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Alexander Duran Society & Environmental Transformations Professor Gareau 1-31-14 Week Three Critical Analysis The trend

of the articles this week was debunking the ideas that the environment is what caused the fall of governments, that the enrichment of agriculture hindered society, and that Dark Ages within history represented not just a loss of human potential, but a regeneration of the environment. William Thompson proposes that environmental deterioration might have occurred at the same time as social problems developed in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Three cases for the intertwining of the two are: "linking water scarcity problems systematically to conflict, the fall of governmental regimes, and the collapse of trading regimes" (Thompson 164). Access to larger water resources such as the Nile meant agriculture would prosper along with development of irrigation channels, which would lead to temples and cities being well established as a result near the river. Trade and religion grew as well. As cities began to grow, conflicts between people outside of the city structure and those in it increased in intensity. The Climate hypothesis makes the connection between decreasing water levels that occurred when the climate was shifting towards being warm and dry during those lower water periods. Drought would cause the government to reevaluate resources, which would impact the people's view of the legitimacy of the government. The article reveals that climate change did not necessary show an increase in government collapse, but just of trading networks. Increased fighting happened to occur when river levels decreased. The findings of the article are that there is a correlation between climate degrading and increased fighting, lack of water happened at the same time as governments were collapsing. Although it is difficult to prove that one led to the other, the correlation of the two suggests that changes in the environment played a role in changes in society.

Duran 2 Shifting towards Jared Diamonds positive perspective of hunter-gather, a shift occurs in the archaic ways of understanding lifestyles before and after agriculture. The progressive view towards Hunter-Gathers is that the world has been made into a better place since the shift in agriculture. Industry has grown and diets have become enriched as a result in the modern age. As archaeologists explore, the diets of Hunter-Gather's is much better than expected. There is more time for leisure with "the average time devoted to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen" (Moore 117). Their protein intake along with diversity in plants signified that they would not have died from starvation like the Irish did in the Potato Famine where millions died as a result. One of the more surprising elements is that height decreased with the introduction of agriculture in Illinois. This shift included anemia and dental problems that were not at as high in Hunter-Gathers. Lastly, Sing Chews article notes that the environment goes through three to five year century revivals that are not always inline with political degradations. Like in Thompsons article, Chew acknowledges that although the environment is being affected by an every growing society, the environment still goes through its own stages of regeneration during Dark Ages where mankind was falling apart politically or going through political changes. I agreed with Thompsons perspective that as drought and other environmental hazards impacted a society that the people would lose faith in their government in taking action to prevent or deal with the hazard. I think back towards Hurricane Katrina where the American people clearly saw how inadequate the government was in dealing with a natural disaster. Diamonds example of how carbohydrate rich diet led to anemia and dental cavities was believable as I experienced similar health problems due to eating that kind of diet. A lifestyle change towards more green vegetables and smaller meat portions with eggs has helped me to avoid anemia and cavities. It was surprising to hear that Hunter-Gathers had a similar diet.

Duran 3 Works Cited Chew, Sing C.. The Recurring Dark Ages: Ecological Stress, Climate Changes, and System Transformation. Lanham: Altamira Press, 2007. Print. Hornborg, Alf. The World System and the Earth System Global Socioenvironmental Change and Sustainability since the Neolithic. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2007. Print. Moseley, William G., David A. Lanegran, and Kavita Pandit. "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race." The introductory reader in human geography: contemporary debates and classic writings. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Pub., 2007. 115-121. Print.