EVSS 680 CofC Fall 2010. Case Studies of env Issues. Agenda. Survey Talk about papers Lecture/discussion End of Earth Days. Comparative History: Role of Environment (Diamond). Part I. Diamond, “The Last Americans” and Collapse.
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8 Factors Contributing to Past Societal Decline/Collapse
4 other ‘new’ factors may contribute to social decline (in future):
Social Triumph at a Price:
Per capita, the world economy has grown 120 fold since 1500; yet, individual (avg) income has grown only 9 fold.
Global Energy Use in 1800: 250m (metric tons of oil equivalent)
Global Energy Use in 1900: 800m
Global Energy Use in 2000: 10,000m
1. Econ Growth: Exponential increased economic growth & living stnds (because of ↑ pop, ↑ tech)
2. Environmental Harm: Increases in widespread environmental degradation (from burning of fossil fuels for energy consumption & waste)
3. Inequality: Modern expansion, while liberating to many, brought severe inequality
Total Extremely/Very Sure 44
Total Somewhat/Not Sure At All 55
What do you think will be the most serious problem facing the world in the future if nothing is done to stop it?
Ef = Hectares Affected per capita
1972 Projections: Limits
2004 Projections: Limits