Rebecca Gonzalez April 30, 2012 Geography Honors Mrs.

Deturk Period 1

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed By Jared Diamond

<http://edge. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Asia. and Australia. and The Third Chimpanzee. He then compares the problems that contributed to the collapses of those past societies to the problems in modern societies such as the Dominican Republic and Haiti. however. South America. Throughout the book. Australia. Diamond has won many . Diamond covers the collapses of many past societies from Easter Island to the Maya cities. Jared Diamond is a professor of Geography at the University of California. "Jared Diamond | Profile at Edge. 2006. New York: Penguin. he has also written books such as>. The Third Sex. Part 1 The book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond was the first informative novel I have ever read. Web. Los Angeles. Germs. we can learn to recognize and react to the problems in our society before we collapse as well. after reading this book I may consider reading more non-fiction books. Most of the books that I have read were fiction. He started his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography.2 Citations Diamond." Edge : Conversations on the Edge of Human Knowledge. He has been on seventeen expeditions to New Guinea and the islands around it to study ecology and the evolution of birds as well as other field projects in North America. Africa. Print. 2012. and Steel: the fates of human societies. and Africa. Jared M. By reading Diamond’s book. Along with Collapse. 28 Apr.

may or may not prove significant for a particular society. the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Japan’s Cosmos Prize. a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. hostile neighbors. environmental problems. The fifth set of factors. overpopulation. and friendly trade partners. The five major contributors to the collapse of a society. hostile neighbors. Some of the environmental issues that were mentioned in the novel include deforestation and habitat destruction. water management problems.always proves significant. He states that “Four of those sets of factors. pollution and energy shortages.3 awards including the National Medal of Science. and the Lewis Thomas Prize presented by the Rockefeller University (the edge. Later on in the book Diamond describes the factors that contribute to bad decision making. An excellent example of this is the mess that the British caused by introducing foxes and rabbits from Britain to Australia (Diamond. or the five-point framework that Diamond talks about includes climate change. The first factor is that a group may fail to perceive a problem before it arrives. problems with the soil. non-native species being introduced to an environment. climate change. 11).the society’s responses to its environmental problems.environmental damage. The second factor is that .” (Diamond. the collapse of important trade Part 2 What is the most interesting issue/fact that you learned? Why? One of the most interesting things that I learned while reading this book was the number of issues that our society has in common with the collapsed societies that Diamond wrote about. and failure to adapt to environmental changes( Diamond. 421). overhunting and overfishing. 11).

The second reason for failure to perceive a problem after it arrives is distant managers. One frequent type of bad “rational behavior is “good for me. The fourth and final factor that contributes to bad decision making is that they may try to solve it but may not succeed (Diamond. As a result. There are three reasons for this. Many of the reasons for this kind of failure fall under “rational behavior”. A prime example of “creeping normalcy” in modern times is global warming (Diamond. the largest private landowner and timber company in Montana today is not based within the state. it is also interesting. The third factor is that when a society does perceive a problem. The last reason is called “creeping normalcy”. I believe that everyone can benefit somewhat by reading this book.4 when the problem does arrive. The first reason is that the origins of some problems are just imperceptible. 421). the company may not realize that they have a major weed problem in their forest properties (Diamond. This book is full of information that can be valuable and help us protect our society from a potential collapse. 427). 425). Jared Diamond’s book is not only informative. He has brought to my attention the many issues that are present in today’s societies and has demonstrated how much we can learn by studying past societies. bad for you and for everybody else” like when fishermen who preferred to fish for pike instead of trout introduced pike to Montana lakes which destroyed the trout population and trout fishing (Diamond. they fail to attempt to solve it. For example. Would you recommend this book to other students interested in the subject matter? Why or why not? I would definitely recommend this book to other students that have an interest in the subject. . 424). the group may fail to perceive it.

525). One basis for hope is that realistically. Another basis for hope is the diffusion of environmental thinking among the public around the world. Collapse. is both interesting and informative. we do not have any insoluble problems. Diamond states that he does see grounds for hope for our societies though. And the final reason for hope is that past societies didn’t have archeologists or television so they couldn’t know of some of the problems they were causing (Diamond. and Henderson and compares their issues with the issues of today’s societies. .5 Jared Diamond’s book. Pitcairn. Collapse is a great read and I highly recommend it. He examines the collapses of many past societies like the Anasazi.

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