These past few discussion in class on the collapse of complex societies really made me look at the realities that face our present day world. There has been a lot of blame of technology, and people saying we are too dependent on it. Some people even think that without it, our modern world would collapse almost immediately, and go into an almost apocalyptic state as described in this article towards the end. While I think this is a bit of an exaggeration, I definitely think that society should use this technology to learn as much as possible about the environment in order to protect it and ourselves.
Although the advancements of the modern era definitely surpass civilizations such as the Maya, we still have the same environmental and economical problems, just on a much larger scale. What we’ve done with technology and science is amazing, but in the hands of the wrong people it can be disastrous, such as our discussion and readings on the Aral Sea.
This is an 18 minute video so fair warning..I watched all of it because apparently that’s what I do with my time but you certainly don’t have to! If you want to watch any of it, I’d recommend 2:00-4:00 but I’m going to sum it up here anyway. Basically this is a really interesting talk from TED about a few years back and deals with ways to avoid human development overpowering the planet. One of my favorite points of the speaker, Rockstrom, was the ‘surprise factor’ we are putting on Earth. This simply means that we have to stop viewing the ecosystems and environment as controllable entities, and can’t predict how we think they’ll react to change. Since we now have the science, it only seems logical that we have the responsibility to learn as much about our planet as we can, to avoid disasters like ecocide and loss of biodiversity. In doing so, we can be better prepared to solve global problems while maintaining a sustainable future.