File Size: 8557 KB
Print Length: 626 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (January 4, 2011)
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
For example , if people attempted to colonize an area that experienced poor soil, that would lead to a variety of problems for the society. The fields there would only be fit for farming or creature raising for a couple of years before the resources were used up, and it would take a very long time for them to grow again due to poor soil quality. This would imply growing food would have to take place on the very small scale, limiting resources greatly and increasing the chance of starvation. The poor soil would also business lead to slow tree development, meaning that if a society wasn’t careful then they would use up their lumber supply quicker than they can grow it again, minus wood a society will risk failure because of to lack of products. Therefore, poor environment quality as well as quick exhaustion of the countries resources helped cause the collapse of any number of societies in the previous.
Why would communities of the past excessive use their natural resources so fast? Couldn’t they see that their ways of life were destroying the landscape? Diamond answers questions such as these, explaining that while it’s easy for us in the future to see what the problems were, they weren’t so clear for those colonizing the land at the time. Many of the societies that collapsed happened to first negotiate their while the land was at its best, when the soil was abundant and the climate was good for growing, and a time that will not last. The settlers made their homes there and took good thing about the prosperous times, thinking that that was how life always was in that atmosphere. However, when the climate changed back to the poorer state of being, the settlers were unsuspecting for the rapid degradation of their environment and experienced a tragic collapse. So the settlers of those collapsed societies didn’t always exhaust their soils and cut down all of their trees purposely or out of greed, rather it was due to an unexpected change of events for them that left them unprepared for a harsher climate than the one they were used to.
Diamond also discusses modern day societies, those which have been with us for generations and may or may not continue to live on in the future. Types of such societies range from the lowly populated areas of Montana to the bustling and highly infected cities of China. Strenuous the soil and other resources of the environment is not simply a problem of the past, but rather it lives on today as prevalent as ever before. Resources such as olive oil, fish and wood are becoming scarce in some areas which will business lead to problems in the future if not soon treated with. Environmental degradation because of to abuse by big businesses is a problem at home and overseas. Air pollution from cities and industry are starting to cause problems on a global size, creating for a need to act to avoid potential collapse.
The health of the environment today lies in the fingers of presidency, businesses and public opinion. Governments have the power to create rules about how precisely the environment can be used or maintained in order to stop resource depletion. Businesses have the choice to abuse the surroundings around them or try their utmost to remain a clean company. Public thoughts and opinions helps condition the ideas of both government and big business, since the people are the ones symbolized in governments and big businesses will have to listen to their paying customers if they wish to stay profitable. Consequently, the well-being of the environment rests in the hands of the people and the decisions. By being informed about the resources that they use and how those resources are obtained and created, the people will have the ability to make good choices to support environmentally sound practices that will bring about the betterment of society and conditions all around the world.
I personally think that Gemstone did a good job in explaining his facts, keeping the reader both well informed and thinking about what he was saying. While some of what Gemstone writes could come off as pessimistic, he is merely wanting to portray facts about what has happened in the past and what is occurring today. Their bleak descriptions of fact are not meant to simply scare the reader into believing that the world to be sure it is meant for collapse, but rather that people in today’s society just need to be aware with how we treat kinds of living conditions. Diamond takes time to mention the great things that modern society has been doing today to improve our situation, showing that there is still plenty of good news and still wish for the human competition.
Overall, Diamond does well in educating the reader about collapsed societies of the past. Not only will he go into detail in explaining what aspects of a society went wrong and led to the eventual collapse, but this individual also takes time to compare the collapsed communities to similar societies that managed to thrive. By doing this, he not only discusses what doesn’t work, but also what does work in a society. This extra detail in his writing succeeds in further educating the reader about societal success.
In conclusion, Jared Diamond’s book Collapse does a reasonable job in explaining the environmental problems of the other day and today, and how they have resulted in problems in different societies around the world, ranging from pollution to the complete collapse of a society. This well-written publication describes the good and the bad in our world and tells the reader exactly what can be done to alter the course of our societies to enable them to avoid the risk of potential failure or serious environmental issues such as land degradation or the exhaustion of natural resources. With the knowledge gained from this book, the readers can make educated choices that will help the bigger picture of society by assisting businesses that are environmentally friendly and avoid the support of practices which may harm the environment further. With the knowledge from this book people can condition our society today so that it can prevent the risk of collapse in the future., A brilliant review of historical errors that destroyed and annihilated nations around the world. A clear unambiguous warning about the colossal worldwide blunders our world market leaders and their nations are heading towards as humans overpopulate, overheat, over-garbage, and over-deplete our only earth., Anyone who considers by themselves an engaged Citizen of Planet Earth needs to read this book. Right after I read it I abandoned any hope that governments were going to resolve the problems of Our World, and started to take action myself to produce a positive difference. These tales of past failed civilizations are a shocking prompt that governments are pathetically impotent when it comes to helping the communities they govern escape extinction., I admit I was biased before I even started reading this work. I wanted to know about Easter Island and the Greenland Norse. The other failed societies were of marginal interest in my opinion. Sure I read about Montana, the Anasazi, and the Maya, while missing over Rwanda, Dominican Republic/Haiti, and Australia. The chapters on China and Pitcairn/Henderson Islands were, however, interesting (the latter especially in the context of Easter Island).
But it is into the two areas on Easter and the Greenland Norse that you can tell the author has poured his soul. These people really stick out in what I read with this publication - most of it - and perhaps for the history-interested layman they are the most interesting chapters to read. I'm uncertain if the author presents something radically new, but what he does do, which is to give the place reader with a good overview of the present facts and findings on both mysteries - he will very well. I feel I am now upwards to speed with some of the latest research into the disappearances of civilized society on Easter and in Norse Greenland. Nowhere else have I seen such useful and up-to-date general/overall accounts of the state of research into those two former communities. It's really required reading for anyone who has an desire for either. Not only does the creator present us with - during the time of writing - the latest research, he also considers many pertinent issues himself and comes to his own conclusions. Is actually as if he required all the latest conclusions on Easter and Greenland and put them into an comprehensive, accessible, and useful/relevant perspective. What a great place then to start out your readings into these two societies.
The essential point about Easter is that the local chiefs spent the resources of the island on mutual competition and self-aggrandizement. The society failed to come together and pool the knowledge and resources. Experienced it done so, and had it exercized greater forethought and caution as do some of the other societies presented in the book (e. g. the Japan of the daimyo), it might well have survived a deal longer.
The conclusions the creator draws on the Greenland Norse are uniquely fascinating. In short, he places their eventual collapse down to the following issues:
1) The Norse failed to hunt the ringed finalizes, fish and whales that the Inuit did, they thus deprived themselves of very important sources of winter protein
2) The Norse clung to their European, Christian, and Norwegian identity, values and heritage, and finally did not adapt to their new surroundings - when the little Ice Age showed up they were undone
3) The Norse scorned the Inuit and failed to copy their ways or learn from them
4) Power in Norse Greenlandic society was in the hands of the chiefs and the clergy. These institutions a new vested interest in maintaining their own power and prestige inspite of developments that could have proven beneficial for Norse Greenlandic society as a whole
The chapters concluding the book regarding why societies fail or succeed and what we can learn from them today certainly have their value, even if the points made are at times just a little self-evident.
For any reader thinking about the two "failed" societies mentioned above, plus many others, you could hardly find a better destination to commence than here. Top marks to Jared Diamond., Scary but very insightful book. I never realized how close we are to collapsing as a human society, and will be spending far more effort on ensuring I and people around me live a sustainable life and get ready for the future.
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