In “NASA-Funded Study: Industrial Civilization Headed for ‘Irreversible Collapse’?” Nafeez Ahmed reports for The Guardian on a recent study produced by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center that “highlight[s] the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.” The most striking thing about the report to me is its interdisciplinarity, mixing bleeding edge environmental science, historical perspective, economics, Marxist cultural analysis, etc.: “Elite wealth monopolies mean that they are buffered from the most ‘detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners,’ allowing them to ‘continue “business as usual” despite the impending catastrophe.’ The same mechanism, they argue, could explain how ‘historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases).'” We’re doomed.
So some articles of interest.
At Jacobin, Alyssa Battistoni has followed up her piece on disaster in the wake of Hurricane Sandy with “Back to No Future,” a pretty bleak essay on environmental change and the (lack of a) future.
Jeff Goodel has a piece in Rolling Stone, “Goodbye, Miami,” about what (now inevitably) rising sea-levels will do to Miami.
And here’s a number of links re: the ongoing NSA drama.
Philip Bump has reported at The Atlantic Wire that the US has filed espionage charges against Edward Snowden.
Naomi Wolf raises a number of questions about Snowden, and then raises some more.
Falguina A. Sheth writes for Salon, “Snowden’s Real Crime: Humiliating the State.”
And Michael McCanne has a very interesting essay, “Total Information Awareness,” at The New Inquiry.
And linking ecological disaster and surveillance together, Nafeez Ahmed wrote a piece for The Guardian, “Pentagon Bracing for Public Dissent Over Climate and Energy Shocks.”