In Collapse, Jared Diamond chooses to describe a few ancient societies who flourished in their times but failed to prosper because of the environmental damage and overpopulation. Last month, we've surpassed all the existing records of atmospheric carbon-dioxide, hitting a reading of 415 ppm. As we are approaching Anthropocene and failing to mitigate our emissions, it is a worthwhile idea to draw parallels between our modern societies and the ancient civilisations which have failed.
The moral predicament behind our actions is so embarrassing that we consciously ignore it. We are not far apart from those ancient populations like the people of Easter Islands, Pitcairn or the Mayans. We think that our super intelligence combined with technology and science would somehow enable us to save our planet but that's exactly what these ancient populations thought.
Jared closes the book with some fascinating examples of societies who survived against the odds and unsurprisingly most of them tried to mingle with nature than going against it. We need to coordinate at a large scale and mitigate a lot of policies if we want to avoid the fate that the extinct populations faced. It took a really long time to read this but I think it's completely worth it. Jared brings a unique perspective to climate change which is much needed.