mental illness of the elite must be over come If we establish what a human being IS we can determine what is not = psychopaths are not human and must be excluded from human life

I say 2024 is the date homo sap goes extinct. That’s probably when the various feedback loops join together in one massive fubar.
When I read that Wall Street wants clean water as a commodity, I immediately thought, “Ok, someone heard there’s water on the Moon. And I’ve heard we’ll be able to mine it and use it. Elon Musk’s SpaceX will issue an IPO for the project. And I can make a ton of money!”
We’re focusing so hard on science and technology solving all our woes, including teaching STEM to our kids, that we’ve forgotten the Real World, the interdependent web of life that has taken billions of years to evolve. Our kids are tech whizzes, but how many of them can identify trees, healing herbs, wildflowers, helpful insects? How many of them can even sit still under a tree without a device handy? Have they even been taught history or literature?
Indigenous peoples are fighting the global corporate monoculture worldwide, hoping to keep as many as their young people aware of their ways. Look at the farmers protesting in India, trying to keep corporate hands off their land. The land their ancestors knew how to farm and what crops would thrive.
Many of you know I’m part Indigenous and have learned many of the healing ways as well as the ways of a Spirit Warrior. This is our time, our place. As we said, back in the Day, “If not us, who? If not now, When?” When your kid starts to enthuse about robots, ask them what the clouds are doing. What plants are dormant. What birds winter over and what birds migrate? What stars are currently in the night sky(and several planets!). A great teaching event will be on the WInter Solstice, with the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. They will appear as a single “star”, visible low in the southwest. Oh, but Elon Musk wants to launch thousands of satellites for G5 coverage, and astronomy can best be done in space…


50 years is about right. The 1st Earth Day was in 1970, when I was in 10th grade, and it was abundantly clear that radical change was necessary to have a long-term future. Nothing has been done since to mitigate industrial impacts, or the increasing human population, placing ever greater stresses on Earth and her resources. Instead the energy corporations took over and stopped educating people on important maters, like global poisoning/warming and over population. I’ve asked many young people the extent that they were taught the impending catastrophe and most say it was glossed over at best. It’s now way too late to avoid a complete collapse of industrial civilization, or near term human extinction itself. Sorry.


Be careful placing a date on the demise. It will happen but I use percentages. By 2100 I give humans less than a 5-10% chance of survival. Less with each year nothing is done for what’s best now termed as hospice for Earth.

Yes, they built this platform to have top comments featured but soon canceled the feature, which still exists (“Top Comments” still reads the feature box) and occasionally inexplicably lumbers to life.

Scientists see societal collapse, the rich see investment opportunities. Disaster Capitalism baby! We’re doomed.

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smdaughter…i feel the great wisdom and sadness in your words… 2024…you may not be too far off in your prediction, 2025-2030 these dates may be the time of great change… the time is much closer than one may think… Amidst this great destruction unfolding, humanity has a choice to make as a race…The Human Race can choose not to respond and to continue on our present path and face great planetary destruction and decline, …OR humanity as a race can choose a different path…for this great planetary decline represents an opportunity for humanity to join together and respond to the great crises facing us all… for these changes have the power to destroy human civilization and many living today… Unfortunately, I do not see the signs of people uniting to face this…It will take much pain and destruction before humanity sees what it must do if it is to survive on this planet… this is part of The New Message for humanity… and these Great Waves of change represents only 1 of the 2 great challenges that faces humanity…the 2nd great threat/opportunity which is not discussed… which is upon the human race is our emergence into a greater community of life…( a similar threat happened in 1491)…