Jared Diamond: There’s a 49 Percent Chance the World As We Know It Will End by 2050

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    • #314705
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 5,699

      https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/jared-diamond-on-his-new-book-upheaval.html

      How likely do you think that is? That the whole network of civilization would collapse?
      I would estimate the chances are about 49 percent that the world as we know it will collapse by about 2050. I’ll be dead by then but my kids will be, what? Sixty-three years old in 2050. So this is a subject of much practical interest to me. At the rate we’re going now, resources that are essential for complex societies are being managed unsustainably. Fisheries around the world, most fisheries are being managed unsustainably, and they’re getting depleted. Farms around the world, most farms are being managed unsustainably. Soil, topsoil around the world. Fresh water around the world is being managed unsustainably. With all these things, at the rate we’re going now, we can carry on with our present unsustainable use for a few decades, and by around 2050 we won’t be able to continue it any longer. Which means that by 2050 either we’ve figured out a sustainable course, or it’ll be too late.

      So let’s talk about that sustainable course. What are the lessons in the new book that might help us adjust our course in that way?
      As far as national crises are concerned, the first step is acknowledge — the country has to acknowledge that it’s in a crisis. If the country denies that it’s in a crisis, of course if you deny you’re in a crisis, you’re not going to solve the crisis, number one. In the United States today, lots of Americans don’t acknowledge that we’re in a crisis.

      Number two, once you acknowledge that you’re in a crisis, you have to acknowledge that there’s something you can do about it. You have responsibility. If instead you say that the crisis is the fault of somebody else, then you’re not going to make any progress towards solving it. An example today are those, including our political leaders, who say that the problems of the United States are not caused by the United States, but they’re caused by China and Canada and Mexico. But if we say that our problems are caused by other countries, that implies that it’s not up to us to solve our problems. We’re not causing them. So, that’s an obvious second step.

      What should we do? Are there lessons from history?
      To conduct a happy marriage, it’s not enough to sit back and have a holistic view of marriage. Instead you need to discuss your budget and your in-laws and 36 other things. As far as the world is concerned, solving national crises, the checklist that I came up with in my book is a checklist of a dozen factors. Now, I could make a longer checklist, or I could make a shorter checklist, but if we have a checklist of three factors it would be obvious we’re missing some big things. And if we had a checklist of 72 factors, then nobody would pick up my book and they wouldn’t pay attention to it.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #314829
      D503
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      • Total Posts: 245

      ended when Raygun was elected. By then, it was apparent that P.T. Barnum was right.

      "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Asimov; "If you push something hard enough, it will fall over." - Fud's First Law of Opposition

    • #314967
      chknltl
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      I’m down to 26 rolls of toilet paper!

    • #314972
      Betty Karlson
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    • #314976
      Rocky
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      • Total Posts: 157

      Seems a bit optimistic to me. Especially if the psychopathic imbecile gets re-elected and finishes his destruction of the U.S.

      “I wouldn't be a grumpy old man if people would stop pissin' me off"

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