At this point nobody is going to prevent collapse, but it’s good to talk about it to understand how it happened and how to prevent it in those communities that emerge from the rubble. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
If one possible result of the current system is collapse, realizing the system itself must be changed isn’t doom-and-gloom, it’s problem-solving.
Those of us who discuss collapse are generally dismissed as doom-and-gloomers, the equivalent of people who watch dash-cam videos of vehicle crashes all day, reveling in disaster. Why would we spend so much effort discussing collapse if we didn’t long for it?
Those dismissing us all as doom-and-gloomers hoping for collapse have it backward: yes, some long for collapse as a real-life disaster movie, but those discussing collapse in systems terms are trying to avoid it, not revel in it.
If the system is vulnerable beneath a surface stability, then the only way to avoid negative consequences is to understand those vulnerabilities / fragilities and work out systemic changes that reduce those risks.
It’s not the analysis of vulnerabilities that causes collapse, it’s refusing to look at vulnerabilities because to do so is considered negative. Why not be optimistic and just go with the consensus that the status quo is impervious to serious disruption? Can-do optimism is all that’s needed to overcome any spot of bother.
The problem is humanity’s propensity to confuse optimism with magical thinking. This confusion is particularly visible in any discussion of energy. The status quo holds that every problem has a technological solution, and doubting this optimism is dismissed as naysaying: “why can’t you be positive?”
I consider myself an optimist in the sense that I see solutions that are within reach if we change our definition of the problem so we can enable new solutions. I consider myself a practical, pragmatic optimist because I understand from life experience that systemic solutions generally require arduous transformations that will demand great effort and sacrifice. In many cases, this process is mostly a series of failures and disappointments that are the essential parts of a steep learning curve.
But little of this basic awareness is visible in media descriptions of “solutions.”