Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail. So the central institution of civilization exists, and can only exist, by systematically exploiting its. Civilization, for all its wonders and advantages, is destined to collapse due to its nature, writes Ophuls in this meticulously argued treatise. The concept of the world as a narrative came back to my mind when reading “ Immoderate Greatness, Why Civilizations Fail”, a book by William.

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It is a good review of many different views about collapse.

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Unfortunately, it whu not receive such attention because humanity, as Ophuls brutally describes, is hard-wired for self destruction and ultimately terminal decline. May 22, Hugo Leal rated it it was amazing.


Cifilizations by Ugo Bardi at And it must build the roads and ports needed to transport all the necessities of urban life. The chef’s response was -in all earnest! Agricultural production is the foundation of civilized life. A contemporary example will illustrate the point more concretely and also make clear why technology cannot forever overcome the limits imposed by thermodynamics.


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Apparently there is still plenty of booze though. It’s not by chance that the US industrial north was abolitionist while the rural south was pro-slavery. Found at these bookshops Searching – please wait Preview — Immoderate Greatness by William Ophuls.

Racism, sexism immoxerate homophobia are still present from the ‘good old days’, but are much less acceptable. The gap separating rich and poor becomes a chasm. For example, once over exploitation causes fish stocks to decline below a critical, but unquantifiable, level they can no longer reproduce.

It will also be uniquely devastating.

IMMODERATE GREATNESS by William Ophuls | Kirkus Reviews

Professor Bardi, I know exactly what you are talking about. At this point, even a return to hunting and gathering would be challenging.

Ataturk overthrowing the Ottomans, and the Meiji Restoration in Japan. English Choose a language for shopping. Return to Book Page.

Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail by William Ophuls

Ophuls takes a multidisciplinary approach to constructing his arguments, civilizahions on concepts and copious sources from the sciences, political theory, historical research and literature to synthesize an argument that pleads for humanity to take a long view immoderwte the use and preservation of resources. The human mind is still fundamentally Paleolithic. Thanks for mentioning this book Ugo. Of course, in a finite world, this can’t happen forever.


To wit, understanding that excessive complexity is both costly and perilous and that management in the sense of control is unachievable.

These may be hard truths for the believers in the grand narrative of Progress. Lists with This Book. Solar rays will make hot water for a household but do not lend themselves to running a large power plant.

But those of us who have struggled to understand certain things and think we have mostly immoderatte them It is both enlightening and depressing as it makes a convincing case that complex adaptive social systems like civilizations are typically doomed to destroy themselves. Thus if preparations for collapse are made at all, they are likely to be too little and too late.

Indeed, ironically, it may be the very effort to reform that precipitates the collapse.