There is no 'probability' of collapse - it is a certainty because the 'collapse' is happening right now. It is just gradual enough that many preppers do not see it. It isn't about economics - although that surely will be severely impacted, but economics will be a side effect. It isn't about an invasion or war - although those will increasingly happen around the world. It isn't about civil war between the left and right, the city folk and rural folk, although there will be conflicts. It is about human nature. Our proclivity towards ignoring what is staring us in the face because we do not think rationally - we instead react emotionally and we are easily manipulated. And by 'we', I mean all of us, not the left, not the right, not city or rural - everybody. But mostly it is about the fact that we reproduce faster than our environment can support. This is the nature of almost all life on earth; explosive exponential growth until we reach peak carrying capacity for our environment, and then a sharp decline in our population. Almost all life follows this pattern, from microbes to humans. The thing about humans is that we are extremely adaptable so we have become the dominant form of life on earth with regards to our impact on it. Even so, humans have gone through growth and decline cycles in our history. If you look into it, we have grown beyond the carrying capacity of a region and had die offs, but mostly we migrated. We still migrate and adapt. But we have grown to the point where there are fewer and fewer places to migrate to, and we have become a global population instead of a regional one. In short, there is no place to go now - we either learn to stop growing and consuming, or we will have a huge massive die off. I prepare, because I think that in general, human are stupid and stubborn and unwilling to learn something so hard to do as to stop growing. There is little question or doubt as to where we are going and what will happen. It is a certainty that the human population will grow by more than 200K people today, tomorrow and each day thereafter, and each year the number of people increases exponentially. Each day, there is less land (both arable and habitable) and less water (both potable and otherwise) and less food per person. The oceans are increasingly polluted and over-fished (it is estimated that over 90% of the worlds fisheries are over-fished). Over one billion people depend on the oceans for their primary source of protein. Right now, the USA seems to do okay, especially because we seem to have a surplus of resources, especially natural resources. But every day those resources per person decrease because our population increases. It is simple math - there is a finite amount of land, a finite amount of potable water, a finite amount of air and a finite amount of oceans. Each day, the amount of these vital resources per person, decreases. At some point the global amount per person will decrease to such a point that people will start dying because they won't have enough food or water, and because increasingly wars will be fought over land, energy, food and water - wars have been and currently are being fought over these resources. People are dying today due to over-population and the resulting climate change. In some parts of the world - like Africa - a LOT of people are dying due to climate change impacting their local climate to the point that they have such severe drought and temperatures that they cannot grow food enough to live on, and they do not have enough water. In the USA, we have had severe droughts (until this year, most of Oregon was under drought conditions - most of the west, especially the southwest, still has drought conditions), but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Droughts are on the surface, but the real problem is the aquifers which are being drained. The Pacific NorthWest is know for its rainfall. I have lived here for over 60 years and I have noticed the changes. The drier and hotter summers, the more severe winters with floods and windstorms. We had a record amount of rain this spring, and almost tied a record for days without rain this summer (it rained a little this morning and was sorely needed as the woods were very dry and the underbrush was dying - high fire danger). But what few people notice (unless they have a well themselves) is that the aquifers that most of our water actually comes from those aquifers via wells - especially irrigation for agriculture (which accounts for about 70% of water consumption). Aquifers take thousands of years to recharge, but they are getting lower and lower every year because we withdraw much more than is being put into them. My neighbor had to lower his well because it had drawn down to where he could not get any water from it. I live in the small part of Oregon that was not under drought conditions (the NW corner), on a mountain that gets twice the rainfall that the valley gets but that rainfall drains down the mountain into the gullies then the creeks then the rivers - some of it eventually gets into the aquifers, but it takes a long time, and even just the small number of people who live on this mountain (and the vineyards and small farms) have drawn down the aquifer. Most of our rainfall gets sucked up into the trees or drains off into the valley. When it dumps rain on us and we get floods in the valleys, eventually most of that rainfall goes into the ocean, not kept in our aquifers or reservoirs, because it is too much. Once a reservoir is filled the overflow is let go, it washes through the valleys removing valuable top soil and causing erosion and does not help us at all. What we need every year is snowfall that will slowly melt (we got almost normal snowfall this last winter, but before, for years, we did not) and rain spread out over the year, not dumped on us in a short amount of time. It used to be we joked that we had two seasons - cold rain in the winter, and warm rain in the summer. Lots of rain jokes in the Pacific NorthWet (even our regional name was turned into a joke). We used to take bets on whether it would rain on July 4th, but I have not seen a 4th in years where it rained, or had rained for over a month, or rained a month later. Farmers are increasingly turning to irrigation to keep their crops from dying. We are a net exporter of agriculture, but the amount of farm acreage for food has decreased. The amount of acreage for landscaping has increased, converted from food to growing landscaping plants that produce no food (my father's farm, which produced grains and then strawberries, sold 15 years ago, is now a landscaping nursery). The amount of vineyards for wine and other alcoholic beverages has significantly increased. The 50 acres my dad cleared on this mountain for strawberries and later walnuts, then filberts, is now owned by one of the largest Oregon wine producers and is a vineyard. That same wine producer just put in a vineyard below and adjacent to my property. While efficiency of farms has increased, so has the number of people each farmer feeds while their acreage decreases. Most people (at least those who have not lived here long enough to explor east of the Cascades) do not realize that two thirds of Oregon is actually desert, very little of that desert is farmable, and most of that can't be farmed without irrigation. Washington state is a bit better - about half of it (or less) is desert, but that part usually needs irrigation too. The Cascade mountains divide the western part ('wetside') from the east ('dryside') and most of the population is in the west of the Cascades, where most of the high producing agriculture exists - so that land is decreasing because our population is growing. There is a reason the USA has large areas of land that are sparsely populated; because most of the arable/habitable land is where people congregate and people tend to not like to live in dry deserts where it is hot and dry and difficult to grow food without irrigation. When someone says "oh we have plenty of land - look at all of that land that we can expand into", I just roll my eyes because they are so clueless and obviously have never tried to live off that land on their own. I can't really even live off the land I occupy now - too steep to farm, northern exposure so difficult to garden. I am seeing it now because I grew up on a farm, my dad was both a farmer and worked for the state in their water resources dept. and knew about aquifers, drainages and wells inside and out. I live near the farm my family operated for three generations growing food for others. I have seen the metro area of Portland and suburban communities expand out into the agricultural areas around it, consuming farms, impacting others (e.g., switching to landscaping plants and grass seed for lawns, from food production). I have seen the weather change over the long term, and consistently, from year to year now, get hotter and drier in the summers during the growing season. I see that, and the overall global numbers. When I was growing up, the world population was less than 3 billion. Today it is over 7 billion - over twice the number and growing exponentially faster: Population, year, and number of years to add one billion people. 3 billion 1960 33 years 4 billion 1974 14 years 5 billion 1987 13 years 6 billion 1999 12 years The carrying capacity of the earth is currently estimated to be about 10 billion people. Some areas are already falling short. The USA does better because we started off with an abundance of resources, and our population growth is less than others (as is many first world countries). It is population and the consumption by that population that drives us inexorably towards a collapse. At 63, with a life expectancy of 85 if I am lucky, I probably won't live long enough to see the day that there is a net die off - where the world population stops its net growth and millions to billions of people die faster than they are replaced, but I predict it won't be pretty. My kids may see it - they are who I prep for. When I retire, I will move off this mountain and move further out away from the PDX metro area to the coastal range where there is more rainfall and few people. I will buy a property with a southern exposure (I am currently on the north side of this mountain) and more gently sloping land which can be farmed. I will put in an small orchard of fruit trees, a greenhouse and solar panels. The goal is to be self-sufficient with regards to water and energy, and to produce at least some of the food we consume. Before the collapse, it will become increasingly expensive and hard to live, and those who produce at least some of their own food, and have their own water, and have their own production of electricity, will be at a distinct advantage over those who live in urban areas (currently 80+% and increasing - it wasn't that long ago that it was 50%). In short, it won't be about surviving a "coming collapse"; the world is slowly collapsing now. Most people just are not aware, much less accept it when they are told or see it and almost nobody prepares for it. I probably won't see the die off, but I do not primarily prepare for myself - I prepare for my daughter and her husband. I hope that when I can no longer live on my land, that they will see what is coming and move onto the land and live there.