The best books to understand the impending collapse of global civilization

Bruce Nappi Author Of Collapse 2020 Vol. 1: Fall of the First Global Civilization
By Bruce Nappi

The Books I Picked & Why

The Limits to Growth

By Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows

Book cover of The Limits to Growth

Why this book?

Limits To Growth summarized the first major computer simulation of world society. It was comprehensive, including the influence of: human population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion. The results were sobering! It showed that, if major limits were not established for human population, pollution, and resource depletion, a severe collapse of human society would follow in the near future. What most people do not know is, the report was so disturbing it was accepted by the United Nations for action. It was so well received by world leaders that, by 1974, almost every world nation agreed to take major steps to set such limits. China, for example, established its one-child family policy. Ironically, the U.S. refused any commitment. By 1978, carbon industry disinformation killed all the commitments.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

When God Was a Woman

By Merlin Stone

Book cover of When God Was a Woman

Why this book?

Understanding the foundations of current social breakdown needs the strength to challenge our most sacred assumptions. With the rise of large societies, authoritarian rule, and monotheism, came the claim of a 6,000-year-old universe and the emergence of a “God” with “male gender.” Before the emancipation of women in western society around the turn of the last century, most archeologists were also males. Conveniently, the discovery of large amounts of female artifacts was “casually” left out of the story. Stone turns this taboo on its head. This new viewpoint opened many doors to understand why past societies fell apart, and new ways to organize society going forward. Future histories should be based on family and cooperation, not war! 


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Stone Age Present: How Evolution Has Shaped Modern Life -- From Sex, Violence and Language to Emotions, Morals and Communities

By William Allman

Book cover of Stone Age Present: How Evolution Has Shaped Modern Life -- From Sex, Violence and Language to Emotions, Morals and Communities

Why this book?

Unravelling the confusion of our time always begs the question, “how could such confusion happen with the greatness of human thinking?” Allman has a simple answer: maybe our notion about “modern intelligence” isn’t so obvious. His point is: biological evolution is extremely slow. The time from the stone age to now is extremely short on evolutionary scales. Instead of focusing just on modern marvels like jet planes, what if we first compare our image of a “stone age man,” with the thinking ability of “modern” miners during the 1849 California gold rush? Hmmm… not “all” that different. Then compare a current apartment designer with the designers of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, 3,000 BC? Are modern brains actually going backward? This book will really challenge your “stone age” brain.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Godhead: The Brain's Big Bang

By Joe Griffin

Book cover of Godhead: The Brain's Big Bang

Why this book?

When I stumbled on the new brain model that finally explained human consciousness, it set me on a lonely journey. The model was such a simple mechanism. How could no one else have found it? Well, I wasn’t actually the only one. As I discuss in Collapse 2020, the combination of complexity and the inability of ancient communication “styles” to manage modern complexity, even with the internet, has created a modern Tower of Babel. Dr. Tyrrell envisioned the same explanation: there was a large jump in human brain ability about 20,000 years ago due to a simple biological event. But, not very many humans have it – just as only a few people have red hair or 6 fingers.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet

By Ugo Bardi

Book cover of Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet

Why this book?

A basic foundation for Collapse 2020 is the collapse timetable presented in the Limits to Growth model. A key assumption is that, as the world population increases, there will be related extractions of natural resources. If not controlled, many of those resources will run out. This book reports the status of world resources as of 2014. The “good news” – if we can call it that – is that the rates of resource depletion track closely with the Limits to Growth model. This is “good news” because it confirms that the model is sound. That’s “good” because it means we can rely on that model to plan for the future. On the other hand, it’s actually “very bad news”, because it shows the world is already in very bad condition.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists