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Famed Social Sciences Author Jared Diamond Predicts 49 Percent Chance of Civilization Collapse


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Famed Social Sciences Author Jared Diamond Predicts 49 Percent Chance of Civilization Collapse
02-26-2009, 05:36 PM,
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Famed Social Sciences Author Jared Diamond Predicts 49 Percent Chance of Civilization Collapse
Famed Social Sciences Author Jared Diamond Predicts 49 Percent Chance of Civilization Collapse


(NaturalNews) Jared Diamond is no doom-and-gloomer; he's a Pulitzer Prize winning author of thoughtful, carefully researched books about the rise and fall of societies. Diamond is best known for Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (http://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Soci...) and Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-St...), both of which are among my top-recommended books of all time.

When you read these books, you'll quickly realize that Diamond is perhaps the world's top expert on what might be called the "holistic, interdependent nature of complex societies." Rather than limiting his perspective to immediate, short-term actions and consequences (as most national leaders and corporations do), Diamond intelligently examines the long-term, interdependent factors that lead to any society's success or failure.

I've personally read both of Diamond's books mentioned above, and they have strongly influenced my own views about the future (or lack thereof) of western civilization. What Diamond and I both agree on is that complex civilizations are quite fragile, and short-terming thinking can easily doom a society or civilization to irreversible collapse. (Another interesting book to read on this subject, although it's quite technical and a bit older, is The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter.)

Collapse can come from many vectors. Many collapses are environmental, such as the collapse of the Anasazi Indians in North America or the collapse of the Tiwanaku in South America (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiwanaku).

Other causes of collapse include man-made accelerations of environmental change; the classic example being the rampant deforestation of Easter Island by its inhabitants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter...).

It is the Easter Island example that perhaps most closely resembles the short-sightedness of modern western civilization. At the expense of future generations, today's CEOs, bankers and politicians are destroying our future in so many ways (financial, chemical, environmental, plundering of fossil fuels, etc.) that it is a challenge to imagine a scenario where western civilization even survives in its current form.

Jared Diamond, in fact, has publicly declared he sees only a 51 percent chance of western civilization surviving. You can hear this from his own mouth in this video interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnZg...

Peak Oil and other threats to human civilization
This is no casual number-tossing game from a newbie. Jared Diamond has studied the success and failure of world societies more closely than anyone living today. He describes himself as "cautiously optimistic" but worries that the outlandish financial decisions being made by the world's leaders have put us all in a precarious position from which western civilization may not emerge intact.

In my own view, the financial challenges facing our world are, indeed, quite severe. And they may yet bring down the entire global banking system. But in the medium term, I see Peak Oil as being the far greater threat to the continuation of human civilization as we know it. Cheap, plentiful fossil fuels discovered in the last hundred years (or so) spurred a food bubble, which led to a population bubble. Cheap oil, in other words, created the temporary conditions necessary to support a runaway population explosion that is, without question, unsustainable without cheap energy.

http://www.naturalnews.com/025662.html
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Famed Social Sciences Author Jared Diamond Predicts 49 Percent Chance of Civilization Collapse - --- - 02-26-2009, 05:36 PM

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