PREDICTING OUR FUTURE

By John Croft                                                                         21 July 2017

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
William Shakespeare

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past,

but by the responsibility for our future.
George Bernard Shaw

INTRODUCTION

What does the future hold? Our views and visions for the future are more important than we think. Anil Seth[1] suggests that consciousness is a result of a process of the creation of our perception of the world created from streams of electrons being processed within the most complex organisation of our universe, the human brain, and within that controlled hallucination, creating a perception of our self in order to secure our survival. This view suggests that the brain and body function together as an integrated mechanism of prediction of the future. For example every step we take is based upon such a prediction that the ground on which we walk is solid and will support us.  Brian Weiss[2], who has pioneered the healing effects of “past life hypnotic regression” has carried this work into new fields of therapy using our future lives. Also an analysis of the 680 prophecies that have survived since the ancient world of the Oracle of Delphi shows to an amazing degree an enormous number were prescient. Hundreds of studies have been made of spontaneous precognition expe­riences and of controlled experiments in the laboratory. The use of modern electronic instruments has confirmed this. Even dreams have been shown to come true in the laboratory[3].  Our world is continuously being created and shaped by our expectations, assumptions and predictions.

 

We need to walk carefully here because of the existence of self-fulfilling prophecies, where due to the close connection shown by Dragon Dreaming between theory and practice, belief and behaviour, predictions directly or indirectly cause themselves to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to the positive feedback between the belief and behaviour.

 

But what will the future hold for us? An examination of movies made about the future seem to promote an apocalyptic vision, visions that may be seriously predictive or even fall into the category of self-fulfillment. These visions, largely emanating from Hollywood, show futures characterised by increased violence, social and economic collapse, and heroic actions by a small groups of survivors. The recent revelation that the scripts of Hollywood have been “funded” and censored by the US Pentagon, for 50 years is also of concern. David L. Robb[4] has revealed that producers and directors of war and action movies have been getting a great deal from America’s armed forces by receiving access to billions of dollars worth of military equipment and personnel for little or no cost, and in exchange for access to sophisticated military hardware and expertise, filmmakers must agree to censorship from the Pentagon.

 

For these reasons it is a good exercise to examine various important scenarios for the future that are currently being seriously pursued by large groups of entrepreneurs, researchers and developers for their possible future effects. From 2010 until the present I have been trying to determine what are the principle scenarios for the future that are seriously being pursued at present, that could shape our future.

SCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE

Scenario 1: BAU Washinton Consensus

 

The first scenario is the Business as Usual (BAU) Scenario of what has been called “The Washington Consensus”. This scenario believes in the global privatisation of publicly owned assets, as its believers, neo-conservative economists and think tanks like the Mont Pelerin Society[5], founded in 1947, believe axiomatically that government provision is never as efficient as private enterprise, and should be removed. Drawing inspiration, like Alan Greenspan, former head of the US Federal Reserve, from the political theories of Ayn Rand, this group has been, since the Reagan-Thatcher years the dominant shapers of world economic policies, presiding over the debt producing Structural Adjustment Policies of the World Bank and IMF in the Third World debt crisis, the breakup and privatisation of the economy of the USSR, and the various economic bubbles that led to dot.com and the World Financial Crisis of 2007-8. Their view is not that there policies are wrong or misguided, merely that they are not being applied consistently or far enough, and that more austerity and international trade agreements, and restrictions on national economic sovereignty are needed. Like the priesthood of the Classic Maya civilisation who increased their human sacrifices to the gods as collapse approached to try to ward off the inevitable collapse, or the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island raised more and more Moai stone statues to ward off their collapse, so the economists, policy makers and politicians of BAU constantly extend their policies to more and more areas of once vibrant communities increasing risks of climate collapse, destruction of habitats, extinction of species, and increased socio-political and economic inequality and local, regional and international violence.

Scenario 2: Program for a New American Century

 

Linked to the first, a second scenario of the future that currently has a great impact upon international policy making and governance is the Program for a New American Century or PNAC, founded in 1997 by William Kistol and Robert Kagan. Ten of their members went on to serve under the Presidency of George W. Bush, including Dick CheneyDonald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz. They argued that the USA should not reduce its military spending after the end of the Cold War, but in fact should increase it, particularly to be capable of fighting two simultaneous land based conventional wars, capturing control of overseas strategic resources necessary for projecting American power, unrestrained by any international law or covenant. Arguing that America’s global leadership needed to be promoted as “American leadership was both good for America and good for the world”, they advocated removing Saddam Hussein in Iraq, because of fears of phantom Weapons of Mass Destruction. They also said that the USA population would be unlikely to accept such policies without “a Pearl Harbour-Type Incident” of an “attack on the American mainland”. This policy has seen the expansion of US military spending to the extent that 52% of all military spending comes from the USA and it exceeds that of the next 12 nations put together. US aggression has expanded from Iraq and Afghanistan to bombings of Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Pakistan, and fuels the unending “War on Terror”. The UK Chilcot Report[6] has identified that it is international support of these US PNAC policies by the UK (and other) governments that in fact has created, manufactured, disseminated and increased terrorism world wide.

 

Scenario 3: The New Barbarian Manifesto

 

A third scenario of the future is that of Ian Angell, Professor of London School of Economics and author of “The New Barbarian Manifesto; How to Survive the Information Age”. He believes that the impact of the Global Telecommunications Revolution will be to create a societal collapse in which the only choice left will be whether to follow “old barbarians” with a false future, or the “new barbarians” who are the true culture creative. It is the almost super-human New Barbarians who will lead the economic elite into a Brave New World over the next decades. They will create new “virtual enterprises” unhindered by national boundaries, that can easily relocate to wherever profits are highest and regulations are lowest. He rejects the long-held view of information technology as our benign liberator from mundane work. Instead, he regards it as the seed for a new society, in which the winners in the knowledge economy will construct their own “smart regions” founded on libertarian principles and enlightened self-interest. Progressive taxation of the rich will disappear and policies defending the poor and powerless will become a thing of the past. By this scenario, by 2030, 8 people will control 80% of the world economy, employing 800 million employees, with the remaining 8 billion of Earth’s population left to fend for themselves as best they can. Unemployment, will no longer be confined to the Third World. Nation states as we understand them cannot survive and city states will be the norm, technologically protected against “hordes of migrants” seeking entry. An old guard will attempt to smooth over the raw, naked capitalism of this approach but in the opinion of the author it will be a losing battle, as last vestages of the Welfare States of the 20th century will be removed. Medieval city states, as “smart regions” will become global. For Angell, the prime purpose in life is making money, lots of money. It is a world of punishment for the weak and rewards for the cruel. In his view the most greedy and ruthless go-getters, the “new barbarians,” should have, and will take open slather.

 

Scenario 4: Transhuman Singularity

 

A fourth scenario that like Ian Angell, also draws its inspiration from technological change and the fact that for over a century Moore’s Law seems to have resulted in the doubling of floating point calculation operations possible for calculating machines and computers every 18 months. Although it has recently been claimed that Moore’s Law is levelling off, the CEO of Intel Computing demonstrates that there have already been at least 4 previous predictions that Moore’s Law is levelling off that have proven false, new technological developments have demonstrated that it has continued. Current interest in quantum computing also suggests that the predicted end of Moore’s Law may be premature. Alan Turing in 1950 proposed what has been called “the Turing Test”, when a machine can exhibit intelligent behaviour judged indistinguishable from that of a human being an artificial intelligence can be said to have arrived. Chatterbox programs like ELIZA and PARRY have managed to fool interogators that they were human, and a Loebner Prize is rapidly improving these capacities. While Moore’s law has been linked to the problems of accumulating electronic or E waste, and so called “built in obsolescence”, it is also fuelling economic productivity growth, predictive “Big Data” and Artificial Intelligence. Pedro Dominigos traces the quest for “The Master Algorithm” of five different computing learning systems that are mimicking biological evolution, human neurological functioning and semiotics and higher mathematics that are pushing the envelope and are already writing computing code that humans cannot understand[7]. The inventor, author and futurist Ray Kurswell, through three books, “The Age of Intelligent Machines”, “The Age of Spiritual Machines” and “The Singularity is Near” has made a number of predictions in this field that are already having major impact on our future. For instance he predicted that the emergence of lap-top computers and mobile telephones would end the Soviet Union, a prediction that Michael Gorbachev himself has agreed was a factor. His prediction of wireless technology to access the internet, and that computers could defeat the best chess players have also been confirmed. Speech to text and text to speech, and translation machines have been other confirmed predictions, but what are we to make of his longer term visions? For example by 2019 he has predicted a machine with the equivalent computational capacity of the human brain (20 quadrillion calculations per second) will be in operation, by 2029 that we will have reverse engineered the human brain computationally, and that machine intelligence growth will continue to be exponential where as human intelligence can only grow biologically and has not changed in 250,000 years. Eventually he sees a human-machine fusion through implants to augment human frailties and maybe even enhance human capacities. Kurswell and other people have even suggested that such “transhuman scenarios” where MOSH humans (Mostly Organic Substrate Humans) are kept alive in nature reserves, and other humans spend most of their time in virtual realities. Eventually the surface of the planet, he suggests will be one planetary sized AI, which will start colonising other worlds and exploring the reaches of the galaxy.

 

 

Scenario 5: The High Frontier

 

These four alternatives so far have not considered any effects of ecosystems, climate change or habitat loss in the future. Gerard O’Neill, in 1977 asked the question “is a growing industrial culture compatible with a sustainable planetary biosphere”, and answered the question with a “no!”. He stated that continued technological and industrial development would lead inevitably to terrestrial ecosystem collapse. He proposed that if all humans were to share in the benefits of technology human cultures needed to expand into the High Frontier, the Lagrangian points where space habitats could be built using lunar and asteroid materials. Faced with the AI scenarios of Kurswell, and considering such factors as climate change, habitat loss and ecosystem collapse, such luminaries as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are also recently claiming that if human life is to survive it needs the insurance of becoming inter-planetary. Galaxy X, the Virgin Galactica and other commercial developments are taking such claims seriously, and rather than the next visit to the moon being the result of National pride, it may be a corporation that leads the charge (although Chinese and Indian attempts should not be discounted). Elon Musk has even expressed a desire to die on Mars, and he has been joined by others. Ben Elton’s book “Stark[8]” tells the story of a secret consortium with more money than God & the social conscience of a dog on a lawn. What’s more, it knows the Earth is dying. Deep in Western Australia where the Aboriginals used to milk the trees, a planet-sized plot is taking shape, that finishes up creating billionaire slums in space.

 

Scenario 6: The Venus Project and the Zietgeist Movement

 

The Venus Project[9] is the ultimate in scientific and technological “fixes” in an alternative vision by Jacques Fresno of what the future can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve an ecologically and economically sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a complete redesign of our culture in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable, as planning problems which can be “designed out”. In this utopian vision, all political borders have been abolished. Fresno claimed that a world without money based upon the abundance of resources was possible thanks to the help of centralised planning of technology and science. The monetary system too, could disappear because abolishing poverty has become a design criteria. As a result, he suggests poverty and violence no longer exist. Most laws, he argued, therefore become no longer necessary. Human beings, who are released from drudgery are no longer obliged to work to satisfy their primary needs, and can devote their energy and creativity to study, art, and innovation. They live again in harmony with nature.

 

To prove these predictions in reality Fresno and his partner Roxanne Meadows, Zoltan Istvan and others have worked on the Venus Project, on a property in Florida of a circular city imagined and modeled organized around a powerful computer in charge of controlling the quality of water and air, maintaining safety and environmental balance. This computer is located under a huge dome containing all the goods and services that the inhabitants can use for free: food, medical equipment, care, education. And the circular shape was not chosen at random. According to Fresco, who has relied on his numerous architectural models to demonstrate it, it brings each quarter closer to the central dome. The building bears an uncanny resemblance to Apple Park, being designed as the headquarters for Apple Inc, by Steve Jobs.

 

Independently Peter Joseph, maker of the conspiracy movement film Zeitgeist, became associated in 2008 with the Venus movement and made a sequel movie, “Zeitgeist an Addendum”, and sought to enrol many thousands as the activist arm of the Venus Project. Groups and subgroups developed adopting many “new age” ideas, without understanding the Venus Project, and linked only through the Joseph movies. In 2011 a major split developed, between the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project with acrimony and misunderstanding on both sides.

 

Despite critiques from the Libertarian movement and conventional economists, nevertheless both projects continue to be influential antidotes to the various Scenarios above. Less controversially, other writers such as William McDonough and Michael Braungart[10], have recently also proposed design ideas for post scarcity economics. The movement for biomimicry, also proposes that many of our ecological problems could be overcome through better design.

 

Scenario 8: The Steady State Future

 

The Steady State Economy[11] scenario, unlike all the above scenarios, argues that that perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Policies aimed at perpetual growth, ignore the costs of this growth and are incompatible with (1) environmental protection, (2) ecological and economic sustainability, and (3) national security and international stability. This view argues that all problems are therefore problems of development, either too much, too little, or of the wrong sort. Eric Assadourian[12] in an essay in the 2012 World Watch Institute’s “State of the World” publication, entitled “The Path to Degrowth in Overdeveloped Countries” outlines four policies overdeveloped nations could employ to sufficiently facilitate a planned and controlled contraction of the economy so as to get back in line with planetary boundaries. Each of these, in unison, will eventually foster the creation of steady state, sustainable economy that is in balance with Earth’s limits:

 

  • Reduce Overall Consumption of Overconsumers
  • Distribute Tax Burdens and Financial Rewards More Equitably
  • Share Work Hours Better, through revaluing Community Social Capital
  • Cultivate a Sufficiency based Steady State Economy:

 

The Degrowth Movement, started in France through the work of Jacques Grinevald, in 1979, in his publication of the founding work on the Ecology of Economics through the work of Nicholas Georgescu-Rogen[13] entitled “Demain la décroissance: Entropie – Écologie – Économie”. It built upon the earlier 1971 Publication of the Club of Rome Report on “The Limits to Growth”[14] by Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, Jay Forester and Jorgen Anders. This book, based upon its “World 3” model, was the first application of computer modelling to the conditions found in the mid 20th century. It attempted to calculate rate of change values, through a simulation which plotted 5 subsystems

 

  • the food system, dealing with agriculture and food production,
  • the industrial system, dealing with consumer item production outputs,
  • the population system, dealing with birth, death and increase rates
  • the non-renewable resources system, dealing with resource depletion
  • the pollution system, as involved in atmospheric and water limits,

 

In the 1970s, for a while it seemed as though the world was taking the Limits to Growth arguments seriously. Tinbergen wrote on the necessity of Reshaping the International Economic Order, and the Brandt report to the UN supported him. Jimmy Carter’s “Global 2000 Report” stressed the necessity of ending US Dependence on oil imports and developing a renewable industrial base. But then the UN Conference in Cancun in 1980 brought these trends to an abrupt halt. The reason was due to the capture of the study of economics by anti-ecological so-called neo-liberal theorists, discussed above under the BAU scenario, who argued that socio-environmental factors were externalities to the economic system that could be ignored, and that “perfect markets” in which rational sovereign economic agents; isolated individuals and business enterprises, in the absence of government decisions, would best result in self-correcting prosperity for all. Despite the sophistication of its equilibrium mathematics, more than 30 years of evidence has shown that this formula, adopted as “Reaganomics” or “Thatcherism” fails to work, and only increases state indebtedness, and that the rising wealth of a small minority is concurrent with and dependent upon no change in the wealth of the majority and the increasing poverty of the most dependent groups of people and leads eventually to the collapse of local community autonomy and resilience. Attempts to introduce social and environmental responsibility into the organization of the economy have been strongly resisted[15]. The capture of political structures and policy making by neo-liberal capitalist theory, funded by major corporations, which argues that market distortion from trade unionists or governments are responsible for overshoot and collapse, continues to drive the economy inevitably towards the next environmental, social, economic and political crises.

 

The Limits to Growth approach has been updated in 1991, 2000 and 2004. It clearly shows we are living way “Beyond the Limits” of Sustainability and suggested that important changes needed to be made to corporate investment, population growth and consumption in the 1970s if we were to avoid major crises in the first half of the 21st century. It showed that such an overshoot and collapse scenario was inevitable unless the right adjustments were made in enough time. The subsequent studies have shown that despite the limited progress in the 1970s the necessary changes still have not been made in our economic and political systems, and thus we have not made the responses the feedback model suggested needed to be made.

 

Scenario 9: Overshoot and the Transition Movement Scenarios

 

Another variant of this scenario takes a more pessimistic view, arguing that the “beyond the limits” argument makes a logistic transition to a steady state economy is no longer possible. As a result of the effects of Climate Change, Peak Oil and the World Financial Crisis, continued developments as described above makes an economic contraction inevitable. Richard Heinberg’s work on “Power Down” and the Post Carbon Institute, shows that a fossil fuel based economy needs to be quickly replaced. Economic efficiencies and renewable technologies, though important are not sufficient. Thomas Homer Dixon’s “The Upside of Down”[16] shows that EREOI, the Energy Return on Energy Invested is falling fast, and is approaching the stage where resources on sheer physics cannot be exploited. Al Gore’s work stemming from the Inconvenient Truth and James Hansen and other climate scientists show that all existing fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground if we desire a stable planetary climate. Despite the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, and the conservative attempts at COP Meetings like Copenhagen and Paris to limit greenhouse has emissions, the fossil fuel based lobbyists have succeeded in preventing serious efforts at fair, binding and enforceable treaties that prevent climate change. Our future will be one with limited resources.

 

But this paradoxically may not be such a bad thing. We still have a choice – either do nothing and wait for collapse, or use this window of opportunity to began a planned reduction. Beginning through the Permaculture work by Rob Hopkins in the Transition Town of Totnes, UK, activists and supporters have mobilised the local community in the design of an Energy Descent Action Plan. Presenting an analysis of the effects of energy restrictions upon 11 sectors of the socio-economic activity of towns and cities, they have shown that healthy high quality, low consumption lifestyles are not only possible, but are in fact desirable.   Over 5,000 towns and cities across the planet have started such Transition Initiatives and it is growing fast. In the European Union they have joined with the Global Ecovillage Movement and Permaculture in Ecolise, which shows that pioneering work in building a truly sustainable culture. These initiatives are spreading fast, as the transference of traditional villages in the Third World into ecovillages, it is hoped, may help limit the agrarian collapse of small holder agriculture and limit the rural to urban displacement caused by the spread of industrial chemically based monocultures. Indeed, the Food and Agriculture Report has recently announced that only small holder intensive agriculture has the capacity to feed the 9 billion inhabitants we will soon have. There is also evidence that what has been called “Regenerative Agriculture”, by returning carbon to the soil, not only increases yields per hectare, but also has the capacity to reverse climate change if practiced on a sufficient scale.

 

Whether these initiatives can be scaled up fast enough to truly make a difference is still uncertain. But in the opinion of the present writer this scenario is the most hopeful at present. The alternative is

 

Scenario 10: General Systems Collapse

 

There have been possibly 31 civilisations that have existed on the planet since the establishment of the first city states in Southern Mesopotamia nearly 5,000 years ago. These forms of culture have been characterised by the existence of highly structured social hierarchies dominated by patriarchal elites, technological divisions of labour, violence institutionalised and harnessed to the preservation of the elite, and diversification of settlement patterns from rural hamlets to urban centres. Stability of such cultures has depended upon the maintenance of social mobility resulting from their ability to expand, geographically and demographically. If expansion stops, social mobility becomes restricted, and violence increases as a result of intra-elite struggles for social, economic and political power. In such cases, collapse may result in reversion to less centralised, less complex forms of society with lower population densities, or else incorporation into a neighbouring civilisation undergoing an expansion phase. As a result, local civilisations have increased in size to become regional, multi-cultural, international, and with the expansion of the Euro-American scientific and industrial civilisation, to become global.

 

There have been many theories explaining the collapse of civilisations. Edward Gibbon[17] explained the collapse of the Western Roman Empire to the rise of Christianity which undermined the morale of the Roman State. Arnold Toynbee[18] saw collapse as a result of the growth of an internal and external proletariat and the conversion of a creative elite into a parasitic elite, that eventually created unsustainable situations that led to collapse. More recently Joseph Tainter[19] argued that as social complexity of a civilised culture increased, the returns on complexity declined to a point where a threshold was crossed, and the degree of complexity could no longer be maintained, resulting in a fairly rapid collapse. Jared Diamond[20], in “Collapse; How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” from many case studies identified five factors that contribute to collapse: climate change, hostile neighbours, collapse of essential trading partners, environmental problems, and failure to adapt to environmental degradation, particularly deforestation and loss of soil fertility. In “Panarchy”[21], the authors showed how increased for ecosystems, economies and societies generally complexity led to declining returns in the potential of a system, resulting in increased fragility, producing eventual collapse. More recently NASA in its HANDY (Human And Natural Dynamics) model, adapted the Lotka-Voltera Equations on the mathematical relationship of population dynamics between predator and prey species, to the relationships between elite, commoners and the natural environment. In 2005 John Michael Greer[22] created a mathematical Catabolic Theory of how civilisations collapse, based upon the increase waste resulting from the productive conversion of resources into capital. These last theories have a great deal of similarity to the overshoot and collapse consequences of the “Limits to Growth” scenario if our industrial culture fails to achieve a sustainable steady state.

 

Richard C. Duncan[23] since the 1980s has argued that the longevity of Industrial cultures are very short and has proposed an “Olduvai Theory” in which we are sliding towards a post-industrial stone age. At the same time authors such as Guy McPherson[24], who argues on climatic and ecological grounds that we have already crossed vital thresholds that within the next two decades will produce catastrophic and rapid climate change, the consequences of which will produce the collapse of our current civilisation. Carolyn Baker[25] has written on how to cope with the death of our civilisation and Derrick Jensen in “End Game”[26] has portrayed the death of civilisation as a desirable condition for the survival of living ecologies. From this research, it would appear that general systems collapse is a decided possibility for the future.

CONCLUSION:

 

Which of these scenarios best describes our future? I believe that there is evidence and important groups of people who are engaged in all of them, and they are all being pursued concurrently. As a result we are in a situation where it is possible that we will see all scenarios occurring simultaneously, with local conditions and contexts determining which alternatives will predominate in different locales.

 

But how do we cope with such diversity? I believe that in some degree people get the future they create, either by their action or by their inaction. How do we get a satisfactory outcome for the world’s 7.4 and soon to be 9 billion inhabitants on this planet? The only way I believe we can get a future that really will enhance our humanity is through the liberation of the collective human creative spirit on a scale that has never before been attempted. To examine how such a liberation can be achieved, needs to be an examination of a future discussion.

 

[1] Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, University of Sussex, See http://www.anilseth.com/ accessed 24/7/2017

[2] Brian L. Weiss (2002) “Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives through Progression Therapy” (Free Press)

[3] E. Douglas Dean (2016)“Psychic Exploration: Pre-Cognition and Retrocognition” (Cosimo Books)

[4] David L. Robb (2004) “Operation Hollywood; How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies (Prometheus Books). Robb reveals how the Defense Department helped insert military story lines into the Mickey Mouse Club.

[5] The Mont Pelerin Society founders include Friedrich HayekFrank KnightKarl PopperLudwig von MisesGeorge Stigler, and Milton Friedman. Despite espousing so-called “open society”, their anti-democratic approaches were first brought to light during the impact of the “Chicago Boys” support for the dictatorship of Pinochet in Chile.

[6] See http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/, accessed 21/7/2017.

[7] Pedro Dominigos (2015) “The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine will Remake our World” (Basic Books)

[8] Ben Elton (2006) “Stark” (Black Swan Books)

[9] See https://www.thevenusproject.com/the-venus-project/history/ accessed 24/7/2017

[10] William McDonough and Michael Braungart (2013) “The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Adundance” (North Point Press)

[11] See the Centre for Advancement of a Steady State Economy, at http://www.steadystate.org/meet/mission/ accessed at 24/7/2017

[12] Eric Assadourian (2012) “State of the World” (Earthscan, Worldwatch Institute) “The Path to Degrowth in Overdeveloped Countries”

[13] Nicholas Georgescu-Rogen (1971) “The Entropy Law and Economics” (Harvard University Press)

[14] Donella H. Meadows, Gary. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III. (1972).
The Limits to Growth. New York: Universe Books.

[15] Milton Friedman attacked Corporate Social Responsibility saying that a corporation was the property of its shareholders, and the corporation should consider no interests except maximizing financial returns to shareholders. Business consultant Peter Drucker argued that executives who try to act to be socially or environmentally moral using Corporate Social Responsibility that limits profits, were in fact immoral. He said “if you find an executive who wants to take on social responsibility, fire him! Fast”.

[16] Thomas Homer Dixon (2011), “The Upside of Down: Catastrophy, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilisation” (Island Press)

[17] Edward Gibbon (2003), “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” (Modern Library Classics)

[18] Arnold Toynbee (1976), “A Study of History” (Outlet)

[19] Joseph Tainter (1990), “The Collapse of Complex Societies” (New Studies in Archaeology)

[20] Jared Diamond (2006), “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” (Penguin Books)

[21] C.S. Holling and Lance Gundarson (2001), “Panarchy: Understanding Transformation in Human and Natural Systems” (Island Press)

[22] John Michael Greer, See http://ecoshock.org/transcripts/greer_on_collapse.pdf accessed 25/7/2017

[23] See http://dieoff.org/page125.htm accessed 25/7/2017

[24] Guy McPherson (2013), “Going Dark” (America Star Books)

[25] Carolyn Baker (2013) “Navigating the Coming Chaos: A Handbook for Inner Transition” (iUniverse) and with Guy McPherson (2014) “Extinction Dialogues: How to Live with Death in Mind” (Tayen Lane)

[26] Derrick Jensen (2011) “Endgame: Volume 1 – The problem with Civilisation” (7 Stories Press)