Collapsology is the study of the collapse of industrial civilization and what could succeed it. Developed by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens in their essay Comment tout tout collombrer: Collapsology, a short collapsology manual for current generations published in 2015, is an applied and transdisciplinary science involving ecology, economics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, biophysics, biogeography, agriculture, demography, politics, geopolitics, archeology, history, futurology, health, law and art. This systemic approach is based on the two cognitive modes of reason and intuition, as well as on recognized scientific works, such as the 1972 Meadows Report, the “A safe operating space for humanity” and “Approaching a” studies. state shift in Earth’s biosphere “published in Nature in 2009 and 2012, or the article” The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration “published in 2015 in the scientific journal The Anthropocene Review.
The word “collapsology” is a neologism coined by Pablo Servigne and Raphael Stevens, composed of the word “collapse”, from the Latin collapse, “which fell in one single block” (originally from the verb to collapse in English, “s’ to fall, collapse, collapse “) and the suffix” -logy “, forming the name of a science, of the scientific study of a subject.
Non-exhaustive list of general themes identified by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens:
Several articles offering a critique of collapsology have been published since the publication of the book by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens in 2015. Among them, there are two articles by Daniel Tanuro, agronomist and environmentalist, collaborator of the newspaper Le Monde diplomatique, founder the Belgian NGO “Climate and social justice” and author in 2010 of the essay L’impossible capitalisme vert. In his critique of the essay How Everything Can Crumble, he blames the two authors for the absence of an analysis of capitalism: “The link between this particular system and accumulation is not even mentioned. In a second article published in the French-speaking newspaper Lesser Political Ecology, Daniel Tanuro deepens the debate by proposing a comparative analysis of collapsology and ecosocialism. He criticizes the inevitable aspect of the collapse as advanced by the collapsologists as well as their posture which he qualifies as “fatalistic resignation”. According to him, the collapse must be fought by anti-capitalist responses, blocking, for example, plans for the expansion of fossil capital (what Naomi Klein calls “blockadia” in his book Tout tout changer): “It is the struggle that is on the agenda, not the grieving resignation. In another register, one can also quote the article of the teacher-researcher Jacques Igalens entitled “Collapsology is it a science? “, In which he questioned the transdisciplinary character of collapsology (without questioning its multidisciplinary nature), highlighting the absence of a paradigm and common foundations that bring together the various topics addressed. According to him, “the fact of sharing a concept”, namely the collapse, “does not build on its own a scientific discipline, which supposes an articulation of concepts and, in this case, this articulation is different in biology, in physics, anthropology, psychology, etc. He concludes by writing that “collapsology will not produce new knowledge (the sciences on which it depends will do so), but it will produce a new narrative of our life in common, and it is certainly also useful. Nicolas Casaux, a member of the collective Le Partage and the international radical ecology organization Deep Green Resistance, describes the definition of collapse as “a little nebulous”. He writes about the latter that it “is characterized […] by perspectives and analyzes sometimes contradictory, or too limited. According to him, “the main problem of collapsology is […] the narcissism it perpetuates (collapse as catastrophe rather than industrial civilization as disaster). Here is his conclusion: “We can only hope that its promoters will clarify their perspective, that they will free themselves from the toxic hints of the dominant culture that prevent them from taking a more determined stance, that they integrate social criticism into their analysis, whether they adopt a more comprehensive, biocentric or ecocentric perspective, thus unequivocally joining the camp of those who struggle against the “war against the living world” that industrial civilization leads, in the words of George Monbiot . In an article titled “Intuition and Collapsology”, writer and independent researcher Vincent Mignerot indicates that, although he “could defend […] the project aspired by collapsology, at least his transdisciplinary intention” and that he is interested in “the study of the evolution of our societies in the prospect of a decline or a collapse “, he expresses” reservations about certain possible outflows, in particular because of a lack of clarity in the definition of a methodological framework of reference. He states that he does not recognize himself in this “current of nascent thought” and does not claim to be a collapsologist. “