Some people are predicting the fall of modern civilization, and I generally agree that it is going down the drain. However, I think the risk of a sudden SHTF scenario unlikely, and favor a scenario of slow decay and transformation over a period of centuries, as was the case for the fall of the Roman empire.
To back up my hypothesis I will discuss in brief some of the commonly proposed SHTF scenarios below.
Monetary crash: This prediction has been floating around for ~50 years or so, but it has yet to happen. Economic crises have occurred throughout, and they might be happening more frequently. Whether these crises are spontaneous or manufactured to steal money from pensions and other savings, is uncertain. Greece is a good example of a recent monetary crash, but this hasn’t resulted in a SHTF scenario. The living standard has gone down, unemployment has gone up, birth rates have gone down, but you don’t have mass hysteria or starvation. Greece also has deep agricultural roots, and can transition into self-sufficiency in food. Areas which rely heavily on importing essential goods (cities in general) will be more vulnerable.
Oil or other natural resources run out: The current use of oil and other non-renewable natural resources is unsustainable, but I don’t see the supply crashing due to simple mechanisms of the free market: As the oil supply decreases, prices will go up. As prices go up, oil becomes less affordable and demand goes down. As prices go up, it becomes economically feasible to open up wells and rigs to take advantage of more oil deposits. As prices go up, it becomes economically feasible to invest in and use alternative energy sources.
World war 3: Geopolitics are shrouded in misinformation, so this is based on my gut feeling. At the current time there aren’t that many conflicting parties. First off, everyone is a globalist, with the exception of small insignificant regimes such as North Korea. Even apparent conflicts, such as that ongoing between NATO and Russia, may just be propaganda to maintain military spendings and distract the public. The current middle eastern conflicts are just oil grabs, with no reason to escalate into invasions or military strikes of anyone outside the region. Even if Israel compels USA to destroy every regime in the region and Israel expands its’ territory, I don’t see it escalating into a world war.
Another thing to consider is that future world wars may not be fought with conventional means, but may be fought as a trade wars, with information and propaganda, and other indirect means. We saw examples of this during the Cold War, and I still don’t think any parties are interested in a global nuclear war.
Civil race war: We already have many examples of interracial societies, but we have primarily seen small localized conflicts, and no mass killings. In South Africa and Argentina with minority European populations, they have moved away, or segregated into protected enclaves or even white ghettos. In metropolitan areas such as Paris and London you also have minority Europeans populations, but military and police presence has been increased to prevent lawlessness. Self-segregation of foreigners into ghettos also prevents some racial friction. As long as the population replacement proceeds gradually while the native population is kept disarmed, demoralized, and distracted, there will be no violent uprising.
Natural disaster: Tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, etc. already happen worldwide already, but civilized high-risk areas are already prepared for such events. Aid is brought from areas that are unaffected. Solar storms are rare, but have the potential to cause damage and disruptions to electronic devices and power supplies on a continental or even global scale. As the threat of solar storms has become more apparent, governments are beginning to take more precautions. In a crisis the military would probably step in to keep law and order, and to manage the distribution and rationing of essential supplies. Everything would be back to “normal” within a few years, a decade max.
Climate change, including the onset of a new ice age, would occur gradually, giving time for people and governments to adapt.
As the risk of a SHTF scenario is relatively low, I would suggest not spending too much time or effort preparing for one. Learning to survive in the woods may be pointless, especially if you live in a country with very little forest and game to hunt (in Denmark only 14.5% of the area is forest). Working on increasing long-term self-sufficiency and independence from modern civilization, through owning land and farming it, is probably a better strategy of survivalism.