Author Ronald Wright was interviewed today on National Radio (audio link here). Mr Wright wrote A Short History of Progress, which theorizes that history keeps repeating itself, and that progress is often followed by collapse. Right now, he believes, we’re headed for the same fate as the Romans, or many of the earlier groups that disintegrated spectacularly. Around us, there are more pollution, inequity, and irresponsibility with the way we treat our planet, behaviours that have happened many times prior to collapses in the last 10,000 years, whether we’re too busy building giant heads on Easter Island or using wet agriculture in Babylon.
Nothing has changed much, but Wright says if we play our cards right, we might save ourselves from a nasty scenario. The message may not be new, and I have not read his book to judge its depth, but I say we need all the reminders we can get. There is little harm in leaving a smaller environmental footprint on this earth—even little things like using both sides of a piece of paper. Or being aware of the choices we make for automobiles—do we really need a gas guzzler? Can we ﬁght the negative consequences of laissez-faire capitalism causing great inequities in terms of global incomes, simply by being aware of what we buy and whether the products are made ethically?
Indeed, I think we have been repeating the same behaviours for a lot longer than 10,000 years, being a believer that there were civilizations long before this present history. Posted by Jack Yan, 11:37
Update: Dave Pollard reviews another book by Ronald Wright at his blog.Post a Comment
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