Back in December of 2004, when Jared Diamond’s Collapse came out, I decided that I wouldn’t buy it. I simply didn’t want a Paul Ehrlich-1970s-style-downer book about the environment marring my otherwise sunny disposition. I’m not brave Oedipus: I don’t necessarily want to know the whole truth of everything. I’ve got kids to bring up, and I want to raise them with at least a bit of hope. There are some things that I think it might be best for me to close my eyes to right now (at the admitted risk of tearing them out later: Oedipus’s ultimate fate might not be avoidable, looking or not).
But really, avoidance is not the right way to be in the world, is it?
And so, periodically, I feel the guilty tug of conscience that I should read Jared Diamond’s book, and sometimes it will call to me. So on Friday, in a warm-up to reluctantly buying the book (six years later, and now used and inexpensive at Amazon), I actually watched Jared Diamond’s TED talk. I thought that his TED talk was powerful when I first watched it on Friday, but over the weekend I found that power—rather than abating—building, and haunting me. Today, I therefore embed it here at my blog for sharing: