The Great Collapse

Autumn permaculture at 017

The great collapse of society, as we know it, is under way. 001

Most people are unaware of this. permaculture (3)

Every aspect of controlled living is the same as ever it was.

Sammy-Bear says "Hello!"

The television keeps pumping out much of the same.

Supermarkets hum with shoppers.

Christmas lights flicker in shopping centres.


The madness of more predominates a world in crisis.


The populations of countries, channelled to look one way, as governments and the one percent carry on their relentless rendition of acquisition and destruction.

Look at how we live compared to a few decades ago…

There is no longer a mentality of saving for one’s heart’s desire.

All is instant, right down to the way we satisfy our hunger.


Merely a concept to most people in the western world.

I dare not say developed, for that implies evolved and the fact is, we are not in the least bit evolved!

We devour resources, as we revolve.

March 2014

Society is revolving on a mad merry-go-round of consumption.

Revolving, not evolving!

March 2014

We all know, in our mere moments of sanity, that this cannot go on.

Eco-systems around us are collapsing.

Species extinction is a runaway train-wreck.

Another Christmas looms, as people prepare to celebrate the birth of a baby with an orgy of consumerism!

We should take a bit more notice of that collapse and extinction, for anyone with common sense knows who’s next!

Future generations will look back upon this time and refer to it as the Great Collapse, much in the same way as we refer to the death of millions in The Great War.

And, as we all know, there was nothing great about it!


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I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written almost 800 blogs on this Bealtaine Cottage website.

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  1. Reading through this just now after having a debate about something similar ,all was going ok we were all adding our little bits and pieces mine was mostly advising us to question why some people are struggling in the world today when out of the blue some bright spark makes a really what I would call sophist speech of sorts on how well the Irish are evolving and how the GDP is verification of how well our country is doing; completely missing the point that others were making about how unevenly wealth is distributed in this country , most of us were talking about that one per cent but this guy turns the whole conversation in on us almost accusing us of being jealous of those that work hard for a living in this material world and probably are so stressed out trying to keep up with it all dont have the energy to question. But it was not these people we were holding responsible it was the one per cent we were questioning and wondering why we had not done so before. Any how in the end I had to leave the conversation , as I felt a bit intimidated by the aggressive and smug manner that now dominated the debate . Sometimes I feel so sorry for good people who try so hard to make others realise what is going on , I came to the conclusion tonight that the way to go is by example and that is why I love following this blog. The ref. to Desiderata here in the comments was the second time today for me to see this reference , I have always loved that poem and feel a great peace sweep over me as I meditate on it , I feel for that lady the comment was for I know just how she feels at times bless her and bless you , the funny thing is the person that came up with GDP argument is a good person and likeable, it was just a bit of shock to hear them come out with what I would consider a spin of sorts and this shook my socks a bit , I really wanted to say in my own plain language that I did not agree and felt that the ref really was a sign that people are not aware of this revolving rather than evolving and also it all sounded like if Ireland was ok well all was ok; upsetting to say the least , oh this post is a ramble , no need to reply , one thing for sure is happening a greater awareness a much greater awareness and I am so grateful for this blog for opening my eyes bless you.xxxx

    • it sounds to me like the aggressor is in denial, hence the overt defending of a system he clearly does not fully understand. I have a similar debate with most of my five brothers who are truly ignorant of a lot of issues. For example, one, Queens university educated brother argued with me for some time that on the 9/11 issue, there were two towers that fell, aggressively stating over and over again that there was not a third tower fell on the day! So, I said I was prepared to put money on it…he let it go, though never returned to the issue. Is he in denial? Has he researched and concurred with my statement? He has nothing to add on the subject! The fact is, there is only so far I will allow my energy to be drained by ignorant people who wallow in their chosen ignorance! Keep hold of your energy and direct it well!
      Blessings XXX

  2. wonderful post as ever, Colette….so so true. I have been catching up, as I have been absent from your posts recently – going through a very testing time and these words have struck such a chord with me particularly at this moment. we have recently moved my partners 92 year old dad in with us as he is no longer able to manage alone – it has been an unexpected bad experience fraught with problems I did not foresee and which go against everyway I am trying to live a simpler life. he wants the tv on from 6am til yon time at night not watching anything- just on – the electric heater is turned up fully while he sits in his shirt sleeves and opens the window because he can’t breathe. doesn’t like home cooking as he has been used to ping meals and sleeps with many lights on! This is from a man who grew up with nothing as one of 11 children – my 16 year old is horrified by the huge waste of resources and I am driven to the end of my tether as to what to do as he just laughs when I try to explain how we feel. I am so saddened by this – his mind is 100% and I thought it would be an enriching experience for us all, particularly my daughter. I thought he would share stories of his long and colourful life but he only wants to talk about who was on Jeremy kyle and coronation street! Testing times lol! X

    • There are times when one is tested to the max…I have had similar experience, but just try to get on with my own life.
      Someone as old as your partner’s father is set in his ways…read Desiderata…here it is for you…blessings XXX
      Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
      and remember what peace there may be in silence.

      As far as possible, without surrender,
      be on good terms with all persons.
      Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
      and listen to others,
      even to the dull and the ignorant;
      they too have their story.
      Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
      they are vexatious to the spirit.

      If you compare yourself with others,
      you may become vain or bitter,
      for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
      Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
      Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
      it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

      Exercise caution in your business affairs,
      for the world is full of trickery.
      But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
      many persons strive for high ideals,
      and everywhere life is full of heroism.
      Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
      Neither be cynical about love,
      for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
      it is as perennial as the grass.

      Take kindly the counsel of the years,
      gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
      Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
      But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
      Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

      Beyond a wholesome discipline,
      be gentle with yourself.
      You are a child of the universe
      no less than the trees and the stars;
      you have a right to be here.
      And whether or not it is clear to you,
      no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

      Therefore be at peace with God,
      whatever you conceive Him to be.
      And whatever your labors and aspirations,
      in the noisy confusion of life,
      keep peace in your soul.

      With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
      it is still a beautiful world.
      Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

  3. I very much agree, everyday i see example of the way the news is controlled, some of our farming methods disgust me. Politics turns me off, lies & more lies. We need to take control of our own lives more. Thank you for helping to open peoples eyes. X

  4. You are sounding like Cassandra out of Greek mythology but I hope that you are able to enlighten your readers and viewers of a better way through your work at Bealtaine Cottage.

  5. This is a good post right to the point Collette, all this consumerism and then the disgusting ‘rubbish’ that is the result of this. all dumped on the poor Mother Earth as usual,

    I was out a in my yard the other day where I have created a compost heap I was emptying the hoover dust on to it, every thing goes on to it now. My ignorant neighbour said ‘what on earth are you doing? your crazy!! I told him this is good for compost, better than going to the dust man. He replied ‘what ever tickles your fancy’ and laughed at me. This man dumps loads of black sacks, eats loads of take a ways and never recycles. I live in a town and it is making me feel sick now.

    The majority of people are ignorant. this is all ‘learned behaviour’ from birth the brainwashing of a ‘consumer society’ through media and governments. Resulting in the ‘Rubbish Society’. We will have to teach people from birth. Mothers should start doing this with their young now. Teach about the beauty of earth and how to care for the environment, Out with those vile x box’s, and the psychopathic game world. What is this teaching the young?

    • I agree Tina…and all that is coming to a head in consumerism has a limited lifespan, as we simply cannot continue in this negative mode. It’s time to do whatever we can for Mother Earth and those willing to change!

  6. We are with you! Even way out here in the deserts of Eastern Washington 🙂 Yesterday we installed the heavy glass panels (in freezing temps) on the earth berm greenhouse, kept the wood stove going, pushed no buttons for heat, let the solar panels provide power and made soup from ingredients in the garden on the wood stove. We’ve closed off 1700 sq feet of this inefficient behemoth of a house – someone else’s long ago design of an A-frame when oil was “cheap” and could be thrown away to heat it. We live in 900 sq ft warm section and refer to the other side of the house interior as our “large walk-in cooler”. This isn’t about going without, nor lack, nor poverty, this is about learning what our place in the Universe and Environment is and having self control. Everything you just expressed is what we’ve come to understand and our cognitive dissonance has morphed into creative abundance. Don’t get me wrong – we still observe in disbelief – the self destructive tendency of a species to continue to Revolve rather than Evolve.
    Thank you again for all you do!

    • What a wonderful way to express it: “…we’ve come to understand and our cognitive dissonance has morphed into creative abundance.” I love it…keep hold of your truth and integrity as you continue to be a working example to others! Blessings X

  7. Earlier this week I caught snippets of the morning news someone had put on. As I watched I realized that the news had turned into a giant commercial! First it was the real estate man trying to convince us to use his agency to buy houses, then some guy from a car dealership telling us all his great deals. I don’t normally watch this stuff and was blown away, wondering how many people are inundated with it every morning and don’t even realize what is happening.

    That being said, I think the need for change is a message of love, not despair. Fear will not cause the kind of change we need, only love…love for the earth and love for one another. Keep spreading the message Colette and you just might change the world 🙂

  8. I’m just reading Naomi Klein’s masterpiece, “This Changes Everything”. In a nutshell, it’s either capitalism as we know it or the planet. And it’s a compusory choice. The planet will win. We won’t.

    Klein has one of the most lucid, sensible voices you could wish to hear. The people that should be reading and heeding her book won’t do any such thing, of course.


  9. Spot on as usual Colette.

    Katrina, Sandy, the droughts and floods, the heatwaves, the extinctions, the deaths and all the other climate catastrophes have not shifted capitalism’s headlong suicide trip one single millimetre.

    I once thought that a truly huge response by nature to our abusing of the biosphere would make us sit up and listen – but how big does that response have to be? Wiping out a country, maybe? Perhaps not even then – imagine!

    The 1% really are that greedy, that uncaring – and they control how the majority of the so-called ‘developed’ world thinks.


    • This is a bit of a watershed moment for me as I am trying to face into the abyss with an understanding of how best to help people and the Great Mother. There is hope and a future, if we can but grasp the thorns!
      Blessings X

  10. Greetings Colette, I believe the next few years will reveal to ALL the people of this world an awakening unlike anything we humans have ever experienced or ever will again. As I ponder the my own feelings of panic and rage, waves of hopelessness and despair smother me. Like the disheveled, lone madman standing on a street corner with a hand written proclamation of the end of the world, I know I must be mad, and yet more deeply know that I am sane and all the others passing me by and giving me no glance, are the insane. As our climate races to the precipice of collapse and we barely notice, I want to scream but my voice is silenced and my heart is shattered. Human Greed and Power has poisoned our world. Frankenstein monsters (corporations) rule us and they consumed everything. There will not be a single blade of grass left. Every living thing will be devoured by a hell we have unleashed upon our once lovely planet. I am tormented day and night as we approach this awakening. I do not know what to do as there is nothing any of us can do now. The train of life careens down the tracks and the bridge to tomorrow is gone. I want to believe that I am wrong, that we still have time to stop the madness, but I know it is hopeless. We are not approaching an awakening… but an infinite, endless death.

    No need to reply, Scott

  11. I live in a city, in a home built with large yards in the early days. So the front yard is garden for food, herbs and black rasberries, the back is fruit, apples, goose berry, chock cherry and red rasberries and more herbs. I share a home with a friend, I am the one who moved. We are trying to show what can be done if you give up the idea of private space and adopt sharing. It has been easier for me in my late 60’s than for her in 40’s and still concidered marriageable. There are many ways to adabt a change in individual consuming of space. At times we have had a third party but they seem to move on. We hope to be successful in this one.

    • Interesting to hear about this. I have several friends who are now widowed or separated, and each lives alone in a house designed for a family. Such a wasteful, lonely way to live!

    • Kudos to you for sharing housing. I’ve thought it might be easier to live this way as a cohabitation or commune, sharing the workload and responsibilities. 🙂

  12. I am so glad this website is here! You so often express my thoughts. Everyone I know thinks I am completely crazy to feel this way and often lately I start thinking maybe there IS something wrong with MY perceptions! But there is NOT! I know it in my heart and I have I known this for almost 50 years. You are RIGHT! And like the Emperor has no clothes, most will NOT allow themselves to see it or even ADMIT to themselves that it is so!

    • Actually, there are ways that don’t show up quite apart from the material goods etc scenario. In my early 60s, as I am personally, I remember when “normal service” was given by shop assistants, office workers, people working for councils or Government departments. Part of the reason I remember is because latterly I worked for many years in a Government department. I remember when we used to do our jobs to serve the public with “normal service”. I then watched over the years as we were told to be less and less helpful and available to them and, in the end, had got to the stage of being what effectively boiled down to deliberately unhelpful to them and impossible to get at. Jobs that used to be done properly are now absolutely skimmed through to the quickest possible standard regardless.

      On the receiving end of service, I am now often made to feel like “Who does she think she is? Does she think she’s someone special and entitled to special service?” when all I am doing is asking for “normal service”, rather than “bad service”. Its all part of what is dehumanising our society bit by bit.

Your comments are welcome!