Slate contributor Josh Levin surveys 144 scenarios for the collapse of the United States of America. From his article intro:
If and when America expires, we probably won't agree on the cause of death. For proof that autopsies of empires are inconclusive, consider the case of Alexander Demandt, the German historian who set out in the 1980s to collect every theory ever given for why Rome fell. The final tally: 210, including attacks by nomads on horseback, blood poisoning, decline of Nordic character, homosexuality, outflow of gold, and vaingloriousness.
In tribute to Demandt, I've gone looking for every possible reason why America could fall. I've paged through the work of scholars who have studied the characteristics of declining and failed societies. I also collected theories from futurists, doomsayers, separatists, economists, political scientists, national security experts, climatologists, geologists, astronomers, and a few miscellaneous crazy people. The result: a collection of 144 potential causes of America's future death.
Levin's list of calamities includes such trendy new apocalypses as doom-by-EMP-device, rightwing-nutjob faves like a demographic death spiral caused by the legalization of gay marriage, and leftwing workhorses like a theocratic takeover.
I'm especially please that Johnny-come-lately doomsdays, such as the 2012 dealie, haven't replaced long time personal favorites such as robot uprisings or "gray goo" nanotech-driven death.
You can even select five favorite doomsday scenarios as and track progress towards midnight using Slate's "Choose Your Own Apocalypse" Tool!