If society is going through a catastrophic societal collapse, New Zealand is the ideal place to be, according to a new study.
Researchers assessed countries’ ability to weather a series of catastrophic events, including extreme heat, flooding and a viral pandemic worse than Covid-19.
New Zealand was identified as the country ‘most resilient to future threats’, followed by Iceland, the UK, the Australian island of Tasmania and Ireland.
Being surrounded by water was a desirable trait to survive a global collapse, as it could protect borders from mass migration from other disaster-stricken countries.
The experts say the Earth is in a “dangerous state” because of “great and growing risks in “multiple spheres of human endeavor” – notably climate change.
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Worried about a catastrophic social collapse? Moving to New Zealand. Experts deemed it the best location for survival in the face of a “major global shock.” Pictured, Banks Peninsula in New Zealand’s South Island
THREATS TO SOCIETY WORLDWIDE
– Super bugs
– Forest fires
– Food losses
– Serious financial crisis
The research was conducted by Nick King and Professor Aled Jones of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University.
Professor Jones “wasn’t surprised” that New Zealand topped the list, but was rather surprised by the UK’s strong position.
“We were quite surprised that the UK came out strongly,” he told the… Guardian.
It is densely populated, has traditionally outsourced production, has not been the fastest in developing sustainable technology and currently produces only 50 percent of its own food. But it has the potential to withstand shocks.’
For the study, the experts examined countries’ self-sufficiency – their energy and production infrastructure – and their ‘carrying capacity’ – how much land they have available for arable farming and the total population.
They also took into account their degree of isolation, or their distance from other large populations that may be subject to catastrophic ‘displacement events’.
The last five proved best suited to maintain higher levels of societal, technological and organizational ‘complexity’ within their own borders should a global collapse occur.
The UK is protected by water, although it has a high population density. Pictured, packed rows of terraced houses in London
All five are islands or island continents, meaning they are separated from large populations that dominate large adjacent continents.
They also have a low temperature and therefore the greatest chance of relatively stable weather conditions, despite the effects of climate change.
Compared to the other four, New Zealand topped the list thanks to the greatest ability to produce geothermal and hydroelectric power, its abundant farmland and its low population density.
Iceland, Tasmania and Ireland also have favorable characteristics in this regard, the experts say, while the UK presents a more complex picture due to its complicated energy mix and high population density.
The study, published in the journal Sustainability, follows severe flooding in the UK. Pictured, a London taxi at The Nine Elms on July 25
The UK generally has fertile soils and a good variety of agricultural production, but it has a low availability of agricultural land per capita, which experts say raises questions about its future self-sufficiency.
The team concludes that a societal collapse can occur during a ‘long descent’, over years or decades, or very quickly, in the span of less than a year, with no warning of the disruption to come.
The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of governments unprepared for a disaster that turned catastrophic relatively suddenly.
But humanity still has hope when it comes to compensating for a possible social collapse, they argue, depending on future government responses.
“Great changes are possible in the coming years and decades,” says Professor Jones.
“The impact of climate change, including increased frequency and intensity of droughts and floods, extreme temperatures and greater population movements, could determine the severity of these changes.”
The study is published in the journal Durability.
Deadly week-long heatwaves up to SEVEN times more likely by 2050 due to climate change, study warns
If greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to continue at extreme rates, deadly one-week heatwaves could be up to seven times greater by 2050, a study has warned.
Experts led by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have modeled the frequency of periods of extreme temperatures under various future emission scenarios.
They found that record-shattering heat waves are becoming more likely, not related to the severity of global warming, but to the rate at which the climate is warming.
For the study, Zurich-based experts conducted climate simulations to determine the probability of week-long, record-shattering heat waves under various future emissions scenarios.
In a high-emissions scenario, record-breaking week-long extreme heat from now to 2050 will be 2 to 7 times greater than in the past three decades.
Read more: Weekly heatwaves will be up to SEVEN times more likely by 2050