Jared Diamond Speaks To The Young On Environmental Challenges

“Guns, Germs and Steel” author Jared Diamond on how a rising generation may handle a world of environmental challenge.

Author Jared Diamond in the WBUR Studios. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

Author Jared Diamond in the WBUR Studios. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

Starkest warnings yet this week from the UN panel charged with forecasting the coming impact of climate change.  It’s going to be bad, they said. Flooding, thirst, heat, food shortage.  And we are not prepared.  Jared Diamond is listening.  He’s famously written the stories of civilizations that have fallen before in environmental collapse.  Written “Guns, Germs and Steel,” and more.  Now he’s thinking about the young, and how they will grapple with the world this century’s environment will create.  This hour On Point:  Jared Diamond and the world our young will inherit.

— Tom Ashbrook


Jared Diamond, professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. An adaptation of his 1991 book “The Third Chimpanzee” by Rebecca Stefoff is just out, titled, “The Third Chimpanzee For Young People: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal.” Also author of “Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies,” “Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed” and “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies?

From Tom’s Reading List

Grist: Jared Diamond’s Collapse traces the fates of societies to their treatment of the environment — “Although it’s the chapter on Greenland that has thus far won the most acclaim, Diamond’s treatment of contemporary Hispaniola might be more relevant to the complexities of today’s world. Two countries share the island — the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Their resources, climate, religion, and history as colonies are markedly similar. And yet, their current situations couldn’t be more divergent.”

MSNBC: Millennials: We care more about the environment — “Millennials say they are more focused on the environment than their parents’ generation, 76% to 24%, according to a new poll. The poll – commissioned by the Clinton Global Initiative and Microsoft, and provided exclusively to msnbc – found that 66% of millennials say there is ‘solid evidence’ the earth is getting warmer, and 75% of those respondents say human activity is responsible for it.”

The Lavin Blog: Sustainability vs Destruction: Jared Diamond’s Keynote On Climate Change –“This horse-race-as-climate-change metaphor, he explains, is not a normal race, either. The competing forces are moving at rapidly accelerating paces rather than moving together at a similar speed. While the forces of sustainability are getting stronger (with more big businesses, government agencies, and ordinary citizens taking climate change seriously), so too are the forces of destruction (population growth and the first signs of dramatic environmental change). ”

Read An Excerpt Of “The Third Chimpanzee For  Young People” by Jared Diamond

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