The term is real, believe it or not.  It derives from the Latin word “collapsus” which means “to fall, to collapse” and from the suffix “-logy”, or “study.”  In other words, it is the study of collapsing.  Generally it is not just any old instance of collapsing, but specifically those instances associated with the destruction of civilization or the planet based on risks to our limited resources.  It is like the end of the world, but not quite.

Recently the term has been applied directly to climate change to reflect declining resources and the extinction of species that are driving the world to its destruction at an alarming rate.





The term was first developed in French scientific studies and is used by a French couple in the You Tube film, The Rise of Eco-Anxiety in this issue of the magazine. It is also an appropriate time to feature this word as Halloween or All Saints’ Eve arrives soon.


Some further ideas to explore on Collapsology:

Which catastrophe is more scary: the coronavirus pandemic or climate breakdown?

Is talking about the end of the world as a result of climate change helpful or harmful?

Are younger (below 30) or older (than 60) people more likely to believe in collapsology?



“Collapsology,” Wikipedia (Last edited on 28 September 2020, at 03:21, UTC).

“Collapsologie,” Archeology Guide

“Collapsology: The Rise Of A New Doomsday Cult & The Return Of The Dark Ages,” The Global Warming Policy Forum (14 June 2020).

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