Mobilizing to Save Civilization

From time to time I go back and read about earlier civilizations
that declined and collapsed, trying to understand the reasons
for their demise. More often than not shrinking food supplies
were responsible. For the Sumerians, rising salt levels in the
soil—the result of a flaw in their irrigation system—brought
down wheat and barley yields and eventually the civilization

For the Mayans, soil erosion exacerbated by a series of
intense droughts apparently undermined their food supply and
their civilization. For other early civilizations that collapsed, it
was often soil erosion and the resulting shrinkage in harvests
that led to their decline.

Does our civilization face a similar fate? Until recently it did
not seem possible. I resisted the idea that food shortages could
also bring down our early twenty-first century global civilization. But our continuing failure to reverse the environmental
trends that are undermining the world food economy forces me
to conclude that if we continue with business as usual such a
collapse is not only possible but likely. Read More