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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm doing research for the effects of a slow apocalypse on our world. Can anyone suggest resources, books, movies?
What I means is this. Most post apocalyptic books I've read, and most of those "prepper" sites" assume a single, devastating, fairly quick apocalypse.  Nuclear war, meteor strike, whatever it is, a big event that would devastate our world.

But what about (a more likely scenario) where we run out of certain resources, and things start falling apart more slowly? Is set in the middle of that collapse? Civil society keeps tottering along to some extent, but central control erodes? Electricity, water etc become rare resources? Are there any books like this?

The only thing I can think of is to research existing places like Lagos, that are already pretty anarchic, to see how such a society might work.
 

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There are tons of books on the sujects, and the internet is full of such visions (just Google things like "what happens when we run out of resources?"). But I'd suggest using your imagination. Maybe you'll think of things they haven't thought of.
 

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My collapses are never single events. I've never subscribed to the theory that anything short of a nuke (or EMP) would push society over the edge.

Back in the day when I worked behind the green door, the focus of planning was on secondary strikes emboldened by the results of some lessor preliminary event. Was some enemy tempted by the weakness of American after, say, Katrina? or 9-11?

Follow-on attacks, events or circumstances always make for a better doomsday if you ask me.

In my first novel, half of the 400 pages are dedicated to the government's fall and how each phase impact the characters.
 

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Or....instead of focusing on resources you can focus on people.  I have two words. Roman Empire. Things deteriorating from within is a more likely scenario than running out of electricity - which is impossible.  Ditto for water.  Electricity might become harder to make and you might have less of it, but you can't actually run out of electricity.  Or water. The whole conservation of mass thing gets in the way, not to mention the water cycle.  Somewhere on Earth, there is a crapload of freshwater.  It might not be where your story takes place, but it doesn't disappear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JanneCO said:
Or....instead of focusing on resources you can focus on people. I have two words. Roman Empire. Things deteriorating from within is a more likely scenario than running out of electricity - which is impossible. Ditto for water. Electricity might become harder to make and you might have less of it, but you can't actually run out of electricity. Or water. The whole conservation of mass thing gets in the way, not to mention the water cycle. Somewhere on Earth, there is a crapload of freshwater. It might not be where your story takes place, but it doesn't disappear.
Fair enough, I should have phrased it as "access to resources" :)
 

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I prefer "dystopia" to "apocalypse" because conditions that change slowly will lead to a variety of ways to cope with the problems. A lot of those solutions will be ineffective and make things worse, and there's every reason to believe that there will be increased wars, many of them local, and an increase in dictatorships, from major to local.

My inspirations come from the web's many news sites, including sites that concentrate on the environment, or on human rights and justice issues. That's where you'll find news that the mainstream media doesn't cover. The slow apocalypse is happening right now, and it's perfect fodder for science fiction writers.
 

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Go check out the history of Easter Island. Look at modern Haiti.

In the former, the locals completely deforested a lush island.

In the latter, the locals completely deforested their portion of a lush island, dynamite-fished and poisoned the reefs to catch fish, and consume clay in parts of the country, as a component of their diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the suggestions  :)

My main,concern is that I don't really understand the way our world works well enough, to understand what would happen if - say - the local government fell apart (here in South Africa of course) or how people would cope if petrol ran out, all the various consequences it would have.

I already know the basic plot, and know more it less what precipitates the disaster.

I think my best bet, as has been suggested, is looking at actual places like Haiti or Lagos
 

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The West, including the US, has already passed the height of its civilization.  The countries with the most diverse populations are more likely to fall apart first regardless of cause.  Fifty years from now, Japan will still be home to the Japanese people.  Fifty years from now, the United States, may be a confederacy of ethnic minorities--a return to tribalism.
 

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Hudson Owen said:
The West, including the US, has already passed the height of its civilization. The countries with the most diverse populations are more likely to fall apart first regardless of cause. Fifty years from now, Japan will still be home to the Japanese people. Fifty years from now, the United States, may be a confederacy of ethnic minorities--a return to tribalism.
The doom and gloom line makes a great story, of course, but western civilisation fell for the first time with the Roman Empire. There are interim lacks of cohesion, which is when dystopian stories happen, but empires and the stability they generate are the norm, rather than the exception. You can look historically, at the period after the roman empire, or when the Napoleonic, or Ottoman adventures folded up to see how groups and areas behave.
 

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A lot of anarcho-primitivist websites are bursting at the seams with lovingly detailed descriptions of how capitalist society is going to slowly, gradually collapse in upon itself in a festering sinkhole of depravity and exploitation and stuff...

...and how post-apocalyptic society will be a heady low-technology utopia for middle-class barristas with few practical physical skills.

The former can make entertaining research, and the latter just pure entertaining, um, entertainment.

--George, whose apocalypse preps include an Edwardian handyman's guide, because successfully repairing a broken sash cord could be important, right?
 
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