Saturday, 23 March 2013

Book Review: Collapse

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
By Jared M. Diamond (2005)

Professor of Physiology, Geography and Environmental Health Sciences, Jared M. Diamond is famous for his prize-winning popular science books. Throughout Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed Diamond uses a five point framework to examine why past civilisations have failed; environmental damage, climate change, hostile neighbours, trade partners, and responses to environmental change.

Diamond investigates his theme using both ancient and modern examples, from Easter Island and the Mayan civilisation to China and Australia, and draws parallels between these and the current global situation. The book concludes with an eye opening review of the approaches that must be taken to avoid the problems of non-sustainability in the modern-era.

“… Collapse must be taken seriously. It is probably the most important book you will ever read.” Tim Flannery, Science.

By Katherine Dalton, Action 21 volunteer