Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

ISBN-10: 0143117009
ISBN-13: 9780143117001
Edition: Revised 
Authors: Jared Diamond
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Description: In this fascinating book, Diamond seeks to understand the fates of past societies that collapsed for ecological reasons, combining the most important policy debate of this generation with the romance and mystery of lost worlds.

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 1/4/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 608
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.474
Language: English

In this fascinating book, Diamond seeks to understand the fates of past societies that collapsed for ecological reasons, combining the most important policy debate of this generation with the romance and mystery of lost worlds.

Jared Mason Diamond is a physiologist, ecologist, and the author of several popular science books. Born in Boston in 1937, Diamond earned his B.A. at Harvard and his Ph.D. from Cambridge. A distinguished teacher and researcher, Diamond is well-known for the columns he contributes to the widely read magazines Natural History and Discover. Diamond's book The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal was heralded for its accessibility and for its blending of science and social science. The interdisciplinary Guns, Germs and Steel--Diamond's examination of the relationship between scientific technology and economic disparity--won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize. Diamond has won a McArthur Foundation Fellowship in addition to several smaller awards for his science and writing.

List of Maps
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
Modern Montana
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 Cooks story
Montana, model of the world
Past Societies
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
Europeans and explanations
Why was Easter fragile?
Easter as metaphor
The Last People Alive: Pitcairn and Henderson Islands
Pitcairn before the Bounty
Three dissimilar islands
Trade
The movie's ending
The Ancient Ones: The Anasazi and Their Neighbors
Desert farmers
Tree rings
Agricultural strategies
Chaco's problems and packrats
Regional integration
Chaco's decline and end
Chaco's message
The Maya Collapses
Mysteries of lost cities
The Maya environment
Maya agriculture
Maya history
Cop�n
Complexities of collapses
Wars and droughts
Collapse in the southern lowlands
The Maya message
The Viking Prelude and Fugues
Experiments in the Atlantic
The Viking explosion
Autocatalysis
Viking agriculture
Iron
Viking chiefs
Viking religion
Orkneys, Shetlands, Faeroes
Iceland's environment
Iceland's history
Iceland in context
Vinland
Norse Greenland's Flowering
Europe's outpost
Greenland's climate today
Climate in the past
Native plants and animals
Norse settlement
Farming
Hunting and fishing
An integrated economy
Society
Trade with Europe
Self-image
Norse Greenland's End
Introduction to the end
Deforestation
Soil and turf damage
The Inuit's predecessors
Inuit subsistence
Inuit/Norse relations
The end
Ultimate causes of the end
Opposite Paths to Success
Bottom up, top down
New Guinea highlands
Tikopia
Tokugawa problems
Tokugawa solutions
Why Japan succeeded
Other successes
Modern Societies
Malthus in Africa: Rwanda's Genocide
A dilemma
Events in Rwanda
More than ethnic hatred
Buildup in Kanama
Explosion in Kanama
Why it happened
One Island, Two Peoples, Two Histories: The Dominican Republic and Haiti
Differences
Histories
Causes of divergence
Dominican environmental impacts
Balaguer
The Dominican environment today
The future
China, Lurching Giant
China's significance
Background
Air, water, soil
Habitat, species, megaprojects
Consequences
Connections
The future
�Mining� Australia
Australia's significance
Soils
Water
Distance
Early history
Imported values
Trade and immigration
Land degradation
Other environmental problems
Signs of hope and change
Practical Lessons
Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?
Road map for success
Failure to anticipate
Failure to perceive
Rational bad behavior
Disastrous values
Other irrational failures
Unsuccessful solutions
Signs of hope
Big Businesses and the Environment: Different Conditions, Different Outcomes
Resource extraction
Two oil fields
Oil company motives
Hardrock mining operations
Mining company motives
Differences among mining companies
The logging industry
Forest Stewardship Council
The seafood industry
Businesses and the public
The World as a Polder: What Does It All Mean to Us Today?
Introduction
The most serious problems
If we don't solve them...
Life in Los Angeles
One-liner objections
The past and the present
Reasons for hope
Afterword: Angkor's Rise and Fall
Questions about Angkor
Angkor's environment
Angkor's rise
The great city
Magnificent engineering
Angkor's decline
Acknowledgments
Further Readings
Index
Illustration Credits

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