Let’s Talk About Collapse

I’m a reasonably even tempered sort of a bloke, but recently I’ve been feeling a bit, well, shall we say, unsettled.

The feelings began after reading David Holmgren’s essay Crash on demand. It was no less than a moral call for action. At first the article really irritated me and I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. It wasn’t even that I reckon calls for action based on morals don’t seem to be particularly effective (abstinence and temperance anyone?)

It was a thoughtful and beautifully written essay and that it made it worse for me, because I felt very negative towards it.

It took a while for me to ponder the essay and understand what annoyed me so much about it. One day, I finally put my finger on the sticking point for me. The sticking point was that there was an underlying assumption throughout the entire essay that economic collapse would in turn lead to a reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions. This may be true in the short term, but I believe it is incorrect in the long term.

So, I began a journey which involved reading about the topic of collapse. Over that journey, three things became clear to me.

  • The “Limits to Growth” study of 1972 still appears to me to be the best description of the interactions of: world human population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion. Of course, it is a model so has limitations, but the general conclusions of the interactions between the variables in the study seem as valid today as they were 42 years ago. Essentially the message I got from the study was that there is no possible way to cheat nature;
  • The upward trending of Greenhouse Gas Emissions since the fall in 2008 were driven by the simple fact governments at that time took actions to prevent further economic collapse. It doesn’t matter that some of those actions had unintended consequences and were unsustainable in the long term. There is an underlying assumption in most discussions of collapse that governments will in the face of a challenge respond by doing nothing and this is patently false; and
  • In any downturn in demand even by 10% of the population, Jevon’s paradox would come into play and the remaining 90% of the population would simply take up the consumption of resources made available by the economic withdrawal of the 10% over time.

Would it be helpful for that 10% of the population to commence building alternative production, supply and economic systems as a cushion for any potential economic recession or depression? You bet. However, the social and economic returns from joining in the mainstream still exceed the sacrifices that you have to make to live outside that mainstream. (I have a great deal of first hand experience in these matters.)

After much further reading, I came to the conclusion that David’s opinion was at the less extreme end of opinions. Some people believe in a future zombie apocalypse, others fervently discuss technology that hasn’t even been invented yet, whilst still others again say that we’re facing a near term extinction crisis. All of that talk is pure rubbish, because those same people have no credibility as they’re still saving for retirement, having families and aren’t doing anything at all to develop those supposed new technologies. It is not even a difficult thing to call them out on their lack of credibility.

Unfortunately, I have a more disturbing thought to share and for people to explore. Slow economic and environmental collapse is already here. It is just that the speed of that collapse is slow, so few people notice it. I’d suggest that it is more frightening for people to consider this situation than hanging onto delusions that the zombie apocalypse will save them from having to go to work on a Monday morning.

So, I’ll tell you a little story about three typical Australian families separated by time:

1) Baby boomers: Back in the 1960s and 1970s contraception wasn’t as easy to get as it is now, so people hooked up young and had larger families. Generally one income was sufficient for a family (my mother was a single mother during the 1970s and it was financially difficult but possible) and three years of an average single income was sufficient to purchase an average house. It isn’t often spoken about now, but many professions were taught by apprenticeship in those days. However, if you wanted to go to University in Australia, by 1972, those institutions were fee free.

2) Gen X: Generally during the 1980s and 1990s the Gen X generation left home on attaining adulthood and as contraception was a lot easier to purchase (thanks convenience stores) you could delay marriage and children. The average house at that time cost approximately three years of income, but now that had changed so that it required two people’s incomes, instead of just the one. There was a subtle change and the term "income" was replaced with the term “household income”. For a job, if you wanted to enter a profession you had to undertake a degree at a University. University course fees were introduced in 1989, so you started your job already in debt — that was if you could get a job during that time because of the “recession we had to have” in Australia during 1991-2 which gave us 10% unemployment.

3) Gen Y: By now house prices require almost 7 years of household income. University fees have steadily increased over time too. In Australia, one advantage for this generation is that they have never yet had to face wide-scale unemployment. There are however indicators that the employment they do have is often less than full time which further disadvantages them economically. It never surprises me when I read anecdotal accounts of this generation having to transition back and forth between the family home and independent dwellings. Also, on average they are marrying later and having families later.

What you can see is a steady worsening of the economic conditions over time for those three different families. In fact, that decline in wealth, if it were to be mapped onto a chart, would look pretty similar to the downward slope of Hubbert’s curve. That is what collapse looks like. It is driven by the interactions of the variables mentioned in the Limits to Growth study and also the decisions of millions of people to pursue their own self-interest.

It is worthwhile mentioning that youth unemployment in many industrial countries – right now – is at scary levels. There are many possible responses from our elected politicians to this situation. However, the most common response I have seen so far from governments in the industrial world is to maintain business as usual. It is no easy task and I sympathise with many of the politicians because they have to reapply for their jobs every four years and so are duty bound to support whoever supported them by keeping them in their jobs.

However, thinking about the Limits to Growth study, if resources are retracting whilst demand for those same finite resources is growing along with the population, how do you maintain business as usual? It is a tough call. One response to this conundrum is withdrawing access to resources for those on the margins: the young; the vulnerable; and the very old.

If you fail to believe this is happening, it may be worthwhile having a quick look at the Australian Federal Government’s budget which was handed down to the media a few week’s ago. Here are some choice examples:

  • University fees have now been uncapped so some of those institutions can now charge whatever the market can bear paying;
  • If you are under 30 years of age, and unemployed, you will be obliged to wait 6 months before being eligible to receive welfare. The eligibility rules for collecting a disability pension for people under 35 years of age will be tightened too; and for another example
  • For my generation and younger, the eligibility to receive the age pension will be lifted to the age of 70. I can’t possibly imagine how a brick layer can continue in their occupation right up until the age of 70.

It might be worthwhile mentioning that many policies which fuel wealth inequality in Australia have not been addressed by either of the main political parties, and there seems to be little will to do so. If anyone is interested, two examples of these policies are negative gearing and concessional (i.e. tax freebies) treatment of superannuation (i.e. retirement funds) for baby boomers.

The situation reminds me of the treatment of the horse in the George Orwell story Animal farm. As a bit of background, the horse was a faithful, supportive and tireless worker who was to retire and live out an idyllic final few years. However, the pigs who were actually in charge of the farm decided that this situation would cost too much, which in turn would reduce their own perquisites. The pigs therefore developed a cunning plan — giving the horse a fond farewell party and then waiting until the horse was out of sight of the farm, so that the other animals didn’t see what was going on and then shipping him off to the knackery.

There are plenty of alternative methods for redistributing wealth within a society too. Many have been tried and plenty have failed. I’ve noticed that there has been a resurgent interest in Marxism and I see posters for this movement all over Melbourne, particularly around the Universities. Don’t be fooled into supporting this movement because as a system it is no better than our present system and it too fails completely to address the conundrum of the competing interacting variables analysed in the Limits to Growth study.

David doesn’t need to make the call for portions of the population to disengage from the formal economy as it is already happening and can potentially only accelerate over time. This is what collapse looks like. A true cynic would say that on a global scale, the treatment of the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) since the 2008 global financial crisis is the exact same scenario of reducing economic costs in a civilisation or society by abandoning the periphery, just a whole lot bigger in scale.

I genuinely believe that there is little scope for any effective activism within the mainstream economy. The only appropriate response to all of the above is to build a strong and cheap informal economy. There are plenty of things to do, but most importantly, given that historically in Western cultures 90% of the population was involved in agriculture, get off your backsides – now – take a PDC if you must and learn to grow stuff whether it is fruit, vegetables, grains, herbs, animals, insects. Just get out and do it.



23 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Collapse

  1. I’m not going to bother with any failed logic or errors in your essay for two reasons; 1st, from the reading I can assume much of this is new to you and, 2. your final conclusion is correct. I came to the same conclusion in November 2011 while participating in OccupyDetroit. I first merely saw Occupy as a vehicle for rapid dissemination of permaculture. It was growing like wildfire at the time and a few Occupy groups already had permaxulture Work Groups. It took about a nonosecond to expand this to a model of sustainable governance based on the egalitarian model. Admittedly, I’d been researching collapse, climate, etc., for years before I stumbled across permacutlure and already had incorporated awareness of Dumbar’s Number, Jevons’ paradox, extant sustainable societies (First Peoples), chaos, etc., so this wasn’t much of a leap for me, it was, true to permaculture principles, a small matter of connecting all the elements.

    So was born a system for sustainable governance that is as simple a solution as Mollison always alludes to. It can co-exist without direct conflict with the current system and yet slowly supplant it as it helps to cause the old one to wither away. You’ll be glad to know David Suzuki agrees with you.

  2. Ben Dyson ‘s Positive Money (UK) movement might be something you would like to check. It addresses a lot of economic issues that you mentioned in your article. Mainly, it explain why our current monetary system makes us poorer and poorer while we work harder and harder…

  3. Spot on. I have written at length about collapse on my own blog, including David’s fantastic essay. The Limits to Growth scenario is actually bang on target, and global population is set to start collapsing 2925~2030 http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/are-we-on-the-cusp-of-global-collapse/

    You write “In any downturn in demand even by 10% of the population, Jevon’s paradox would come into play and the remaining 90% of the population would simply take up the consumption of resources made available by the economic withdrawal of the 10% over time”. Maybe, maybe not…… especially if those resources are no longer available! Like oil. Australia is bang on target to totally run out of oil by ~2020 http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/australia-still-on-target-to-run-out-of-oil-by-2020/ Once oil stops flowing, very few things we currently take for granted will continue.

    You then write “those same people [who we’re facing a near term extinction crisis] have no credibility as they’re still saving for retirement, having families and aren’t doing anything at all to develop those supposed new technologies. It is not even a difficult thing to call them out on their lack of credibility. Who exactly did you have in mind here? Guy McPherson, the ‘leader’ of this ‘cult’ is hardly in that situation. Mike Ruppert just committed suicide, and Carolyn Baker who has taken up his mantra is not either….. I struggle with NTE. Obviously, the whole idea doesn’t fill me with glee, but on the other hand nobody seems to really know what the true impacts of all that escaping methane from from the melting arctic will be. Except that the polar ice caps are melting at accelerating rates! http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/runaway-glaciers-in-west-antarctica/

    Furthermore, should bees disappear…… all bets are off.

    Collapse has begun, it’s alive and well in Egypt and Syria. http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/more-on-egypt/ BOTH those countries are overpopulated, both have ‘run out of oil’, both are seriously indebted as a consequence, and Syria is out of water thanks to Climate Change……

    Your last paragraph is exactly what we have been doing for twelve years now…… there is no other future. Oh and if anyone reading this is interested, we have a fully developed permaculture property for sale near Noosa Qld. We are heading for cooler climes in Tasmania. http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/mon-abri-for-sale/

    Great article, thanks for taking the time to spread the word.

  4. Nice points. Back to the country, using Permaculture or Natural Farming principles suits me. Heaven help the ones who don’t have that choice.

  5. Hi Chris, many thanks for taking the time to research & write this article, a great contribution to an important discussion. I follow a number of thinkers on these issues; Holmgren, Greer, Orlov, Bates, to mention a few, some of whom are currently at an Age of Limits Gathering in US. Bates latest post (The Great Change) is interesting reading on Meadows (Limits to Growth) presentation & participants musings on this theme. Important as it is to grapple with these issues, I couldn’t agree more that we need to get on with it! regards julie (Adelaide)

  6. Yes, Chris, collapse is already here and will accelerate. I think it began to happen when humans left the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and took up agriculture, although the rate of collapse was miniscule for hundreds of years. Agriculture grew more food than was necessary and the increased food fueled population growth. Positive feedback.
    You know from your permaculture lessons that agriculture (at least the way we practice it now) is unsustainable. It must and will, collapse and the present society will go with it.
    Welcome to the collapsnik community ;-)

  7. ‘It’s easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth.’

    Although your story suggests these pesky little truths are becoming harder to ignore.

    And to embrace a little ‘green wizardry’ certainly does seem a good place to start.

    And to do so, knowing that the outcome may well be the same anyway!? Ouch!

    Nice read. Much thanx.

  8. I agree with most things you say but I don’t agree that there is a slow economic collapse because people are earning less and things are becoming more expensive. There are plenty of studies that show that every year more and more of the slices of the pie are going to the wealthy. What is actually happening is a redistribution of wealth to the wealthy and the rest of us are getting poorer and poorer all the while the pie is actually growing.

    The action that the governments need to implement are those which would correct the imbalance but as you say in your article the elected politicians are beholden to those which put them in power i.e. the rich which are not about to relinquish their hold on the economy.

    Regards, Martin.

  9. Thank you for your thoughtful article Chris!

    I have a question for you, just to clarify. You started out by outlining your reaction to David Holmgren’s essay, and developed your own thoughts from the negative reaction you got from it. But (unless I’ve missed it) you didn’t mention a final “closure” on that feeling, did you?

    What I’m asking is, after your research and your development of a personal view about collapse – which by the way is about the same as mine, especially because I live in Portugal – what is your view on Holmgren’s essay now? I mean, aren’t you reaching about the same end conclusion as he did – that we should all just get out there and start producing for ourselves on the informal economy, while letting the formal economy follow its own conclusions?

    Thanks again!

  10. Exact same feelings from a disillusioned Gen Y and the reason for starting my blog permacuppa.com. It’s irrational to think the economy can keep growing forever, something will eventually give and when it happens, people will need to return to locally grown food and community. Great post

  11. Perhaps the elephant in the room so to speak, is the almost universal belief that ‘authority’ in the form of government is the only way to run this world.
    Authority has been enforced throughout history and based on readily available evidence it has been a dismal failure for 99% of those alive today and those who have lived and believed in the rule of authority and a raging success for the 1% who make up the rules.
    What the root problem is from birth we are taught by the 1% that without their ‘authority’ the sky will fall in.

    It bears noticing that all every single one of the issues highlighted above and in all of those links has happened whilst ‘authority’ claimed it was in control.
    It is unwise to expect the creators of the problems to be the providers of the solutions.

  12. When I was a little boy growing up in the 1950s a lot of people were building bomb shelters because of the very real threat of nuclear war. What these people expected to do when the war was over and the country was a radioactive waste land I don’t know. Thankfully the war did not eventuate.
    We now live with the threat of running out of resources. The arithmetic is inevitable. The only question is what we will run out of first: water, air, energy, soil or civil order. We know that it is easy to be self supporting if you have the land and labour but nearly all the city people of the world lack this. Will they be happy to leave the backwoods gardeners alone when they are starving?

    I see some similarity between the little permi garden and the bomb shelter. You should have one if you can but I get really frustrated by the continual bad mouthing of large scale agriculture. It is not dispensable but it has to be sustainable. In spite of what you read most large scale farmers don’t want to destroy their land.
    Instead of the continual gloom from alternate farming enthusiast it would be great if more thought was put into large scale permaculture. Believe it or not there are some farmers trying it.

  13. Hi Killian. It is great to hear about your experience with the Occupy movement. As a disclaimer I don’t describe myself as an activist and have no inclinations in that area. It sounds like you’ve been thinking about these matters for quite some time now. I agree with you that simple systems are often the most resilient for sure. Thanks for the tip about Dunbar’s number – I’d never heard of it described under that label – but it is very true all the same. Thanks for the comment, it is nice to be in good company ;-)

    Hi Louis. Thanks for the tip. I hadn’t heard of their work. I’m not terribly concerned about monetary systems though because over the past century or so, plenty of monetary systems have collapsed. Life goes on, different systems spring up to take their place. Having goods to barter from the domestic economy is – to my mind, anyway – the best form of resilience. What do you reckon?

    Hi Mike. Thanks! That is an excellent summary of the issues on your blog. Tidy work. My main concern about Oil in the future is the subsidy it provides to large scale agriculture. It takes a lot of Oil to power a 100hp tractor. It is a completely different beast to what goes on at the farm here and yet I am also happy to purchase bulk flour for example. It is a conundrum. I can’t pretend that I don’t know about that subsidy. I wouldn’t worry about NTE because it assumes that nature is less than resilient, when in fact historically it has bounced back from far worse… It may not however look like what you want it to look like though. About the water, Perth in Western Australia – the world’s most isolated capital city – is now dependent on desalination plants. Just sayin…

    Tasmania has a great future ahead of it. However, I’ve spent many months there in the past decade or so, and I’ll note that there are some parts of the East coast and the North coast that are every bit as vulnerable to drought, bushfire and extreme heat as this farm here. The West coast can receive over 3m of rainfall per year, but the soils are very sandy and so don’t retain the moisture. The ancient Blackwood and Myrtle (I grow both here) forests of the North West and West are something to behold though. Good luck in your journey, I’d love to hear how it turns out.

  14. Hi Rosie. Thanks for the comment. The wombats, wallabies and kangaroos couldn’t agree more with you and they are reasonably happy here performing a similar ecological function to cattle – but Down Under style! I reckon it is absolutely worth getting any experience at all growing things.

    Hi Julie. Thank you! Yes, getting on with the job at hand is the most important component. What did the old guru say, “talk, does not cook the rice”. Hehe! It would be nice to travel to such an event, but that would be sort of hypocritical wouldn’t it? The climate has been unpleasant here too, so I hear you, as most of the prevailing weather here comes through South Australia.

    Hi Matt. Thanks man, really appreciate that!

    Hi Glenn. Yeah, ouch! Very nicely spoken. A local guy recently told me that he thought that top bar bee hives were a bit of a gimmick. I was hoping to hit him up for a bee colony for next spring. Yet, around the world – and in Australia too – European bee colonies are under the hammer. Why not try something different given that nobody knows the outcome? A little bit of Green Wizardry as you say, can go a long way!

  15. Hi Martin. You are probably correct. Vested interests here are flexing their muscles for sure. However, I’ve also travelled to quite a few countries in the developing world, so I know we have it pretty easy. The powers that be would do well to bone up on the causes, lessons to be learned and history of some nasty historical periods such as the French revolution for example…

    Hi Tiago. Thanks mate! You’re good and very astute. The initial negative reaction gave way to a feeling of inevitability – if that makes sense? I hope it does, but to explain a little bit further, I’m not the kind of person that seeks to control outcomes, so I feel that there is an inevitability to it all therefore don’t necessarily worry about calls to expedite the situation as I believe personal energy could be better spent on other projects. Nature is the arbiter of the situation after all and it seems a fairly impersonal force to me.

    The difficulty is that you have to maintain one foot in the formal economy, whilst another is testing the waters of the informal economy. Is it the same end point though? Yeah, and I have no objection to that because you can’t cheat nature.

    Portugal. Hmmm, our climates have much in common. A very thoughtful response and I’d thoroughly enjoy discussing the issues further with you over a home brew or two…

    Hi K.S.Nelson. Yes, I often wonder what will become of that disillusionment. The political discourse in this country has become a bit ugly of recent years. It is also starting to discuss the unmentionable topic that “All animals are not equal”. It is unpleasant to watch. Thanks for the link to your blog and good luck with your studies. Have you ever had a chance to read George Orwell’s book “Animal Farm”?

  16. Hi Prydein. Of course, you are correct in that: “It is unwise to expect the creators of the problems to be the providers of the solutions.” That is a truism. That is why the conclusion of the essay gave a path to people to explore that doesn’t involve authority. There is always some form of authority.

    Hi Michael. Agreed. The arithmetic is inevitable as it doesn’t add up in the current form. Your comment touches upon Liebig’s law of the minimum:


    I reckon, that by and large backwoods gardeners will be hard to get too which will provide some sort of insulation from troubles. Historically in this area it has been so, even given the blood thirsty bushrangers up this way. Given that so few people know anything at all about agriculture knowledge is probably a major advantage too.

    However, I’m not bad mouthing big agriculture. The situation is a conundrum in that it is a problem with no ready solution. To transition to organic methods requires a period of lower yields over the yields from big agriculture. There is simply no comparison. But in the long run, big agriculture is gambling that they’ll have continued access to mineral fertilisers and energy. It is a big gamble.

    On the other hand, what I’m seeing here is that over the years, abundance increases at this farm and there is less and less for me to do. Truly, I spend very little time on the plants and animal systems here now and most of it goes into supporting infrastructure which is there to benefit me. It occurred to me recently that the only sustainable systems are biologically based and all other talk about sustainability is pure rubbish.

    Try suggesting to a big agriculture farmer that a large portion of their farm should be left fallow for a few years in order to recover the lands fertility and I’d like to see their reaction!

    Large scale is certainly possibly, no doubt about it. Don’t be too ready to dismiss that option. But, from my perspective, people are very much wedded to both the social and economic returns from the mainstream and are yet to progress across to an alternative economy. However, if you want to eat organically grown fruit at some point in the future, it can take many years from planting to production for a fruit tree, so I’d suggest that there is no time like the present to get planting! To do otherwise is to gamble.

  17. Thanks Chris! While I don’t see myself traveling all the way over there for a chat, I would be very willing to share what’s happening over here.

    I heard when Rosemary Morrow came here to teach some courses she was actually surprised to see the extent of our soil degradation – it’s really bad. What I haven’t heard was her reaction abour social and economic degradation, which makes it even harder for portuguese permies to start working towards repair. It goes to the point where the few people who are actually doing a good work in the field are sometimes considered “robbers”, because they charge for courses and then invest that money on their farms… Maybe I should write an article for Permaculture news about this?

    Anyway, if you (or anyone else here) is interested, my e-mail address is tiagosimoes2 (at) gmail (dot com).

    Thanks again!

  18. Hi Chris,

    I appreciate your circling around generational differences. I read Douglas Coupland’s ‘generation X’ in my late teens and then foolishly still tried out a cubicle job! I have been sifting through my own memories of the eighties and nineties for clues or explanations of how we could have arrived here. In Canada we have a very large retired/retiring population that is going to be very challenging. Many of the generation x and y folk I talk to are well aware that they are never going to ‘retire’. I think the heartening thing is that while some are belligerent about this fact more are rolling up their sleeves. I would be interested in hearing about what is happening in your neck of the woods in terms of alternate economies and economizing?
    My partner and I, when we moved to a small piece of land in a rural area, decided that one of us would drop out of the formal economy and begin to work on smaller income streams and redundancies. We were just talking about what the side effects of standing in both worlds looks like. A lot of cognitive dissonance. A lot of rethinking on decisions already tread. A lot of compromises and incrementalism. Luckily we still can afford some of these.

  19. Hi Tiago. Thanks. Yeah, it is a very long way! I’ll drop you an email later today as I’d be very interested to hear what is going on in your part of the world.

    Yes, definitely write that article and please provide a bit of background to the story too. Such things should be discussed as they may affect all of us sooner or later. You never know that someone may come up with an effective response to such a situation.

  20. You make good comparisons about the generational differences and expectations Chris. A great article.

    And yes, a bit of green wizardry is always a comfort. Love your updates from the outback.

  21. Hi Stacey. Thanks for your comment. The generational differences are all too real and I was trying to show how much labour (in people years) goes into purchasing a product (houses) that people in Industrial countries would be familiar with. It is pretty scary.

    Yeah, the aging population problem is a complex one with no simple answer. I’m a Gen X myself and agree with you that the likelihood of retirement with a pension is something that will not be there when the time comes.

    Glad to hear that you are rolling up your sleeves and addressing the problems at hand with a no nonsense attitude! Respect. I too place a lot of value in the domestic economy and am very pleased to see that you do too – by your actions. Both my partner and I also walk between the two worlds and probably spend about 3 days each in the formal economy and another 2 in the informal economy. Today involved moving over a dozen fruit trees to more suitable sites around the property. The previous day involved preparing a site for additional water tanks and excavating – by hand – a truly massive tree stump that just happened to be in exactly the wrong spot… I should write an article about hand tools…

    > I would be interested in hearing about what is happening in your neck of the woods in terms of alternate economies and economizing?

    What an awesome question! Canada and Australia are culturally very similar and I know quite a few Canadians here. Lovely people. Unemployment is very low Down Under at present so there is little in the way of any urgency being displayed. However, the economic policies being pursued – such as the choice examples described in the article – are starting to increase unemployment and wealth inequality. It is notable that youth unemployment is starting to rise. It seems that every week or so an organisation announces a new series of lay-offs (today was Australia Post’s turn for 900 people – I believe on hearsay that the CEO is drawing a salary of AU$5m – please correct me if I am wrong in this belief). Energy prices draw a lot of media attention and 1 litre of fuel can cost about AU$1.60 and are expected to rise further soon, whilst electricity and gas prices are also rising. House prices here defy my imagination or understanding.

    Some of the locally produced products that convert economic wealth into resource flows – such as a water tank – seem to me to becoming more expensive as time progresses. I’ve been searching for an extra 10,000 litres capacity here and the prices for that water storage just seem to be going up (even second hand sources).

    There are no answers, but I hope that gives you some food for thought.

  22. Hi David. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate that you liked the generational comparison too. People often think of future issues such as global warming and collapse as something that will affect their children and grandchildren (i.e. something not to worry about) – but what I was trying to show with the comparison is that it is already here, we just simply don’t admit it. Cheers.

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