Many people believe that history repeats itself. I am more of a ‘we make our own choices’ type of person. However, both of these statements can be correct when we take in consideration the fact that we may simply be too stubborn to change.
A set of factors have been found that preceded population crashes in Europe thousands of years ago. If the peoples of the time had been aware of their significance, perhaps they could have taken evasive action. It’s far too late for those long-gone cultures, but some of the same signs could be very relevant today.
Dr Sean Downey of the University of Maryland has developed a set of EWSs (early warning signals) which occurred prior to at least seven population collapses in Europe between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago.
One of Downey’s study areas was the basin around what is now Paris. After agriculture was introduced to the region, it experienced more than 1,200 years of fairly steady growth. However, it has previously been found that 6,225 years ago, the population of the area experienced a sudden “bust”. Downey found evidence of warning signs appearing 6,800 and 6,300 years ago that turned to be CRUCIAL factors for this civilization’s collapse. One of the major warning signals was DEFORESTATION!
Other EWSs are rapid growth of the population in a society, disharmonious living with Nature and over exploitation of Natural resources.
The main reason for collapse of a society is the inability to maintain the health of the system which needs to be in balance with Nature or, otherwise, it will be doomed to fail. This is because of one simple reason: We are part of Nature and if we create an environment which contradicts this factor, subconsciously we will make decisions that will disrupt the health of the system.
Considering the astonishing rates at which tropical rainforests are being felled, this is a disturbing indication that our future may reflect the worst aspects of our past. The difference is that this time we have the warning signs if we wish to act on them.