Cerana Foundation recently hosted “Civilizational Collapses – Causes & Consequences”, a talk by Vidyadhar Gadgil on Saturday, 15 March, 2014. This is part of a dialogue they have been having on questions related to Peak Oil, (un)sustainable development and the future of human society. Gadgil is a graduate of TISS, Mumbai, and has worked as a journalist and university teacher.

Synopsis: We are in the era of Peak oil.  Reduction of global energy could well cause a financial meltdown leading to a civilizational collapse.  Such collapses have happened in the past but were confined to one civilization. In the globalized world that we are today, an energy shrink could well result in the collapse of entire human society as we know it today.  The consequences of such a collapse may lead to a mass hunger and disease, a drastic reduction in human population, lawlessness, etc.  What can we learn from civilizational collapses that have occurred in the past that can help us avert the most serious consequences of such a collapse if one were to occur now.