Monday, October 27, 2014

J. D. Alt — Halfway There

If you graph this wildlife population loss, it looks uncannily similar to the graph-line of “Nature” in the HANDY Model: a point is reached where, suddenly, after a steady rise, or a gradual equilibrium, the graph-line of “Nature’s” population changes direction and begins to plummet. What is startling about the HANDY Model is that when this happens, the human populations of “Elites” and “Commoners” continue to rise, crossing the falling graph-line of “Nature.” This is called “overshoot”—the point where the human population begins consuming “Nature’s” resources faster than “Nature” can replenish them. The human population, after some period of “overshoot,” begins (of necessity) to collapse as well. The population of “Commoners” collapses first because the “Elites” are able, for a period of time, to thrive on their “Wealth.” In some iterations of the model, “Nature” recovers after the “Elite” population finally base-lines; in other iterations “Nature” fails to recover at all—the world becomes simply a wasteland, like one of those planets we keep investigating to see if it ever supported life.

The reality is that if there would be an apocalyptic  collapse of "civilization," it wouldn't be the elites that would survive, but the remaining indigenous peoples and those living in the "informal economy." And maybe some preppers, but it's probably more likely that they would kill each other off in the search for remaining resources as their stocks ran low.

New Economic Perspectives
Halfway ThereJ. D. Alt


Clonal said...

Tom have you read any of Bill Catton's work?

Tom Hickey said...

I hadn't been aware of him, Clonal. Thanks for the heads up.

Ryan Harris said...
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Roger Erickson said...

here's an interview with Catton