Both of his parents were from Ashkenazi Jewish families who had emigrated to the United States. Years later, he would propose to his wife after playing the Brahms Intermezzo in A major for her. While in his twenties he developed a second, parallel, career in ornithology and ecology , specialising in New Guinea and nearby islands. Later, in his fifties, Diamond developed a third career in environmental history and became a professor of geography at UCLA, his current [update] position. Diamond originally specialized in salt absorption in the gall bladder.
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Conclusions[ edit ] In the last chapter, he discusses environmental problems facing modern societies and addresses objections that are often given to dismiss the importance of environmental problems section "One-liner objections" . In the "Further readings" section, he gives suggestions to people who ask "What can I do as an individual? The reason is simple: maximum population, wealth, resource consumption , and waste production mean maximum environmental impact, approaching the limit where impact outstrips resources.
Which of the values that formerly served a society well can continue to be maintained under new changed circumstances? Which of these treasured values must instead be jettisoned and replaced with different approaches? Air pollution caused by industrial plants in China.
Collapse is divided into four parts. Part One describes the environment of the US state of Montana , focusing on the lives of several individuals to put a human face on the interplay between society and the environment. Part Two describes past societies that have collapsed. A recurrent problem in collapsing societies is a structure that creates "a conflict between the short-term interests of those in power, and the long-term interests of the society as a whole. Hvalsey Church climate change, environmental damage, loss of trading partners, hostile neighbors, irrational reluctance to eat fish, chiefs looking after their short-term interests.
Easter Island a society that collapsed entirely due to environmental damage The Polynesians of Pitcairn Island environmental damage and loss of trading partners The Anasazi of southwestern North America environmental damage and climate change The Maya of Central America environmental damage, climate change, and hostile neighbors Finally, Diamond discusses three past success stories: The tiny egalitarian Pacific island of Tikopia The agricultural success of egalitarian central New Guinea The forest management in stratified Japan of the Tokugawa -era, and in Germany.
Part Three examines modern societies, including: The collapse into genocide of Rwanda , caused in part by overpopulation The failure of Haiti compared with the relative success of its neighbor on Hispaniola , the Dominican Republic The problems facing a First World nation, Australia Part Four concludes the study by considering such subjects as business and globalization , and "extracts practical lessons for us today" pp. Specific attention is given to the polder model as a way Dutch society has addressed its challenges and the "top-down" and most importantly "bottom-up" approaches that we must take now that "our world society is presently on a non-sustainable course" p.
The results of this survey are perhaps why Diamond sees "signs of hope" nevertheless and arrives at a position of "cautious optimism" for all our futures. Tim Flannery gave Collapse the highest praise in Science , writing:  While he planned the book, Diamond at first thought that it would deal only with human impacts on the environment.
Instead, what has emerged is arguably the most incisive study of senescing human civilizations ever written. It is probably the most important book you will ever read. First, the reviewer felt Diamond was not optimistic enough about the future. Secondly, the reviewer claimed Collapse contains some erroneous statistics: for instance, Diamond purportedly overstated the number of starving people in the world.
Rees explained this assertion as follows:  Human behaviour towards the ecosphere has become dysfunctional and now arguably threatens our own long-term security.
The real problem is that the modern world remains in the sway of a dangerously illusory cultural myth. Marohasy claims that Diamond reflects a popular view that is reinforced by environmental campaigning in Australia, but is not supported by evidence, and argues that many of his claims are easily disproved.
The fact is, though, that we can be law-abiding and peace-loving and tolerant and inventive and committed to freedom and true to our own values and still behave in ways that are biologically suicidal. While Diamond does not reject the approach of traditional historians, his book, according to Gladwell, vividly illustrates the limitations of that approach. Gladwell demonstrates this with his own example of a recent ballot initiative in Oregon, where questions of property rights and other freedoms were subject to a free and healthy debate, but serious ecological questions were given scant attention.
Archaeologist Karl Butzer wrote, "Current research in historical collapse suggests a primary fascination with climatic change and environmental degradation as primary agents of change, but at the cost of less attention to the necessary cross-disciplinary integration. Indeed, the recent return to environmentalism is not about a fresh interest in the environment—society interface, but a continuing failure to appreciate the complexity of such interrelationships.
At issue is not whether climatic change is relevant for sociohistorical change, but how we can deal more objectively with coupled systems that include a great tapestry of variables, among which climatically triggered environmental change is undeniably important.
Effondrement, le début de la fin
Effondrement, par Jared Diamond