So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Saturday, February 14, 2015
An example of Catabolic Collapse?
John Michael Greer talks a lot about catabolic collapse. When civilizations reach limits they can no longer keep doing what they used to to. Instead of expanding and maintaining critical services and infrastructure they are neglected. Patches and work arounds are put in place instead of doing the more extensive work that really needs to be done. This goes on in cycles. There's collapse, partial recovery, then collapse again. So on and so on. Eventually a complex society becomes a much simpler one that the reduced resource base can support.
His theory has been on my mind ever since we visited Flamingo in the Everglades. It's not what it used to be. While down there elderly folks kept telling me how wonderful it once was. There was a really nice restaurant. The marina was a full and busy. One could do things like rent houseboats to explore the wilderness.
After it was hit with a hurricane in 2005 it never recovered. The restaurant was never reopened. Instead they screened in a patio area and moved in a cook trailer. The marina had only one boat in it. The houseboats are gone. A ranger said that there were grand plans to rebuild, but the 2008 housing bubble collapse made funds unavailable. As it is they don't have the funds or manpower to properly maintain what they have left.
Catabolic collapse would first be noticed on the periphery of things. The last place it shows up is in the centers of power. When Rome was on its long downward spiral, the frontier was being overrun by barbarians, but in the capital they could pretend it was still the glory days.
So Flamingo sure looks like a place going through catabolic collapse. Then again, it also looks a lot like the normal boom and bust of many tourist areas. It could be something as simple as a change in taste and vacation travel.
Either way, that doesn't mean times have to be grim for those going through these times. The fishing is still great. The area still teems with wildlife. That little cook trailer makes some of the best pizza I've ever had in my life.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.