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 Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)

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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon May 26, 2008 3:23 am

If you look up four posts you will see a post on Cod.
My difficulty with Collapse was not being able to get a copy easily and then having to play catch up with the reading. Then reading too fast and needing to re-read. Ideally if everyone had a fortnight to get stuck into a book before the month started, then all would be fine. That would mean for those who need to order from shop or library that we need to pick the next book in the next couple of days. Will post all the suggestions so far tomorrow. Sleep
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:04 pm

Auditor #9 has asked for a postponement until tomorrow 9.30 p.m. - but here I am anyway if anyone cant make it tomorrow and wants to chat about Collapse tonight.
Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:43 pm

I was going to go and read in the kitchen, but that might confuse the threads.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:50 pm

Well, I was quite impressed by the Icelanders. They were the first people who seemed to conciously adapt themselves to the limits of their environment - although periodic starvation was the price from time to time.
They restricted their agriculture and turned their noses up at the medieval equivalent of the Danish IDA. If it wasn't broke they weren't going to fix it.

Then they got to be energy self-sufficient with volcanic heat.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:53 pm

I was going to put some meringues, cream and fruit in the kitchen but phew! I'm stuffed and can't move ...

So how far have you got? I'm not up to China yet I'm a bad boy but for what I've read up to now I'm glad it's gone past the drudgery of Greenland and is now into the good stuff of people doing something to keep themselves alive.

It's a mighty book with all the bits and pieces on the different cultures and it's getting good now, finally.

Edit
cactus I can't remember the Iceland chapter really but it deals with deforestation again and how they are interested in preserving their trees?
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:58 pm

This is the bit I thought was good - "When the settlers finally realised what was happening, they did take corrective action. They stopped throwing away big pieces of wood, stopped keeping environmentally destructive pigs and goats, and abandoned much of the highlands. Groups of neighbouring farms co-operated in jointly making decisions critical for preventing erosion - when to take the sheep up to pasture -agreed sheep numbers on commons - turned down the Danes suggestions to develop their economy. They downsized, something we may have to do.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:00 am

The Icelanders are actually listening to archaeologists and scientists and trying to reverse the damage. Now they have energy self-sufficiency and fish, that they were prepared to go to war for against the British - and they are well off.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:03 am

Did you read Japan yet? 905 was asking if Diamond came clean that they get all their timber from imports.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:09 am

I read Japan yes. He initially acknowledges that they got their timber from a foreign island that was later incorportated into the Japan we know today.

Towards the end of the chapter he also acknowledges that the Japanese cause problems in that they draw too much on whaling and 'other resources' from abroad. I'm not sure I see a huge problem with Japan using trees from another country though - net world tree stocks apparently haven't changed between 1990 and 2000 so Japan may be contributing to another economy running it's tree export industry sustainably... That's speculative but possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:13 am

I'm pretty sure I read that they are wreaking havoc on south east asian rain forests / tropical forests. They like their hardwood.

I am just looking at Tikopia. Are you sure he didn't make it up?
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:14 am

According to worldmapper, forests have changed from
39733755 square kilometres of forest 1990
38720253 square kilometres of forest 2000

- that's 1 million sq kms

http://www.worldmapper.org/textindex/text_resources.html

and if you look at forest loss, the loss nearest them is mostly in Indonesia/SE Asia so maybe they are raping and pillaging trees there.


Quote :
If the net forest loss of all territories between 1990 and 2000 is summed, 31% occurred in South America, and 21% was in Asia Pacific. Worldwide, territories with net forest loss lost 1.33 million km2 of forest over this ten year period. Despite this, South America was the region with the largest forested area in the world in 2000. The more forest area there is, the more it is possible to lose.

Japan is unexceptional, having neither forest loss nor forest growth from 1990 to 2000.

The area of Africa covered by forest was reduced by 550 000 km2 in the 1990s. This includes the loss of forests that covered 11.4% of Zambian land.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:21 am

I don't understand the map, but Brazil seems to be tragic, and Sumatra- isnt it that 50% of species are in the rain forest and we are losing so much - the same area in sitka spruce in Norway doesnt really compare.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:23 am

What do you think about Tikopia - did you read it yet?
They controlled their population with a range of home-brewed and some unpalatable methods including infanticide, but they were totally aware that overpopulation was the greater disaster for them as a people.

I suppose now they use modern methods.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:28 am

They had made some big adjustments, from slash and burn and eggs, to orchards and pigs, and then back to seafood and vegetables - they lasted 3,000 years and are still going strong - much longer than the other islanders we looked at.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:29 am

cactus flower wrote:
I don't understand the map, but Brazil seems to be tragic, and Sumatra- isnt it that 50% of species are in the rain forest and we are losing so much - the same area in sitka spruce in Norway doesnt really compare.
I don't know if worldmapper supplies that detail though it has a lot of links to pdfs and stuff.

It's worth understanding those maps - they are a form of pie chart - can you think in terms of pie charts? Instead of using a piece of a pie it uses the total world land area and the local land area as a fraction one of the other to show some statistic.

Basically, if the worldmapper map looks the same as the world normally looks then everyone is doing that same thing equally - if not, then the land area of that country or region is exaggerated to show how over and above the rest of the world that region is displaying that statistic.

World HIV prevalence, for example
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:31 am

Women's income (i'm distracting you while I'm formulating an answer to Tikopia)

This shows not how over and above but pictorially how below..
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:34 am

cactus flower wrote:
They had made some big adjustments, from slash and burn and eggs, to orchards and pigs, and then back to seafood and vegetables - they lasted 3,000 years and are still going strong - much longer than the other islanders we looked at.
It was Japan you were referring to not Tikopia. It was a fairly amazing story of recovery - very Teutonic. cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:36 am

Tikopia was the same, only tiny - less than 2,000 population.

What would youngdan say?

Tikopia is very egalitarian - chiefs dig the veg patches too.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:40 am

The Tikopeans used war, suicide, infanticide, abortion and basic contraceptive techniques to keep their population down, until the Europeans came along and told them not to. Then the population exploded and they had to be resettled and now limit the population again to the traditional level. Were the Japanese the same?
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:44 am

The Tikopian crowd got lucky - they had falls of volcanic ash which made their land very fertile for food, they had some bread-making technology fall on their laps which allowed them to store food for up to 3 years... they practiced birth-control as did the Japanese...

How did they remain the same all those years without getting bored? What about TV, do they have that? Interesting place to visit I'd imagine. The GoogleEarth image has some info on a typhoon that fecked them up in 2002 and I felt sorry for them for that. Jesus they must have tv...

Tikopia 1km up


The Japanese were different though - their population has grown immensely since they started teutonically looking after their trees... Perhaps they do not live in good balance with the rest of the world, as their system may not really be able to sustain 110million people if the shit and the fan situation came upon them.

Howth 1km up
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:47 am

The Icelanders and the Tikopeans are encouraging to me. The main thing is that they were able to look at their situation and make big adjustments. They learned from experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:48 am

Howth is very interesting too - you couldn't live on it, unless very lucky with the fishing.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:51 am

cactus flower wrote:
The Icelanders and the Tikopeans are encouraging to me. The main thing is that they were able to look at their situation and make big adjustments. They learned from experience.
Do you think that the collection and awareness of information is a point he is stressing now? The Tikopians knew every square meter of their island while the inhabitants of the slightly bigger one - Mangareva? - might not have. The Icelanders are starting to collect info and data and the Japanese went loo-lah cataloguing the trees they had when they decided to reforest the place...

Feedback of information .. important. Do you think he is making a point of it?
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:51 am

I've read Rwanda and somehow don't feel quite comfortable with his interpretation. I'd like to read around it a bit more myself.

Rwanda looked very beautiful, green and lush on the television when all that horror was going on.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:56 am

cactus flower wrote:
Howth is very interesting too - you couldn't live on it, unless very lucky with the fishing.

In comparison to Tikopia, the Howthians and Inisheer people have more to worry about in terms of shelter and clothing anyhow. The maps are to show the scale of Tikopia in terms of something we might know. I know Howth better than Inisheer.

Inisheer 1km up
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