Interesting article in the Guardian recently: Irreversible Collapse- The Guardian
So the future is perhaps something like this?:
1) Growing inequality, increasing population, more loss of green space, more loss of biodiversity
2) Concurrent to that-models for sustainable societies and new nature conservation models continue to develop.
3) Human discomfort, increasing disease, mass mental illness and sedation will be increasingly normalised while drug companies and the medical industry transfer health of the masses into money to empower other groups.
4) The current power houses continue the business as usual approach and embark on a mass propaganda campaign to conceal the declining state. They hang in there as long as possible. They know the bottom will go first before they do.
5) Increasing numbers of the human population become unproductive due to depletion/exhaustion/ill health. Foreign workers are injected into the system and are processed into states of learned hopelessness - the unproductive and burdens increase. Pressure for growth is focused into diminishing social and environmental protection areas which become over-loaded- the decline enters an accelerating negative feedback loop.
6) At some point during the crushing and slow transition there are a few economic quakes,big collapses and flash points. State control intensifies to maintain order. Independent groups start to organise themselves into creating sub-economies such as moneyless networks connected to social/environmental minded organisations/businesses.
7) The mass of society collapses in a combination of slow crushing squeeze and cataclysmic events, fundamentally destabilising the higher level social structures, so when enough of the masses are unproductive and fail to function, the foundations go and the top starts to go too.
8) The whole things ends in a simultaneous collapse and an emergence as it all levels out- the sustainable/alternative culture that has been developing alongside kicks in .
9) At the end will be in a post-growth society with a new improved condition. Biodiversity will start increasing from the protection network which was set up and defended through the decline.
10) Throughout it all most people won't be interested in or have a clue what's going on.
A little song by Muse
Gotta have a bit of Intervention when getting doom and gloomy