Problem Solvers Vs. Doomsdayers — An Historical Perspective_Featured_, Conspiracies Friday, June 22nd, 2012
By Brandon@New Plateaus
22 June, 2012
“Collapse becomes possible when people cannot collaborate to find solutions, and that is rare. In most situations, disasters are avoided because people succeed in pulling together to confront crises.”
It seems that everywhere you look the end is near. The scientist tells us of imminent environmental catastrophe; economists say we’re headed for financial disaster; the politician claims a nightmare ahead for the poor, or the youth, or all of America for that matter.
Is our goose cooked?
And then I encountered this breath of fresh air:
It’s a feature story on environmental researcher, Karl Butzer. Butzer’s cool-headed argument is that ups and downs in humanity’s history have come from a variety of factors, and that resilience comes about from crisis response and adaptation and not from alarmism.
And in fact, the piece states that “the historical record offers many more examples of societies that have survived and adapted than those that collapsed.” How optimistic!
Butzer’s 50 years of work in Egypt have revealed that alongside environment struggles in the ancient dynasties, it took other “cultural and psychological factors” to create a breakdown. His body of work spanning Egypt, Old Norse settlements in Greenland and Spanish settlements in Mexico reveal that failure was “about institutional failure — incompetence, corruption, dynastic crises, invasion and loss of economic networks. Environmental degradation seldom had a significant role.” And that collapse “was neither abrupt nor inevitable”