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The Major Works of Jared Diamond

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					The Major Works of
  Jared Diamond


A Sustainable Agriculture
     Book Review
  By Cortney Barackman
Jared Diamond
Works Reviewed


 Guns, Germs and Steel:
  The Fates of Human Societies
 Collapse:
  How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

 Ants, Crops and History
 The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
What is Guns, Germs and
Steel all about?
 An examination of human history for the
  past 13,000 years.
 History of agriculture


 Why has the history of Eurasians
  proved to be so different from the
  history of other peoples?
        Why Eurasia???

 Diamond contends the answer is largely
  environmental.
 11,000 BC -people on all continents
  were equal
 The ultimate differences which
  emerged… guns, germs and steel
11,000 BC- The Agricultural Revolution
Hunter/Gatherers          vs.     Farmers
 Healthier diet             More food available
 More diversified diet      Higher population
 Egalitarian social
                              density
  structure                  Hierarchical social
                              structure
                             More disease
     Factors for Domestication
            Plants                &         Animals
 Edible wild ancestors                Late-Pleistocene Extinctions
                                       Anna Karenina Principle
 High yields
                                       Diet
 Ease of growing
                                       Growth Rate
 Quick growth/ harvest
                                       Problems of Captive
 Easy storage                          Breeding
 Self-Pollinating                     Nasty Disposition
 Wild ancestors require little        Tendency to Panic
   genetic change                      Social Structure
Continental Axes & Diffusion
 Day-Length is crucial factor for plants
 Day-Length is determined by latitude
 Crop diffusion is easier/ quicker laterally
 Eurasia is on east- west axis
 Africa & Americas on north-south axis
 Ergo: Rapid crop diffusion across
  Eurasia
          Conclusions:
      Guns, Germs and Steel
 The differences in the histories of the
  earth’s people are not due to innate
  differences in the people themselves,
  but differences in their environments.
What is Collapse all about?
 Uses ecology, biology, archeology, linguistics
  to understand history
 Looks towards the future and implications
  from past lessons


 Examines the mainly ecological
  collapses of past civilizations to
  understand our current situation.
    Five-Point Framework:
   Major Causes of Collapse

 Environmental Damage
 Climate Change
 Hostile Neighbors
 Friendly Trade Partners
 Societal Response to Environmental
 Problems
            Easter Island
 DEFORESTATION!!
 - isolation
 - high latitude
 - low rainfall
Anasazi

      Deforestation
      Arroyo Cutting
      Water Depletion
      Climate Change
      Internal Trade
Bitterroot Valley, Montana
       Mining
       Deforestation
       Soil Depletion & Quality
       Water Depletion & Quality
              Serious
       Environmental Problems
Loss of natural      Fossil Fuel       Alien species
habitats             Depletion         (“invasive”)

Loss of wild foods   Freshwater        Atmospheric gasses
(especially fish)    Depletion

Decreased            Ceiling of        Human population
biodiversity         photosynthetic    growth
                     capacity

Soil Loss            Toxic chemicals   Ecological impact of
                                       humans
 PROJECT CONCLUSIONS:

 Guns, Germs and Steel & Collapse
 Both of these books were fascinating
 and packed full of valuable information
 from the past and for the future.
 MUST READ FOR ALL!!!

				
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posted:7/11/2011
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