Diamond yine müthiş akıcı ve doyurucu bir üslup ile yazmış, yer yer tekrara düşse de aklından geçeni ve mesajını okura gayet net şekilde iletmeyi başarıyor.
Son birkaç bölümdeki “tavsiye” ve geleceğe yönelik eylem planı kıvamındaki yaklaşımlar biraz naif kaçsa da ilk %90’lık kısım ve sondaki muazzam okuma listesi kitabı kütüphanemin en değerli parçalarından biri kılmak için yeterli (burada kütüphane derken fiziksel bir kütüphaneden değil kişisel okuma uzayımdan bahsediyorum (bkz. bir türlü koleksiyon yapamayan, mal mülk sahiplenemeyen, eşe dosta kitap, CD, vb. dağıtan insan profili :-)).
Son bölümlde 420. ila 425. sayfalarda dikkatimi çeken şeylerden biri de küresel ısınma idi. İklim analizi gibi “kompleks” bir olgu karşısında pek çok bilimadamının neden ve nasıl bocaladığını, sıcaklıktaki yıllara yayılan artış ve azalışların küresel ısınma eğilimini keşfetmede işleri ne kadar güçleştirdiği çarpıcı bir dille ve başka alanlardan örneklerle anlatılmış.
Tabii ki kitabın dünya sorunlarına karşı olası çözüm yaklaşımlarını sert bir dille eleştirmeyenler de yok değil. Bu eleştiriler içinden en sağlamı belki de Richard A. Smith‘in Ecological Economics dergisinde yayınlanan (Volume 55, Issue 2, 1 November 2005, pp. 294-306) Capitalism and Collapse: contradictions of Jared Diamond?s market meliorist strategy to save the humans başlıklı makalesi.
Makaleden dikkat çekici birkaç paragraf (vurgular bana ait):
But we don’t live in a “bottom-up” democratic society. We live in a capitalist society in which ownership and control of the economy is largely in the hands of private corporations who pursue their own ends and don?t answer to society. And that?s the obvious problem. So it seems curious, even “perverse” if I may say so, that when Diamond turns to address our contemporary environmental crisis, he inexplicably forgets his own lesson and presents no comparable exploration of contradictory (class) interests and (class) conflict in modern capitalist society. This is unfortunate because Diamond’s reluctance to discard his own pro-market “core values” prevents him from applying the same critical analysis to our own society that he effectively deploys to analyze ancient societies. Whatever his reason, the fact that he fails to do so makes his very useful book weakest in its concluding “What-do-we-do-now?” chapters on big business and the environment. For after stressing the need for urgent radical change to avert collapse, instead of addressing the systemic problems of capitalism that stand in the way of that needed radical change, he falls back on the standard tried-and-failed strategy of lobbying, consumer boycotts, eco labeling, green marketing, asking corporations to adopt benign “best practices” and so on – viz. the stock-in-trade strategy of the environmental lobbying industry that has proven so impotent to date against the capitalist global juggernaut of eco-destruction.
Of course this is not at all to demean reforms. Lots of problems can be and have been significantly ameliorated and even solved without overturning the economic system. But despite significant victories here and there, the big problems like global warming, deforestation, overfishing, pollution, resource exhaustion, species extinction, environmentally caused human health problems, are not getting better. They are getting worse. And they are getting worse because environmental reforms are always and everywhere subordinated to profit and growth.
Globally, human consumption of forests, fresh water, minerals, fish, arable land, of virtually every significant natural resource on the planet is growing “at an ever increasing rate.” In March 2005 the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment compiled by 1360 scientists from 95 countries concluded that humanity is now consuming and degrading almost two-thirds of the natural resources that support life on earth. The authors call this “a stark warning” for the entire world. The wetlands, forests, savannahs, estuaries, coastal fisheries and other habitats that recycle air, water and nutrients for all living creatures are being irretrievably damaged. “In effect, one species is now a hazard to the other 10 million or so on the planet, and to itself. . . Human activity is putting such a strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.” And Americans lead the way in hogging this one-time blowout sale of the world?s natural resources. With just 4% of the world?s population and 2% of the world?s oil, we consume 25% of the world?s oil and produce more than 25% of all CO2 emissions. We use 50 million tons of paper annually – consuming 850 million trees (just for paper). The average American produces 864kg of municipal waste per year, nearly three times the average produced by an Italian. And on and on.