The main theme of this lengthy and substantial book is that human beings invariably leave too great a footprint and that, given current human population levels, we've now just about infested the entire planet with nowhere else to go (barring substantial advances in space travel and better opportunities out there). As Jared Diamond shows again and again, through a large number of fairly well documented and examined examples, human societies tend to consume the environments in which they are established. … more
I am currently in the commercial construction field but when I'm not working for a paycheck, I enjoy reading, making music, cooking, and exploring anything there is too explore. I love new experiences … more
Consider the Source
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What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the prehistoric Polynesian culture of Easter Island to the formerly flourishing Native American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya, the doomed medieval Viking colony on Greenland, and finally to the modern world, Diamond traces a pattern of catastrophe, spelling out what happens when we squander our resources, when we ignore the signals our environment gives us.
Table of Contents:
Prologue : a tale of two farms -- Two farms -- Collapses, past and present -- Vanished Edens? -- A five-point framework -- Businesses and the environment -- The comparative method -- Plan of the book -- pt. 1. Modern Montana -- 1. Under Montana's big sky -- Stan Falkow's story -- Montana and me -- Why begin with Montana? -- Montana's economic history -- Mining -- Forests -- Soil -- Water -- Native and non-native species -- Differing visions -- Attitudes towards regulation -- Rick Laible's story -- Chip Pigman's story -- Tim Huls's story -- John Cook's story -- Montana, model of the world -- pt. 2. Past societies -- 2. Twilight at Easter -- The quarry's mysteries -- Easter's geography and history -- People and food -- Chiefs, clans, and commoners -- Platforms and statues -- Carving, transporting, erecting -- The vanished forest -- Consequences for society -- ...