Ecological Futures, the final book in Sing C. Chew's trilogy on world ecological degradation, proposes that our own era exhibits ecological conditions similar to those of the past. The climate changes, environmental crises, mass population migrations, and socioeconomic disorganization we find in our globalized world also characterized the Late Bronze Age and the period following the fall of the Roman Empire. Given such historical parallels, can history tell us what to expect? Analyzing past trends, Chew identifies a set of long-term structural changes common to previous systemic crises and suggests possible outcomes. These "possible futures" include the collapse of systems, territories, informational technologies, and communities in an era of scarce resources, political reorganization, and globalization.
Introduction: System Demise
Chapter 1. The Conditions: Climate and Diseases
Chapter 2. The Reactions: Alternate Life-Practices
Chapter 3. The Transitions
Chapter 4. The Transformations
Chapter 5. The Futures
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Sing C. Chew is a research scientist with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany, and professor of sociology at Humboldt State University, Arcata, California.