In the last weeks I focused a little bit more on energy and waste issues, but today I’d like to write something about development.
As you know the RESD (Resource economics and Sustainable Development) Course that promotes this blog is also giving a good understanding on how development can be sustainable. And one of the most famous handbooks that handles this topic is the book “Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” by Jared Diamond, written in 2005 and from there on periodically updated with new data.
This book was a huge success when
it came out but it is still a very good piece of work when it comes to analyze in a scientifically coherent way the complex dynamics within societies all over the world. But the nicest fact is that it easy to read and very well written, sometimes you have to laugh out loud.
Till now I read trough the first 600 pages out of 1300 and I would like to share with you some thoughts on the first part of the book.
What Diamond does is to explain with past and current examples of societies how they interact with the environment they are living in, the climate, energy shortages, trade ecc.
The main reasons for societies to fail are deforestation and habitat destruction, soil problems like erosion, water management problems, overuse of natural resources, overpopulation and even increased per-capita impact of people. Diamond says Easter Island provides the best historical example of a societal collapse in isolation.
I would strongly recommend you to read this amazing book, if you are interested in topics like sustainability, resource usage and all kinds of problems that come with it!