The Last Americans By Jared Diamond Summary

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The scarcity of resources has the potential to cause damage to modern society in the near future. Resources like food, water, and fuels help maintain society. Without proper access or enough resources to go around, society can be in for some consequences. In Jared Diamond’s essay, “The Last Americans”, he explains how the Mayan civilization collapsed due to a variety of reasons, one of which being a lack of resources. He then draws parallels to how the issue could play a role in modern society. Diamond believes that the ways the Mayans handled their loss of resources is similar to how Americans will handle their resources, as Americans deplete and misuse their resources. The mistreatment of resources in our society has the potential to lead …show more content…
The Mayans relied heavily on corn to supply their society, and the farming practices they used were not efficient in producing enough crop for a massive population. When the population of the Maya boomed, conflict and anger rose between the people to the point of their downfall. Diamond predicts a similar outcome for modern society with the misuse of resources, where people waste many resources, some of which are not replenish able. One such resource that Diamond notes as non-replenish able is land. Diamond writes, “Most of us have become aware of more crowding and stress. Most of us living in large American cities are encountering increased commuting delays, because the number of people and hence the number of cars is increasing faster than the number of freeway lanes” (2003, p.81). The occupation of land is increasing and similarly to what the Maya faced, people in modern society are having to handle living in dense population centers. More and more people were living together in denser concentrations on less land. This meant that all of the resources in a region are strained in an attempt to support an inflated population. Furthermore, the resources that were once available on the land are now depleted to make room for roads, houses, and other buildings. The depletion of land has the potential to cause a lot of damage to our modern society as …show more content…
In Marta Coll’s article “Ecosystem Overfishing in the Ocean”, she explains the global effects of deep-ocean overfishing. Coll describes how overfishing destroys fish populations, damages ocean ecosystems, and causes economic instability (2008, p. 1). Overfishing is the unsustainable harvest of fish for market. Fisheries are overfished to create more profits in the short term for fishermen, who collect a large percentage of a fish population to sell. The removal of the fish from the ecosystem destroys the entire food web, down to the trophic level (Coll, 2008, p.2). The destruction of the ocean ecosystem means that the biodiversity of all global ocean populations are harmed. With the fish population decreased, future generations are unable to use the fish as a resource. With the ecosystem damaged, it is difficult for the fish to repopulate, and the ocean as a food resource is scarred. There are other resources that have their sustainability damaged because of improper

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