Tim Knowles
Sep 9 · 2 min read

Collapse, it’s such a harsh word.

I seem to see a lot of stories about the Collapse of the U.S.A. or Great Britain. It is not really the right word to describe what is happening and going to happen.

The changes are going to happen in slow motion, not even a fall more of a subsidence. Subsidence can lead to collapse but the rate of change allows for mitigation and collapse only occurs if the mitigations are inadequate. Sometimes the subsidence is self-limiting and will only fall so far before it stabilizes at a new level.

Clearly Brexit is of the latter variety of subsidence. Britain will sink a bit and stabilize but probably not rise again. Well, that is not news. Britain has been subsiding for centuries. At this point it is sort of a tradition.

The U.S. is clearly post peak and accelerating downward but we can put on the break and slow the train before it crashes. We could avoid damage except to the brakes. We will need new brakes and controls going forward. We probably won’t avoid the crash but maybe it will only be a fender bender.

The Planet, while the losses are theoretically not unrecoverable, complete recovery seems very unlikely but who knows what the next millennia will bring. The losses continue and avoiding collapse is not assured, some tipping point might be on the horizon. Not much by way of mitigations are implemented, lots of talk but little action. Can’t really imagine reintroducing species using DNA techniques while the habitats are still being destroyed.

Planetary collapse will make concerns about Brexit or Trump look cute.


Tim Knowles

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Worked in our nations space programs for more than 35 years

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