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Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Ostrich Confesses

If "Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed " were new it would be easy to recommend. Books this well organized, meticulously researched, and educational don't come along frequently.

But the semi-hopeful conclusion of Jared Diamond's 2005 masterwork - partly predicated on a belief that leaders in the world were beginning to see the need to unite in the battle against climate change - feels a little hollow in late 2017. Diamond also asserts that a society's reaction - top to bottom - to early signs of a collapse, brought on by climate change and three other crucial factors painstakingly outlined in the book, play a critical role in reversing a decline. Had I read this book when it was published, I suspect I'd have been more optimistic about those top to bottom reactions.

Several months ago, I put down "This Changes Everything" (2014) by Naomi Klein after reading the first few chapters - too unsettling. Why didn't I just keep my hand in the sand and avoid "Collapse" as well?


  1. It is terribly difficult to remain optimistic about climate change, however there are a couple of dim and flickering lights at the end of the tunnel. 1 - the many steps forward outlined by Paul Hawken in his book "Drawdown" are evidence that the market is acting in spite of the government's lead boots. 2 - The bipartisan climate caucus in the House continues to grow and now boasts 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats as members. 3 - Even Fox news is no longer denying the existence of climate change. Now if we could only get them to help their audience recognize that it is caused by humans and that we need to do something about it. Haven't read "Collapse" but not ready to put my head in the sand yet.