Wildfires continue to ravage the Western United States. Americans collectively owe $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. And COVID-19 has claimed more than 4.19 million lives worldwide.

Seems a bit apocalyptic these days. Could it possibly get worse?


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been warning for years that the climate crisis is doom impending, with less than a decade to act before it’s too late. 

But fear not. A group of scientists have figured out where humanity can survive our impending societal collapse: the Pacific Island country of New Zealand. 

According to a study published in “Sustainability,” current academic literature paints “a picture of human civilization that is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour.”

The last 150 years “have had indisputable, egregious effects on the functioning of the totality of the Earth System,” it continues, “and the continued trends and behaviours of the human collective look highly likely to exacerbate these existing trends.”

Societal collapse — defined as “significant and permanent decreases in measures including human populations, stocks of non-renewable resources or representations such as ‘wealth’ or ‘nature’, and other ‘services’ supporting civilisation” — could be brought about by climate change, financial crises and pandemics. 

In fact, the study cites the United Nations warning that future pandemics can be more severe than what the world is experiencing with COVID-19.

Luckily, there are places called “collapse lifeboats” that would “not experience the most egregious effects of societal collapses (i.e., as may occur due to the effects of climatic changes) and are therefore able to maintain significant populations.” 

The study rates countries based on their ability to produce enough food for their population, protect their borders from potentially displaced populations seeking refuge, and their ability to maintain an electric grid and some manufacturing capability.

Considering all of this, the study concludes that humanity’s best bet is New Zealand.

Why? Well, New Zealand has a low current population, is in the middle of the ocean with “no nearby large or heavily populated landmasses,” and has a modern economy with “abundant indigenous renewable energy sources,” the study says.

And it seems like the wealthy have already tuned into the survivability of New Zealand. Rumors of the rich buying up land and apocalypse-proof bunkers in the South Pacific island country, dubbed “billionaire bunkers,” have swirled for years.

The country has also handled the COVID-19 pandemic remarkably well, eradicating cases altogether for a stretch of time.

Plus, Auckland, New Zealand, was named the most livable city earlier this year, with the nation’s capital city Wellington taking fourth on that list.

Other top-rated collapse lifeboats include Iceland, the United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland. These countries all consist of islands, island archipelagoes or island continents located at temperate latitudes. Therefore, they would “have the greatest likelihood of relatively stable conditions being buffered and persisting in response to climate change scenarios for the 21st century,” the study concludes.

Notably, space did not make the list.

What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in:Latest News