Jared Diamond on Capitalism & Economics

Introduction (Via FT)

Jared Diamond is the guru of collapse. Collapse is the title of one of the books that have made him a world-famous academic. It is a theme that captures the Zeitgeist: markets have collapsed, banks have collapsed and confidence, even in the capitalist system itself, has collapsed.

Diamond’s celebrated book – which added to the reputation he earned through Guns, Germs and Steel, a Pulitzer prize-winner about why some societies triumph over others – sought to discover what makes civilizations, many at their apparent zenith, crumble overnight. The Maya of Central America, the stone-carving civilization of Easter Island, and the Soviet Union – all suddenly shattered.

Favorite Excerpt (Via FT)

Can’t humans simply increase the supply of resources as they have done before? “We can change the supply of some things if there is only one limiting resource. If it is food, then we can have a green revolution and produce more crops,” he says. “Unfortunately, we need lots of resources. We need food, we need water. We are already using something like 70 or 80 per cent of the world’s fresh water. So you say, ‘Alright, we’ll get around water by desalinating sea water.’ But then there’s the energy ceiling, and so on.”

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