Will our own elites perform any better than the rulers of Chaco Canyon, the Mayan heartland, and Viking Greenland?

In his 2005 bestseller Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, geographer Jared Diamond focused on past civilizations that confronted severe climate shocks, either adapting and surviving or failing to adapt and disintegrating. Among those were the Puebloan culture of Chaco Canyon, N.M., the ancient Mayan civilization of Mesoamerica, and the Viking settlers of Greenland. Such societies, having achieved great success, imploded when their governing elites failed to adopt new survival mechanisms to face radically changing climate conditions.

Michael T. Klare

Read the full article by Michael T. Klare in The Nation

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