NASA warns how ‘powerful, complex societies’ are subject to immediate collapse
by: J. D. Heyes
Sunday, April 06, 2014
A newly released study funded in part by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center predicts a Roman-style collapse of Western civilization unless resources and wealth are distributed more “equitably.”
The study warns of a coming “collapse” within a few decades and attempts to avoid being viewed as fringe or controversial by attempting to make sense of historical data indicating that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.”
It says that cases of severe disruptions of civilization due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”
As reported by The Guardian, the independent research project’s findings were based on a new cross-disciplinary model known as “Human And Nature DYnamical,” or HANDY. The project was led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the U.S. National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists, the paper reported. The study has since been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Ecological Economics.
Researchers found that, according to historical records, even the most advanced, complex civilizations are susceptible to collapse, which has raised questions about how sustainable modern civilization can be:
The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.