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The Entire “Collapse Data Cheat Sheet,” As Heard on S-Town


I’m a little late to the party, but finally got around to listening to the entirety of S-Town – an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Brian Reed and created by the producers of Serial and This American Life.

For the uninitiated, the seven-part podcast follows a series of bizarre events unfolding in S-Town, America, a derogatory term for Woodstock, Alabama, as dubbed by the series’ central figure, John B. McLemore.

As episodes unfold, listeners delve further and further into John’s “mad hatter” world. He’s a passionate and master horologist who uses his seemingly unlimited free time tinkering with clocks.

Oh, and he has a rather negative outlook on Earth’s future…

If you have listened to the series in its entirety, you know what a major understatement that is.

By the conclusion of episode one, you’ll be asking yourself whether John is flat out delusional or a harsh realist. The conundrum with realists is though…most are “crazy” until they’re not. Hindsight is 20/20.

Without the risk of spoiling the series’ many twists and turns, I can tell you at one point John makes mention of a “Collapse Data Cheat Sheet.” This Sheet is briefly mentioned but only as a way to shed light on John’s personality.

It’s described as an exhaustive list of “truths” that point to a not so bright future for Earth’s inhabitants. As a prepper, I was immediately curious, so sought out to find this list.

After some deep digging, I uncovered the Collapse Data Cheat Sheet – in its entirety – and wanted to share with you because frankly, many of the items listed on The Sheet are shocking and downright horrifying. Taken from

  • 1,000,000 humans, net, are added to earth every 4½ days.
  • We must produce more food in the next 50 years than we have in the past 10,000 years combined.
  • We need 6 million hectares of new farmland every single year for the next 30 years to do this.
  • We lose 12 million hectares of farmland every single year due to soil degradation, depletion, and loss.
  • Humanity has only 60 years of farming left at current world soil degradation rates.
  • We already passed world peak production growth-rates in 2006 for wheat, soy, corn, wood, and fish.

The “Collapse Data Cheat Sheet” is quite exhaustive, so if you’d like to read it yourself, you can find it HERE. 


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Photos by Creating Defensible Space licensed under Creative Commons 2.0