// August 2nd, 2005 // Science

I’ve just finished reading Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Survive by Jared Diamond. What a great read it was. The last bit was particularly concerning when he discussed how our present day society will feasibly collapse within 100 years without some major changes.

If the ambition of most Third World residents is to achieve the lifestyle of the First World, we would have 12x the impact on the planet than we do currently. Not many people would say we could achieve that. And even if there was NO Third World, the First World alone is consuming more than it can sustain (along with many Third World resources of course). The most hard-hearted First World may think, well, so everyone in the Third World will suffer and we’ll still be alright – an insane and patently false argument given globalisation today. The only way our society can survive is for the First Worlders to make radical changes to their lifestyles – will we accept this or will we too “collapse”?

It’s actually not that depressing a book – there are reasons for hope – and much interesting stuff to be gleaned through case studies of past societies like Easter Island and the Mayans through to present day examples like Rwanda.

Highly recommended!!

4 Responses to “Collapse?”

  1. rosie says:

    egad! what do I do to change my lifestyle? I use green household products and recycle, is that enough? I also ride a bike, come to think of it I am an upstanding green citizen! but then there’s the hairspray…

  2. Jessie says:

    It sounds similar to a series of radio lectures on National Radio early this year that had me transfixed.

  3. Jessie says:

    Oh dear, what does transfixed even mean? I suspect it’s going to be a difficult day :s

  4. emily says:

    Can you be transfixed by radio? Somehow I imagine it as a visual thing… Now we’re all confused. Good luck with the day ;-)

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