Vol. 16 No. 3&4 2005
By Jane S. Shaw
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond's new book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed argues that past societal collapses have occurred in large part because the societies failed to adapt to changing environmental conditions. He warns that modern societies and civilization too may be failing to adapt and may be on the brink of collapse. He uses conditions in western Montana as a template for this grim warning.
An extensive critique of Diamond's claims has been published in a special issue of Energy & Environment, a British peer-reviewed journal (Vol. 16, Nos. 3 & 4, 2005). Editors of the special issue are Julian Morris and Kendra Okonski of the International Policy Network.
PERC Senior Fellow Jane S. Shaw contributed an article, "." She explores why Diamond, a respected scientist, wrote a book that makes such extreme claims about the future.