Wednesday, June 08, 2005
On this day:

Environmenalism as the Answer to Everything

National Review book review: Decline and Fall By Victor Davis Hanson Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond (Viking, 592 pp., $29.95)
The main problem . . . with this book is that [Jared] Diamond’s well-meaning, environmentally correct storytelling cannot impart any coherent lesson of why in fact societies fail. Environmental degradation, climate change, hostilities, political and cultural failures, and trade are cited as the roots of collapse, but are used so interchangeably that we never learn to what degree mismanagement of nature or of people brings on doom. As a result, when Diamond ventures into systematic analysis of historical questions that he knows nothing about, he has a predictable propensity to say things that are not simply wrong but hilarious.