Friday, October 9, 2009
Someone reminded me recently that Jared Diamond, famed ecologist, historian, and author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, calls the development of agriculture the greatest environmental disaster in the history of the earth. I tend to agree with him, for reasons we can debate in class, but I'd also argue that the discovery of fossil fuels comes in a close second, and in many parts of the world has brought more than just environmental degradation. Friedman investigates some of the sociopolitical impacts arising from the interaction between our dependence on fossil fuels and the geographical distribution of those fuels.
While this chapter might not at first seem to relate to this class, I think that Friedman does bring up some issues that are relevant to our interests. Comment on how you think this chapter relates to things we've discussed in class, or that seem fodder for our future discussions. What did you find new or interesting in the reading?