Study on survivability of stratified vs egalitarian societies

 Interesting comment on McKibben’s latest essay:  “The Great Carbon Bubble”:

Carbon release comes from stored energy and the market has a project called Derivatives which create value on the promises of tomorrow. The derivative market  and its future promises of energy has far exceeded natures capacity to sustain the unbalanced system that is civilization. How/? Well, the Debt is in the water!  The Housing mortgage derivative $7 trillion dollar ponzi scheme is only a small fraction to the over all $600 trillion dollar derivative markets tipping points. And all the while the media uses the housing bubble to point fingers at the cause of the financial crisis because that is the only derivative bubble that affected the working class people. All the rest of it (Energy futures) were only for the hedge fund elite and their banks. So again the American industrial media stays focused on blaming the victim. Well, now the tipping point everyone should be paying attention to is Fracking water from life. 400,000 wells now consume 4-7 million gallons of water per well across the US. The derivative is water for Fracking over living systems. The debt is in the water from under.”

 Also, an interesting study done recently which says that stratified societies (vs. egalitarian societies) are much more prone to crisis and extinction, not boding well to a world facing peak everything:

The Spread of Inequality

Our simulation trials showed that stratified populations in constant environments exhibited more demographic instability, crises and extinctions than did egalitarian populations.Figure 1 shows typical population trajectories for egalitarian and stratified societies over 2000 years. Egalitarian populations are eventually able to stabilize, not because of density-dependent growth but because fertility, mortality, and resource productivity achieve a balance. This is an unexpected outcome in a complex system. Reaching this balance appears to depend on the stochastically determined magnitude of the rebound following a population crash.

Stratified populations were never able to stabilize because the upper classes continued to thrive even as resources were being depleted and the population was headed for trouble. In other words, stratification disrupted stabilizing feedback in the system. However, stratified populations did not cause more resource depletion, as we had originally predicted on the basis of excess resource consumption by upper classes. Instead, stratified populations in our simulation depleted the resource base significantly less because high mortality rates in lower classes kept the total population relatively low compared to carrying capacity.

Egalitarian populations always have fewer population crashes except in trials with a base female fertility rate of 0.135 (see Supporting Information S1). This anomalous spot in parameter space seems to be just high enough to cause population growth and thus resource depletion, but too low to allow sufficient recovery.

Egalitarian populations are almost always much less likely to go extinct, except in trials when resource amount determines half or more of the next year’s productivity (discussed above), and in trials with a base annual female fertility rate of >0.18 (see Supporting Information S1), which apparently causes egalitarian populations to grow too large, thus depleting resources and resulting in rapid mortality.


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