ApocaDocs Michael and Jim. apocadocs.comLongtime doomspotters ‘Doc Jim and ‘Doc Michael have published their compendium of unhappy tidings in Converging Emergencies, 2010-2020. It’s 60 pages of face-slapping wake-up call, which begins with a quick summary of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief[*], and then dives into an overview of their big themes: Species Collapse, Resource Depletion, Biology Breach, Climate Chaos, Infectious Disease, and Recovery.

And a sweeping overview it is. The ‘Docs predict that the next ten years will be the “Species Collapse Decade,” and from this springboard they launch the reader into a high-level trajectory over the wreckage of the planet. Using several well-chosen items, they point to passing omens of doom: the Pacific Garbage Patch here, agricultural runoff there, and on the horizon, “Giant dust clouds, along with insect migration to now-warmer climes, [that] assist in the transcontinental dispersion of influenza, SARS, heavy metals, fungi, bacteria, malaria, and other unpleasant elements.“ By the time the reader arrives at the Recovery chapter, the outlook is grim indeed.

At this point, the ‘Docs and Desdemona part ways. In their words:

Normally, in the whole Kübler-Ross schema, this is the stage where you accept your fate. Well, we aren't there, because we still think there's a chance. What we've done in this stage is accept that there is a point to trying, if for no other reason than to engage as fully as possible in what is most certainly the beginning of the Great Unraveling. The Beginning of the Bad Times. The Ecollapse.

Or, as the Church of Subgenius calls it, the Eco-econocataclysm. Bless their hearts, the ‘Docs retain hope. But as Desdemona argues, the evidence supports the starker conclusion that it’s already way too late, and any outcome for the human species that doesn’t involve extinction will only be achieved by a unified global triage and austerity effort that spans many generations. Recovery, taken to mean sustaining nine billion humans and the biosphere that once supported them, hasn’t been possible for decades. (Desdemona should hurry up and finish the pending blog post on this subject.)

But this is a quibble. The book is informative and entertaining, and Desdemona heartily recommends it to anybody who suspects that things are much worse than they ever suspected.

Converging Emergencies: 2010-2020

[*] Desdemona was surprised to learn that the Kübler-Ross model hasn’t found a lot of empirical support in recent research.


  1. Anonymous said...

    I've long believed that it was too late based upon all the scientific evidence to avoid the collapse of the biosphere.

    Several years ago I published these conclusions. We could do no more then mitigate our own survival while hoping that collapse would occur faster.

    A slow collapse is the worst of all possible worlds, yet has proven to be the outcome. I still see no change in any of this.

    Avoiding collapse is not possible either as too many systems are in failure mode and would take many human generations to recover. Our best strategy is to first off, stop pretending it isn't happening. We must also stop lying to ourselves that "we can fix this".

    Nothing is going to "replace" the damage we have done, except to leave it entirely alone and allow nature to recover as only nature can. But we are seeing the exact opposite as oft-shown right here on your website and on my own. We refuse to stop and have absolutely no intentions of stopping either.

    I laugh when I read about how 'alternative energy' and other strategies are going to save our civilization. Hardly. Jevon's Paradox rules here and always will. At the root of all this destruction is human behavior and we simply refuse to give up what needs to be abandoned. This alone ensures our own destruction, as we live on a finite world and our actions categorically deny this.

    We are now ALL witnesses to the ongoing destruction as system after system fails all around us. Humans are only still here because we have become very adept at exploiting everything we can lay our hands upon. But that cannot last forever and certainly won't.

    The big "gotcha" is going to come sooner then later. We've so seriously undermined critical ecosystems now that the toppling dominoes of their collapse will most certainly topple our own civilization.

    I give us only 1 more generation. Just 1. That's it. There are very specific reasons why I believe this to be true. The children alive today will see the worst of it all.

    Species extinction as you mentioned will be catastrophic, but so will warming and declining food production. Massive levels of starvation are just ahead. We will see horrific wildfires and forest losses from drought, infestation and ongoing deforestation. Water will become in critical short supply on scales we can barely imagine.

    I've already published all of this, but once again, want to thank you for the excellent job you are doing here. At least we will not go into the night uninformed. ~Survival Acres~  

  2. Gail said...

    I wish I could remember who said something like...Yes, it's true, we're doomed. But, we don't have to take this lying down!

    Des, Apocadocs, and Survival Acres newletter are vital resources for those who seek to come to terms with reality without requiring the ministrations of Nurse Ratched (yet), thank you all!  


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