(E) The Roman Empire, the Mayas, the Easter Islanders were some of the most advanced civilizations from the past. All of them still surprise us by their accomplishments in politics, laws, sciences, arts, architectures, and religions! And, it is critical today to understand why did they rise and fall. The growth of the Roman Empire is particularly impressive in its geographic expansion, spread over three continents. While the fall of the Easter Island is particularly obvious with its famous Moai on an island completely deforested.
In his book “Collapse”, Professor Jared Diamond has articulated seven driving forces that have historically contributed to the collapse of past civilizations. Namely, they are:
- Habitat destruction and deforestation
- Land erosion and fertility
- Lack of water
- Introduction of foreign species to the natural habitat
- Increased per-capita impact of people.
Those seven factors are very much into the fabric of our present global civilization. We have two clear choices in front of us: either we continue our road to an unsustainable economic development or we start our journey to a sustainable economic development. Are we condemned like Sisyphus? Or can the world save itself from ourselves?
Of course, the world can save itself from climate change, the destruction of the earth ecosystems and resources, its rising world population, and its ever-growing demands of goods and services. But we need to act soon and together. We are running out of time. And failure is not an option.
The more energy, we have been producing the more our society have economically prospered. And with our pursuit of economic growth, we have taken advantage of the Earth resources and ecosystems as if they were inexhaustible.
We must simply now rethink and adapt the economic engine of our society to limit its impact on the Earth resources, ecosystems, and climate.
Actions must now follow talks.
Analyzing the COP21 climate conference challenges:
- Professor Jeffrey Sachs, COP21 Paris climate talks: World powers are aligned and change is possible
- Professor Jeffrey Sachs, COP21 Paris climate talks: Let’s hail the Paris climate change agreement and get to work
Analyzing the road to sustainability:
- A Silicon Valley Insider, Our journey to a sustainable economic development for 2010 and beyond
- A Silicon Valley Insider, The road to an unsustainable economic development for 2010 and beyond
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