Essay on Collapse, By Jared Diamond

Essay on Collapse, By Jared Diamond

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Collapse, written by Jared Diamond, poses his opinion on how human endeavors has impacted climate change throughout history. Diamond uses the Maori, located in humid New Zealand and the Europeans, to illustrate the influences of globalization. Before the Europeans arrived, the Maori rarely engaged in wars, due to the modesty of agriculture productivity and their staple crop of sweet potatoes. The Maori couldn’t grow enough sweet potatoes to feed distant marches or an army. Around 1815, however, the Europeans introduced potatoes, increasing Maori crop production. Maori tribes that did acquire potatoes and guns from the English decided to raid tribes hundreds of miles away that did not receive guns or potatoes yet. Doing so resulted in relief for pre-Maori warfare; Europeans transported their own native crops and introduced it to the Americas where there was a change of climates.
The Greenland Norse colony, also known as the Vikings, is another group of people that influenced climate change through globalization. Erik the Red founded Greenland in 984 and led the first settlers to settle in Greenland from Iceland. Researchers studying Greenland ice cores convey that the climate was relatively mild when the Norse arrived. During the 1300s, they went through cold years and in the 1400s dove into the Little Ice Age, until the 1800s. Consequently, the Norse depleted their environmental resources, by stripping turf, cutting trees, and soil erosion caused by overgrazing. Thus, depletion of these resources caused society to starve and freeze to death during the tough times. For example, they deforested much of their lumber, so during the Ice Age, they had to use alternatives to provide fire for warmth, cooking, and pasteurizing of milk. Mor...


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...s the plague was released from its endemic in the East, it quickly made it across Eurasia through trade links settled throughout the Mediterranean, prior to the Crusades.1 Moreover, as Europeans traveled to the Americas to expand their territory, they used smallpox as their weapon to easily capture land. By exposing natives with foreign diseases, they were able to exterminate mass populations., Europeans were able to broaden the global market by introducing European items and religion to the remaining Native survivors. However, it was the appearance of steamship travel that led to the outbreak of pneumonic plague in India survived by several endemic centers in the western and northern sides of the Indian countryside.2 Finally, airplane travel increased the possibility of worldwide pandemics, by quickly, easily transporting disease in its animal and human passengers.

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