Sunday, March 20, 2011

NatGeo: Collapse: Based on the Book by Jared Diamond": getting ready for life after most people


There’s “another” movie named “Collapse” (see my Movies blog March 11, 2011 for the film based on Michael Ruppert), this one from National Geographic, “Based on the Book by Jared Diamond” , which is in fact titled “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”. Netflix has it available for instant play but not DVD and titles it "National Geographic: Collapse". 

Diamond appears a lot, in a 96-minute documentary where in 2210, fictitious researchers with laptops and laser vision and other small relics from our advanced civilization, investigate the ruins of our whole planet. Diamond starts out with a review of the Anasazi, who would depopulate the southwest because of successive droughts, with the Pueblo culture left.  He often makes comparisons also to the Maya, who overgrazed and cut down forests and gradually ran out of resources.  He also offers comparisons with the fall of the Roman Empire, and they are more subtle than you think.'

That’s our problem.  Diamond keys in on four major risks: water depletion (with Phoenix and the California central valley as the first casualties), fuel (peal oil), food, and climate change.  Our global interconnectedness can work both ways: people are better informed, but a resource-driven collapse could spread much more quickly, and even tear civilization apart in a few months.  But human beings tend to survive by simplifying and staying closer to home, becoming perhaps more tribal again.

Nuclear power is mentioned, somewhat favorably compared to renewable which he says takes much more in the way of resources (especially land) that we think; but the film predates the current crisis in Japan.

NatGeo’s website is here

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