The two ways that Western civilisation could collapse

Downfalls of great societies have often been preceded by a specific chain of events – could history be repeating itself? The one-minute video above explains what those triggers are.

For an in-depth read about how today’s societies could fall apart, read more here:

Here’s an extract:

Collapses have occurred many times in human history, and no civilisation, no matter how seemingly great, is immune to the vulnerabilities that may lead a society to its end. Regardless of how well things are going in the present moment, the situation can always change. Putting aside species-ending events like an asteroid strike, nuclear winter or deadly pandemic, history tells us that it’s usually a plethora of factors that contribute to collapse. What are they, and which, if any, have already begun to surface? It should come as no surprise that humanity is currently on an unsustainable and uncertain path – but just how close are we to reaching the point of no return?”

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APOCALYPSE WEEK

To coincide with the US solar eclipse on 21 August, BBC Future is running a special series about the end of the world. For other stories, check back here, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.