7 Myths About Green Jobs
Civil Society Report on Climate Change
Chile: A Dynamic Water Market
The Cochabamba “Water War”: An Anti-Privatisation Poster Child?
The Stern Review Oxonia Papers: A Critique
Which Policy to Address Climate Change? – PDF
Energy and Environment Volume 16: No.3&4
Reviews of Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed by Jared Diamond
In his latest book, Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed, Jared Diamond attempts to provide a scientific account of the causes of societal collapse: “This book employs the comparative method to understand societal collapse to which environmental problems contribute … I compare many past and present societies that differed with respect to environmental fragility, relations with neighbours, political institutions, and other “input” variables postulated to influence a society’s stability. The “output” variables that I examine are collapse or survival, and form of the collapse if a collapse does occur. By relating output variables to input variables, I aim to tease out the influence of possible input variables on collapses.” (18)
In so doing, he seeks to identify lessons for improving the chances that humanity will avoid or better cope with future calamities. Given this objective, five questions seem pertinent:
First, how accurate is Diamond’s portrayal of the demise of the societies he describes (both those that collapsed and those that did not)?
Second, how plausible are the reasons Diamond gives for societal collapse and sustainability?
Third, how systematic is Diamond in his application of the rules that he derives?
Fourth, to the extent that Diamond identifies lessons for current societies, to what extent does he apply those lessons appropriately?
Fifth, what alternative theories might better explain past collapses and offer lessons for societal sustainability? In this special edition of Energy and Environment, several experts evaluate specific aspects of Collapse in order to provide some tentative answers to these questions.
Confuse: How Jared Diamond Fails to Convince – PDF
Diamond in the Rough – PDF
Human Progress – and Collapse? – PDF
Australia’s Undergoing Environmental Renewal, Not Collapse – PDF
Montana – A Modern Paradigm for Collapse? – PDF
From Genocide to Ecocide: The Rape of Rapa Nui – PDF
Vision Through a Narrow Lens – PDF
Jared Diamond and the Terrible Toos – PDF