- The Boston Globe
To all of you who haven't read this book yet, I strongly recommend you do. The authors research makes it hard not to wonder if we are on the same path as the many societies who didn’t survive. Combine this with our global economy and the scenario is even scarier. The key reason this book had a bigger impact on me then a lot of the other info I’ve read about the state of our environment is it wasn't written from a one sided point of view, the worlds coming to end, over-exaggerated perspective that many of the environmental books seem to be. Instead the author uses scientific/archeological examples of societies that have succeeded and have failed, building a strong case all the while being an extremely interesting read as he walks you through the history and cultures of multiple civilizations current and past.
Through this book the author analyzes civilizations/settlements such as; Easter Island and what seemed like a plentiful land when first settled, also exploring its many mysteries; The Polynesians and how the majority of their small and large settlements survived but the medium sized ones such as the Pitcairn Islands didn’t; The Anasazi’s in North America failing to survive in the South Western States with some of the most advance agricultural and political structures of the time; The Maya's collapse; The Norse Vikings settling in Greenlans and their inability to survive there while the Inuit did; Papa New Guinea and how they’ve succeed to survive for almost 3200yrs as a society, however the current involvement of western cultures will make it’s development interesting to follow over the next 10 to 20yrs; The Genocides in Rawanda and why it happened; A comparison of why the Dominican Republics environment, political structure, international trade and history of civil war are much more favorable then Haiti's while being on the same small island; China’s significance and its consequence leaving the largest environmental footprint on earth and what will happen if the reach current first world standards of living; The Australians and their current dependence on trade partners as their population is currently above a self sustainable level. Ultimately he tires to answer the questions of why and how these disastrous decisions are made and how we can avoid making the same mistakes repeated so many times in the past.
So do yourself a favor pick up a copy of this book to educate yourselves on some of the risks and challenges that face our society in 21st century which is bound to influence your views on our current situation.