QUESTION: I do not believe you have ever commented on Eric Cline’s book 1177BC, the year civilization collapsed. Do you think this is likely what we face or is this different?
ANSWER: There were about eight civilizations that all collapsed with the exception of Egypt post-1250 BC. It was caused by a major shift in climate that led to droughts which resulted in the widespread famine that inspired migrations/invasions. This event of 1177BC was the Bronze Age equivalent to the fall of Rome, for they both were followed by a Dark Age.
Many have attributed this collapse of the Bronze Age to the Sea Peoples, which were most likely northern Mediterranean mass migrants due to the climate getting colder in Europe. Cline has put together a nice assembly of sources, but he missed the climate change. He assumed there was a migration southward. However, we can see the first dip to cold came about 1,800 years ago. We can see that the all-time high temperature was about 3,300 years ago.
The collapse of the Bronze Age was mostly complete by about 1100-1000 BC. Our computer has identified a 1720-year cycle beginning in the Dark Ages with the fall of Rome in 476 AD when the last pretend Emperor reigned (Romulus Augustus (575-476AD)). Our model highlighted the cycle between the Dark Ages of 1720 years which brings us to 1244 BC — right on target for the beginning of the collapse of civilization.
How Civilization Collapses
1) Collapse in centralized government
2) The rich flee and economic growth declines
3) The economy implodes without investment
4) Birth rates decline with population
5) People migrate and abandon urbanization
There were clearly natural disasters and invasions as well as civil unrest. But climate change was probably the primary cause of mass migration. The danger we have today is once again the mass migrations into Europe and the United States. However, if the climate turns sharply colder, we will have famine and that undermines the social structure. We already have the centralization of government & central banks on the ropes. The hunt for taxes will result in the hoarding of wealth and the decline in investment.
The birth rate has been collapsing and the final stage will be abandoning cities because of taxation like Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, etc. Keep in mind the collapse will unfold over the course of probably 51.6 years before you reach rock bottom. It all depends upon the climate looking forward.