One of the chapters in Jared Diamond's book Collapse
examines the state of Haiti today as compared with the Dominican Republic which shares the
island of Hispaniola with Haiti, showing the Dominican Republic side with well-managed
forests as opposed to Haiti with almost total deforestation.
Collapse leads you through a series of analyses of societies thatas Jared
Diamond writeschose to fail. They chose to fail?
How else can you explain the fate of the Norse Greenlanders who
essentially starved to death at the edge of a literal ocean of fish
just because their cultural imperatives favoured eating beef?
You read, of course, of the fate of Easter Island and wonder what
the islanders were thinking on the day they cut down the last tree.
On the other hand, you learn of the success of forestry management
in Japan, put in place 400 years ago by the Tokugawa Shoguns.
The reasons to read Collapse are simple: we can learn
a lot from history, but only if we choose (get it?) to do so.