The Unexpected and Uneasy Comfort of r/Collapse

Sandra Wade
8 min readJul 14, 2023

Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. Painted in 1887. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

I’m a Doomer, and r/Collapse is my support group and survival guide for the climate crisis

In 2021, a majority of young people aged 16–25 defined themselves as “Doomers.” Doomer is one of those internet labels that originally meant to mock young people who believe humanity is fucked, and nothing can be done.

Frankly, I don’t think being a “Doomer” means you have to live in a frozen state of depressed inaction.

I guess you could say I’ve been a Doomer most of my adult life. When I was a student at the University of Virginia, I liked to pluck random books out of the library and read them for fun. One day, I picked out a book called “The Doomsday Book,” by Gordon Rattray Taylor and published in 1970. The book covers a broader range of catastrophic scenarios and existential threats to humanity at the time (and many have since accelerated).

Taylor discusses global threats like overpopulation, resource depletion, pollution, climate change, and the misuse of technology. He explores how these factors could contribute to a global crisis or even the extinction of the human species.

The book that changed my life back in 1986

The book was both a warning and a call to action, urging society to confront and address these pressing issues. It examines the interplay between scientific progress, human behavior, and the sustainability of our planet. Taylor encourages readers to consider the long-term consequences of our actions and to take steps to mitigate potential risks.

That book is the main reason why I never had kids.

What might be considered as a companion guide to Taylor’s book, “Limits to Growth,” was published in 1972 by a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), known as the Club of Rome. The book, also known as the Meadows Report, presents the findings of a research project analyzing the implications of global population growth, resource depletion, and industrialization.

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Sandra Wade

Actor, filmmaker, writer and sexy cat lady.. Currently showing at a festival near you: http://www.mailorderbridefilm.com/