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Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed Jared Diamond Part Four: Practical Lessons, Ch 14-16. Presented by: Melanie Swan, Futurist MS Futures Group 650-681-9482 m@melanieswan.com http://www.melanieswan.com. NIH BCIG June 22, 2006. Overview.

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collapse how societies choose to fail or succeed jared diamond part four practical lessons ch 14 16

Collapse:How Societies Choose to Fail or SucceedJared DiamondPart Four: Practical Lessons, Ch 14-16

Presented by: Melanie Swan, FuturistMS Futures Group650-681-9482m@melanieswan.comhttp://www.melanieswan.com

NIH BCIG

June 22, 2006

overview
Overview
  • Ch 14: Why do some societies make disastrous decisions?
  • Ch 15: Big businesses and the environment: different conditions, different outcomes
  • Ch 16: The world as a polder: what does it all mean to us today?
    • Tipping point choices: societal and individual
    • What can I as an individual do?
  • Summary
ch 14 why do some societies make disastrous decisions
Ch 14: Why do some societies make disastrous decisions?
  • Failure to anticipate
  • Failure to perceive that a problem has arisen
  • Rational bad behavior (ISEP)
    • Conflicts of interest between elites and the masses
  • Disastrous societal values
    • Religion
  • Irrational failures
  • Unworkable solutions
  • Poor leadership
    • Isolated elites
ch 15 big businesses and the environment different conditions different outcomes
Ch 15: Big businesses and the environment: different conditions, different outcomes
  • Resource extraction
  • Non-renewable: depletion and damage from extraction
    • Oil: Pertamina (Indonesia) vs. Chevron (Papua New Guinea)
    • Hardrock mining
  • Renewable: sustainable harvest strategies are possible
    • Logging and the Forest Stewardship Council
    • Seafood and the Marine Stewardship Council
  • Conclusion
    • Public is responsible for the behavior of big

business (short supply chains help)

ch 16 the world as a polder what does it all mean to us today
Ch 16: The world as a polder: what does it all mean to us today?
  • The most serious problems
    • Loss of natural resources
      • Half world’s forests gone
    • Ceilings on energy, freshwater and photosynthesis
    • Harmful substances: chemicals, species and gases
    • Increase in human population
  • The past and the present are different
  • Reasons for hope
    • Problems are human-caused and not intractable
    • Problem stage is perceptible not crisis-level
    • Globalization
    • Increasing public environmental

thinking worldwide

tipping point choices societal and individual
Tipping point choices: societal and individual
  • Long-term planning
    • Successful: US air pollutant reduction, Asian tropical diseases and China, Bangladesh family planning
  • Willingness to reconsider core values
    • Unsuccessful: Norse did not rethink European, Christian, pastoral
    • Successful: Tikopia Islanders expunged pigs, Britain and France as former world powers, Japan abandoned military tradition, Russia abandoned communism
    • Can the US forsake isolationism and consumerism?
what can i as an individual do
What can I as an individual do?
  • Politically
    • Vote
    • Communicate thoughts to legislative leaders once a month
  • Economically
    • Buy or don’t buy as a consumer
      • Example: demand for FSC-certified wood products exceeds supply
    • Be an activist (embarrassment more powerful than force)
    • Vacation in environmentally-principled locales
  • Socially
    • Dialogue these issues in your social circles
  • Philanthropically
    • Support environmental causes (FSC, WWF,

Zero Population Growth, Trout Unlimited, etc.)

summary
Summary
  • Societies have made and still make poor decisions regarding environmental resources for many reasons
  • Big business is the lever for extracting environmental resources and must be governed by the public
  • Humanity rapidly advancing on a non-sustainable course
    • Resource consumption dramatically exceeds replacement and full demand is understated
  • As societies and individuals, we must engage in long-term planning and (painfully) rethinking of core values
thank you

Thank you

Melanie Swan, FuturistMS Futures Group650-681-9482m@melanieswan.comhttp://www.melanieswan.com

NIH BCIG

June 22, 2006

Licensing: Creative Commons 3.0