Collapse can have many different meanings, although the one meaning that defines “Collapse” by Jared Diamond, is as follows: Collapse: to suddenly lose force, significance, effectiveness, or worth. Diamond tries to answer the question, “What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?” Diamond explains five main points on how societies chose to be successful or fail, and provides what he believes to be twelve environmental problems today. He also presents what might have been environmental faults of earlier civilizations and how they weakened the society, to compare with how civilizations now are falling apart. Diamond uses the Bitterroot Valley of Montana as his first example of a collapsed society. He explains how Bitterroot Valley is beautiful, fresh, and breathtaking, but besides its looks, it has many issues regarding the environment. For example, Diamond explains, “The Bitterroot Valley presents a microcosm of the environmental problems plaguing the rest of the United States: increasing population, immigration, increasing scarcity and decreasing quality of water, locally and seasonally poor air quality, toxic wastes, heightened risks from wildfires, forest deterioration, losses of soil or of its nutrients, losses of biodiversity, damage from introduced pest species, and effects of climate change.” Diamond points out that Native Americans arrived in Montana 13,000 years ago and had no independent elements of agriculture because there were not any native wild plants and animal species allowing them domestication, which could also be an element to Diamond’s theory of past civilizations taking a part in how certain environments are today. Diamond uses Easter Island as an example of collapse due to environment; it is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. In earlier times it was known for environmental overexploitation. Easter Island completely collapsed because...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document