It's time to answer this once and for all, because it gets asked a lot, and because it matters.
I do not believe in Collapse.
I do not believe in Apocalypse.
I do not believe in The End.
I believe in turmoil, I believe in death and despair. I believe in greed and hate. I believe in conflict and power. I believe in random chance and stupid mistakes. I believe in problems. All these things exist and the only way to deal with them is to face them head on.
But I do not believe in Collapse, not now and not tomorrow. We look at our own age in isolation, and forget that fifty years ago, or a century, or before, our ancestors were faced by terrors which to them seemed invincible. But there is nothing inevitable about a man hanging from a tree because of his race, there is nothing eternal about illiteracy or absolute monarchs. Concentration camps can be liberated, tyrants overthrown, forests replanted. People can learn. Despite all our multiple failures we do, and we have.
In nigh-every era previous, especially Breaking Times, people saw themselves surrounded by encroaching dooms on all sides, rather from above or from other people. But the world did not end. Even in dark ages, humanity survived and began the bloody trek up to something more, without even realizing it. Hell, we managed to come back from a damned Ice Age.
People believe in Collapse because the world is a scary, complicated place and now, more than ever, we're aware of how scary and complicated it is. So there's a yearning for a final cleaning, something that will wipe all the shit that vexes us away so we can finally sleep off the binge known as modern times.
Fuck that. Realize for a second that there is no Collapse waiting to conveniently remove from us the responsibility for adapting to the consequences of our world. Instead the complexities will multiply and mutate. Instead of oblivion we're actually going to have to deal with these challenges — risks and all — one by one, until something better arises in the process.
We're actually going to have grow up. Ain't that far, far more terrifying?
Yes, but it's also amazing. Because humanity is brilliant as we are stupid, stubborn as we are weak, resourceful as much as panicked. We create so many damn problems, but we can't help ourselves in trying to solve them. Sometimes, we even succeed.
And look at what we have: a more literate populace than ever before, a greater lifespan, the ability to draw inspiration and take warning from a dizzying array of cultures and histories. If ever we had the tools, it's now.
There is nothing certain about tomorrow. But I do not believe in Collapse. We have a future ahead of us, like it or not, and it's past time more of us started dealing with that, instead of expecting an end that will never fall.