Armageddon: New Zealand, Iceland, the UK and Ireland the Best Places to Survive the Apocalypse

A new study has identified the world’s most resilient places in the event of a major economic or climate shock.

Islands with temperate climates and small populations, such as Iceland and New Zealand, top the list.



Earth Overshoot Day, which just took place this year on Thursday 29 July, is a clear sign of impending collapse as it symbolized the date when the planet can no longer produce enough resources to meet the population demand. According to the authors of this study, collapse can take several forms: a major financial crisis, the destruction of nature, the outbreak of a pandemic even more serious than Covid-19, or a combination of all of these factors.

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It is a bleak prospect, but we can already see the beginnings of it. Natural disasters (fires, floods, hurricanes) are on the rise around the world, and water scarcity is becoming more frequent. Not to mention the health crisis that the whole world has been facing for a year and a half. But some countries will fare better than others. That’s the conclusion of a study published in Sustainability magazine, which identifies New Zealand, Iceland, the UK, Tasmania, and Ireland as the world’s best-positioned places to survive a global collapse.

The new study builds on the University of Notre Dame’s 2015 Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN), which assessed each country’s vulnerability and preparedness for future environmental changes. Countries were assessed on a range of criteria, including their ability to produce food for their populations, to maintain the electricity grid, and to maintain certain production capacities.

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“Human civilization has been steadily increasing its social and political complexity since its inception, and this trend has recently intensified significantly. As a result, the Earth system is experiencing an increasing number of serious disturbances, which have recently manifested themselves in global impacts such as climate change. These effects are increasing the risk of a global collapse,” say the researchers behind the study.

New Zealand is the main winner of this ranking. This island nation has the greatest potential for survival, thanks to geothermal and hydroelectric power, abundant agricultural land, and low population density. Other temperate and sparsely populated islands have similar resilience. These include Ireland, Iceland, and Tasmania, an Australian island state off the southeast coast.

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In addition to the islands, the United Kingdom is included in this ranking. This densely populated country, which currently produces only 50% of its own food, has a good chance of resilience, “but the situation is more complex and the characteristics are generally less favorable”, say the researchers.

“Areas that have not experienced the most dramatic effects of societal collapse are described as a ‘lifeline for human populations in the event of a collapse, in part due to the survival of agriculture,” the report says.

What do you think about this study? If you are from New Zealand, Iceland, the UK, Tasmania, and Ireland would you still consider moving to other countries?  Please share your thoughts with our readers in the comments area below!


An Analysis of the Potential for the Formation of ‘Nodes of Persisting Complexity’



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