ALSO BY JARED DIAMOND
Guns, Germs, and Steel
Why Is Sex Fun? The Third Chimpanzee
HOW SOCIETIES CHOOSE TO
FAIL OR SUCCEED
? ? ? ? ??????
VIKING Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. Penguin Group (Canada), 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England First published in 2005 by Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
13579 10 8642
Copyright ? Jared Diamond, 2005 All rights reserved
Maps by Jeffrey L. Ward
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA Diamond, Jared M.
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed/Jared Diamond. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 0-670-03337-5
1. Social history—Case studies. 2. Social change—Case studies. 3. Environmental policy— Case studies. I. Title. HN13. D5 2005 304.2'8—dc22 2004057152
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Jack and Ann Hirschy, Jill Hirschy Eliel and John Eliel,
Joyce Hirschy McDowell, Dick (1929-2003) and Margy Hirschy, and their fellow Montanans: guardians of Montana's big sky
I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read, Which yet survive, stampt on these lifeless things, The hand that mockt them and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck,
boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away."
"Ozymandias," by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1817)
List of Maps xiu
Prologue: A Tale of Two Farms
Two farms ? Collapses, past and present ? Vanished Edens? ? A
five-point framework ? Businesses and the environment ? The
comparative method ? Plan of the book ?
PartOne: MODERN MONTANA 25
Chapter 1: Under Montana's Big Sky 27
Stan Falkow's story ? Montana and me ? Why begin with Montana? ? Montana's economic history ? Mining • Forests ? Soil ? Water ?? Native and non-native species ? Differing visions ? Attitudes towards regulation • Rick Laible's story ? Chip Pigman's story ? Tim Huls's story ? John Cook's story ? Montana, model of the world *
PartTwo: PAST SOCIETIES 77
Chapter 2: Twilight at Easter 79
The quarry's mysteries ? Easter's geography and history ? People
and food * Chiefs, clans, and commoners ? Platforms and statues ?
Carving, transporting, erecting ? The vanished forest ?
Consequences for society ? Europeans and explanations ? Why was Easter fragile? ? Easter as metaphor •
Chapter 3: The Last People Alive: Pitcairn and Henderson Islands 120
Pitcairn before the Bounty ? Three dissimilar islands ? Trade ?
The movie's ending *
Chapter 4: The Ancient Ones: The Anasazi and Their Neighbors 136
Desert farmers • Tree rings * Agricultural strategies * Chaco's
problems and packrats • Regional integration ? Chaco's decline and end * Chaco's message ?
Chapter 5: The Maya Collapses 157 Mysteries of lost cities ? The Maya environment ? Maya
agriculture ? Maya history ? Copan * Complexities of collapses ? Wars and droughts ? Collapse in the southern lowlands ? The Maya message ?
Chapter 6: The Viking Prelude and Fugues 178 Experiments in the Atlantic ? The Viking explosion ? Autocatalysis ? Viking agriculture ? Iron ? Viking chiefs ? Viking religion ?
Orkneys, Shetlands, Faeroes ? Iceland's environment ? Iceland's history ? Iceland in context ? Vinland ?
Chapter 7: Norse Greenland's Flowering 211 Europe's outpost ? Greenland's climate today ? Climate in the past ? Native plants and animals ? Norse settlement ? Farming ?
Hunting and fishing ? An integrated economy ? Society ? Trade with Europe * Self-image ?
Chapter 8: Norse Greenland's End 248 Introduction to the end ? Deforestation ? Soil and turf damage ?
The Inuit's predecessors ? Inuit subsistence ? Inuit/Norse relations * The end ? Ultimate causes of the end ?
Chapter 9: Opposite Paths to Success 277 Bottom up, top down ? New Guinea highlands ? Tikopia ?
Tokugawa problems ? Tokugawa solutions ? Why Japan succeeded ? Other successes ?
Part Three: MODERN SOCIETIES 309 Chapter 10: Malthus in Africa: Rwanda's Genocide 311 A dilemma ? Events in Rwanda * More than ethnic hatred ?
Buildup in Kanama ? Explosion in Kanama ? Why it happened ?
Chapter 11: One Island, Two Peoples, Two Histories:
The Dominican Republic and Haiti 329 Differences * Histories ? Causes of divergence * Dominican
environmental impacts ? Balaguer ? The Dominican environment today ? The future ?
Contents xi Chapter 12: China, Lurching Giant 358 China's significance ? Background ? Air, water, soil ? Habitat, species, megaprojects ? Consequences ? Connections ? The future •
Chapter 13: "Mining" Australia 378
EAustralia's significance * Soils ? Water ? Distance ? Early history
Imported values ? Trade and immigration ? Land degradation • Other environmental problems ? Signs of hope and change ?
Part Four: PRACTICAL LESSONS 417 Chapter 14: Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous
Decisions? 419 Road map for success ? Failure to anticipate ? Failure to perceive ?
Rational bad behavior ? Disastrous values ? Other irrational failures ? Unsuccessful solutions • Signs of hope ?
Chapter 15: Big Businesses and the Environment:
Different Conditions, Different Outcomes 441
Resource extraction ? Two oil fields ? Oil company motives ?
Hardrock mining operations * Mining company motives •
Differences among mining companies ? The logging industry ? Forest Stewardship Council ? The seafood industry ? Businesses and the public ?
Chapter 16: The World as a Polder: What Does It All Mean
to Us Today? 486
Introduction ? The most serious problems • If we don't solve
them ... ? Life in Los Angeles • One-liner objections ? The past and the present ? Reasons for hope ?
Acknowledgments 526 Further Readings 529 Index ' 561 Illustration Credits 576
LIST OF MAPS
The World: Prehistoric, Historic, and Modern Societies 4-5 Contemporary Montana 31 The Pacific Ocean, the Pitcairn Islands, and Easter Island 84-85 The Pitcairn Islands 122 Anasazi Sites 142 Maya Sites 161 The Viking Expansion 182-183 Contemporary Hispaniola 331 Contemporary China 361 Contemporary Australia 386 Political Trouble Spots of the Modern World;
Environmental Trouble Spots of the Modern World 497