Climate change has historically created hardship and population decline. The most recent ice age came about during a time when neandertals and humans coexisted on this planet. There has been speculation about how the neandertal became extinct. The most recent research supposes that it was a progressively colder climate that drove game (food) South to warmer climates. It is believed the neandertal was unable to understand where his food supply had gone. He was unable to adapt his hunting strategy to catch more elusive game. The neandertal probably starved or became to weak to resist adversity.
The book, “Collapse” by Jared Diamond hints at this a bit. His main thesis is that continual environmental devastation has caused the collapse of many different civilizations throughout history. The most common problem is a combination of deforestation and improper land use. For example, the ancient Mayans farmed in extremely thin mineral soils with a low water table. As the trees were cut down, less of the water was drawn up into the topsoil by tree roots. At the same time, the soil was gradually being depleted through constant agriculture. When a drought struck, the civilization was unable to feed it’s people and collapsed. Global warming is already causing massive droughts, such as the one that hit Texas this past fall. These droughts are impacting already depleted agricultural soils across the midwest that rely heavily on fossil fuel derived fertilizer. It is my opinion that these combined factors will cause an utter failure of industrial agriculture in the coming decade. This will also mean the contraction of modern civilization, unless more sustainable permaculture ideals are embraced, widely and immediately.
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