Instead what is significant about Collapse is that it also highlights how other societies throughout history have been successful in responding to the same challenges.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive
In some such societies, all of its inhabitants are familiar with the entire island, for example, and know that they are affected by developments throughout the island, and share a sense of identity and common interests with other inhabitants. Knowing they all benefit from sound environmental management people work together. Examples of such successful societies examined in Collapse are the New Guinea highlands and Tikopia Islands.
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One example which is examined at length is the forestry management practices of Tokugawa era Japan. Part three of Collapse then goes on to explore some of the environmental problems faced by several societies today. Many of these problems are precisely the same problems that have faced the societies discussed earlier in the book. One such example is the recent Genocide in Rwanda.
It is suggested that in part Malthusian population pressure explains the Rwandan genocide. Importantly Collapse does not argue that this is the only factor that lead to these terrible events, nor that population pressure per se automatically leads to genocide.
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Problems confronting several other countries are also examined. In Australia for example how we have responded to environmental problems such as the productivity of soils, salinity, the impact of mining, the over exploitation of forestry, marine fisheries and freshwater fisheries resources etc all seem to follow a similar pattern to that of past societies discussed earlier in the book.
Throughout the book it is clear that many of the problems that have lead to the collapse of past societies can simply be explained by the decisions that societies made or did not make about their environment. Conditions apply. Learn more.
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SYMPOSIUM BOOK CLUB Jared Diamond: Collapse. How Societies Choose to Fail o...
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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Paperback Verified Purchase. Jared Diamond is a scientist and academic. He has also been a senior official in the environmental movement. Diamond is a trained biologist who became an ornithographer and finally a geographer. Collapse is one of the popular classics of environmentalism. Diamond is an optimist. He does not however think that human extinction or an apocalyptic collapse of human civilisation is likely. Bad enough. Collapse is based on case studies. Some of the case studies are of countries or regions that Diamond knows well.
He has for instance known the Bitterroot Valley of Montana since childhood. He has spent much time in the forests of New Guinea watching birds and knows Australia well. He has tramped the Norse archaeological sites in Greenland, and has visited Iceland and Easter Island. In all cases he has made himself thoroughly familiar with the literature. Rather than cluttering the text with footnotes, Diamond has provided a detailed list of further reading at the end of the book.
From this brief and partial list it will be clear that not all the societies which Diamond deals with have in fact collapsed to date.
Diamond includes a number of well-known classic cases of collapse from the past. I have mentioned Easter Island and Norse Greenland. The latter is a case which obviously fascinates Diamond, and he devotes a great deal of space to it. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways.
Despite our own society s apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana. Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide? Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Survive In Jared Diamond s follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted.
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Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
Add to cart. Quick shop. Celebratory, witty and incredibly insightful, Harry Bingham explores the eccentricities and customs of the British nation in a bid to answer a question which has everyone debating — Who are we? Our society is fragmented and degenerate. Our kids are thugs, our workers ill-educated, our public services abysmal.
We drink too much. Our house prices are crazy, our politicians sleazy, our roads jammed, our football team rubbish. British inventors have been responsible for myriad marvels we now take for granted, from the steam engine to the world wide web. British medical and public health innovations — vaccination, integrated mains sewerage, antiseptic surgery — have saved far more lives than all other medical innovations put together.