Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Recap: Collapse

Just finished up Jared Diamond's Collapse.  A study on why civilizations fail.   Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel was one of my favorites and really sparked my interest in anthropology.  Sometimes I wonder had I read these gems when I was young, might I have pursued a different course...    Either way.

Collapse was another interesting, thought provoking read.   To summarize, Diamond tries to hypothesize what commonalities are behind the fall of ancient and modern societal failures - including Maya, Easter Island, Greenland, Rawanda and Haiti.   Human impacts on the environment, external enemies, climate change, dysfunctional political and societal beliefs, and loosened ties with friendly neighbors are how Diamond explains the collapse of the societies he studies.

It doesn't take a whole lot of reading between the lines to understand that Diamond is warning us about our ultimate demise should we not start to pay attention.  The world, as it exists today, is simply not sustainable.  We cannot keep extracting resources, polluting the air, water and soil, and maintaining the status quo and think that this will not lead to our eventual and inevitable demise.   That said, there are steps we can take to lessen our environmental impact, stay progressive in our views, support environmentally conscious corporations and in general, just realize that we are not invincible, our actions cause reactions and the future is depending on us.   Let us not leave people 1000 years from now asking the same we ask of the Easter Islanders, "how could they not foresee what they were doing to themselves?"

Method, Patagonia, and Seventh Generation rank among the most environmentally compatible corporations that we have easy access to - let's support them.  


(the rain which made up for my forgetfulness when it comes to watering our garden, mom - for always being such a willing and able personal shopper for J, dad - for introducing us to so much good music)