For the National Geographic documentary, "Collapse," Professor Jared Diamond visited the site of massive cave dwellings sculpted into the cliffs a millenium ago in Chaco Canyon, N.M. You say therea€™s a real possibility that the most advanced countries a€” what you call the First World a€” are going to collapse within the next several decades, depending on the decisions we make. We only have somewhere between 20 and 50 years because wea€™re consuming things so quickly.
Our children are looking at a broad spectrum of possibilities in their futures, depending on how we approach these problems today. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they could end up in a world like Somalia or Haiti a€” impoverished, violent, with a government in a state of collapse. Couldna€™t one argue that the ancient Romans, the Maya, the Anasazi Indians and others whose declines were dramatized in a€?Collapsea€? werena€™t as knowledgeable and sophisticated as we are today? Americans have felt much more vulnerable since the 2008 economic crisis and the fall of financial and real estate markets, banking and some industries. China is the worlda€™s most populous country with the most rapidly growing major economy and rapidly increasing rate of per capita consumption.
It wona€™t work, incidentally, for Americans to tell these countries that their ambitions are going to cause problems and that they should lower their aspirations. Closer to home, you wrote in your 2005 book that Southern California was doing relatively well on a number of measures a€” wealth, mild environmental problems a€” and that the area was not at imminent risk of collapse despite its growing population and terrible traffic. To everybody, things in Southern California look worse than today because they really are worse today.
But the reality is that over the last several decades, the federal government has taken air problems seriously, mandating air quality, getting lead out of gasoline, requiring smog checks on your car.
Finally, even when a problem is recognized, ita€™s in some peoplea€™s interest not to solve it but to maintain it. The biggest grounds for hope is exemplified by the production and broadcast of this documentary, offering people an opportunity to learn from what happened to the Romans, the Maya, the Anasazi and others.
Discover the high-stakes exploits of engineers and construction crews as they race to move the world's largest tunnel boring machine from Germany to Italy, where they will use it to build a mountain superhighway. Film tai li?u nay noi v? chuyen co Air Force One ph?c v? cac T?ng th?ng M? do b?n, m?t trong nh?ng may bay du?c trang b? hi?n d?i nh?t th? gi?i. B? nay theo toi bi?t thi co 3 chi?c la Air Force One va Marine One, d?u ph?c v? t?ng th?ng M?, sub vi?t thi d? ngh? cac bac noi kho v?i bac HoangHon lam vi hinh nhu khong co sub Anh, ph?i nghe va go ra sub vi?t.
The builders, the Anasazi Indians, are one of the collapsed civilizations that Diamond featured in his bestselling book. Wea€™ll run out of the last of our major tropical rainforests in the Amazon and the Congo in less than 20 years. The best-case scenario is that they could enjoy a First-World lifestyle that is even more comfortable than what we enjoy today, with better health, longer lives and more opportunities.
The fall of the Mayan Empire, which was once the most advanced civilization in the New World, had zero affect in Europe or anywhere else.


One way to appreciate the significance of China is to note the fact that the First World is currently operating unsustainably. At least half of our water comes from Northern California and the Colorado River, which runs through Arizona and other states. Ita€™s not that everything is terrible, that California and the United States have made no good decisions. Today, even though Los Angeles has lots more people with far more cars than in the 1950s, the air quality is much better. We need to reduce our oil and energy consumption, and more of our energy has to come from renewable sources. To start with, the first opportunity to make a good decision is to anticipate a problem before it arrives. When global warming started, we didna€™t see it because in the early stages the evidence was equivocal: There was a warming year, then a cooling year, then a warming year a€” it took awhile before the signal became clear. There are people a€” many in industry and some in politics a€” A­who make money by continuing to burn petroleum and who therefore are opposed to measures that would reduce global warming. The Sparvo Tunnel is just one piece of the giant jigsaw that makes up the Variante di Valico ? a brand-new mountain superhighway connecting Bologna to Florence.
Archaeologists are exploring the ruins of a civilization that, just two centuries before, had been the most powerful in the world a€” the United States, now a landscape of crumbling skyscrapers and the skeletal remains of cars, gas pumps and laptop computers. In a few decades, wea€™ll run out of relatively inexpensive, environmentally benign hydrocarbons a€” not that wea€™ll completely run out of oil, but it will be more expensive and environmentally dirtier to dig out.
The population of the world today a€” nearly 7 billion a€” is enormously greater than it was in the days of Rome. Whereas nowadays, when American real estate gets into trouble, it triggers economic setbacks around the world. Think about Somalia, one of the poorest countries in the world with a government in shambles. Even if tomorrow morning everybody in China, Africa and South America were to die, and the only people left alive in the world were those in the First World, the fact would remain that the First World is operating unsustainably, running out of resources very quickly.
The message I draw from this is that if we can solve a complicated, messy problem like air quality, we can solve other complicated, messy problems. We need to reduce our water consumption and our production of greenhouse gases and global warming. 850 a€” leading to a devastating drought a€” they did not have the National Geographic Channel to offer a lesson from the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Nat Geo follows chief engineer Alberto Selleri as he battles to get Italy's most complicated road build underway.
This is the opening scene of a National Geographic Television documentary, to air Saturday, Sept.
In a few decades wea€™ll be using all of the worlda€™s water a€” the First World is using 70 to 80 percent of the worlda€™s freshwater today.


Wea€™ve got more potent destructive technology, from bulldozers that can knock down entire forests to nuclear bombs. Twenty years ago you would have said that Somalia was of no consequence to the United States. I was in college in Boston when a student I met from Los Angeles told me that the city was in the process of solving its air problem. 18, based on the New York Times bestseller, a€?Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeeda€? (Penguin Books, 2005), written by Jared Diamond, professor of physiology and geography.
There are a dozen factors occurring all at once, all of them time bombs with fuses set to go off not far in the future a€” during the lifetimes of my 23-year-old twins. And wea€™re shipping this stuff around the world, whereas the Romans, at best, shipped stuff around the Mediterranean. But today, Somalian pirates desperately travel the seas attacking freighters and cruise ships, tying up 20 percent of international shipping and travel. At present, the Chinese consume things like water, metal and electricity at much lower per capita rates. Because back then, the very idea that humans could heat up the entire globe was ridiculous. A Pulitzer Prizewinning author, he is an eclectic explorer of topics ranging from the birds of New Guinea to societiesa€™ treatment of the elderly worldwide. So today there are tremendously more people in possession of much more destructive technology a€” which means that we are making a mess much faster than the Romans ever could. Wea€™re interconnected today, so if therea€™s a mess in one place, therea€™s a mess in another.
However, if this country of 1.4 billion people catches up, the world will run out of resources even faster. At present, the First World will run out of resources in about 50 years, but it would be only five years if China, India, Africa and South America were all to catch up. But leta€™s put that in perspective: At least 50 cities in China are now building subway systems.
Senior writer Judy Lin sat down with Diamond recently to talk about Americaa€™s possible collapse. There are consequences, among them, Americaa€™s foreign policy, which is being held hostage by our demand for petrol.



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Comments

  1. Aynur1204
    Definitely an choice, but it's one enforcement is stretched thin, you may well.
  2. azercay_dogma_cay
    Children calm and distracted will mistake of Ocean's Eleven, Hardison explains.
  3. Drakon
    Its sole objective in the universe, its the metal frame.