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The Major Works of Jared Diamond A Sustainable Agriculture Book Review By Cortney Barackman.

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Presentation on theme: "The Major Works of Jared Diamond A Sustainable Agriculture Book Review By Cortney Barackman."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Major Works of Jared Diamond A Sustainable Agriculture Book Review By Cortney Barackman

2 Jared Diamond Works Reviewed Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed Ants, Crops and History The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

3 What is Guns, Germs and Steel all about? An examination of human history for the past 13,000 years. History of agriculture Why has the history of Eurasians proved to be so different from the history of other peoples?

4 Why Eurasia??? Diamond contends the answer is largely environmental. 11,000 BC -people on all continents were equal The ultimate differences which emerged… guns, germs and steel

5 11,000 BC- The Agricultural Revolution Healthier diet More diversified diet Egalitarian social structure More food available Higher population density Hierarchical social structure More disease Hunter/Gatherers vs. Farmers

6 Factors for Domestication Plants & Animals Edible wild ancestors High yields Ease of growing Quick growth/ harvest Easy storage Self-Pollinating Wild ancestors require little genetic change Late-Pleistocene Extinctions Anna Karenina Principle Diet Growth Rate Problems of Captive Breeding Nasty Disposition Tendency to Panic Social Structure

7 Continental Axes & Diffusion Day-Length is crucial factor for plants Day-Length is determined by latitude Crop diffusion is easier/ quicker laterally Eurasia is on east- west axis Africa & Americas on north-south axis Ergo: Rapid crop diffusion across Eurasia


9 Conclusions: Guns, Germs and Steel The differences in the histories of the earths people are not due to innate differences in the people themselves, but differences in their environments.

10 What is Collapse all about? Uses ecology, biology, archeology, linguistics to understand history Looks towards the future and implications from past lessons Examines the mainly ecological collapses of past civilizations to understand our current situation.

11 Five-Point Framework: Major Causes of Collapse Environmental Damage Climate Change Hostile Neighbors Friendly Trade Partners Societal Response to Environmental Problems

12 Easter Island DEFORESTATION!! - isolation - high latitude - low rainfall

13 Anasazi Deforestation Arroyo Cutting Water Depletion Climate Change Internal Trade

14 Bitterroot Valley, Montana Mining Deforestation Soil Depletion & Quality Water Depletion & Quality

15 Serious Environmental Problems Loss of natural habitats Fossil Fuel Depletion Alien species (invasive) Loss of wild foods (especially fish) Freshwater Depletion Atmospheric gasses Decreased biodiversity Ceiling of photosynthetic capacity Human population growth Soil LossToxic chemicalsEcological impact of humans

16 PROJECT CONCLUSIONS: Guns, Germs and Steel & Collapse Both of these books were fascinating and packed full of valuable information from the past and for the future. MUST READ FOR ALL!!!

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