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Reply #2: His logic is impeccable. We're in trouble, folks. [View All]

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GAspnes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-23-05 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. His logic is impeccable. We're in trouble, folks.
Edited on Sun Jan-23-05 12:09 AM by GAspnes
The first example he gave to illustrate the sorts of problems communities accumulate was the American State of Montana. Not many years ago, it was one of the wealthiest in America, wealth based on copper mining, forestry and agriculture. Now it's very poor. Mining has gone, leaving terrible environmental damage, 70% of the children in Montana are on Food Aid, logging and farming are in decline. What happened was that the mining, forestry and agriculture which earned so much wealth, became destructive. Montana now has terrible forest fires, desalinization, erosion, weeds and animal diseases, and population decline.

Jared Diamond: If Montana were an isolated country, Montana would be in a state of collapse. Montana is not going to collapse, because it's supported by the rest of the United States, and yet other societies have collapsed in the past, and are collapsing now or will collapse in the future, from problems similar to those facing Montana. The same problems that we've seen throughout human history, problems of water, forests, topsoil, irrigation, desalinization, climate change, erosion, introduced pests and disease and population; problems similar to those faced by Montanans today are the ones posing problems in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Australia, Nepal, Ethiopia and so on. But those countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan etcetera have the misfortune not to be embedded within a rich country that supports them, like the United States.

That about covers it. And, as he says, each of those problems has be addressed. Miss one, and the others won't hold us up.
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