Scale and the Survival of Civilization
In the past, civilizations would fail in one place, but new ones would emerge elsewhere. The global extent of modern civilization, connecting all the earth’s major ecosystems through ever expanding economic activities, threatens to eliminate the prospects for such renewal. It is both the pervasiveness of the problem, and the irrevocable destruction that our economic activity is capable of, which makes the scale issue unprecedented and of such vital importance.
1Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking, 2005.
2Tainter, Joseph A. The Collapse of Complex Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.