LSU College of the Coast & Environment Distinguished Professor Emeritus John Day has collaborated with archeologists on a new analysis of societal development.
LSU College of the Coast & Environment Distinguished Professor Emeritus John Day has collaborated with archeologists on a new analysis of societal development. They report that over the past 10,000 years humanity has experienced a number of foundational transitions, or “bottlenecks.” During these periods of transition, the advance or decline of societies was related to energy availability in the form of a benign climate and other factors.
“Studying the factors that led to the advancement and contraction of past societies provides insight into how our globalized society might become more or less sustainable,” Day said.
Day’s collaborators include Joel Gunn of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, William Folan of the Universidad Autonoma de Campeche in Mexico and Matthew Moerschbaecher of the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office. Gunn and Folan are Mayan archeologists and Moerschbaecher is a graduate of LSU’s oceanography program.
With the human population having exceeded the capacity of Earth’s resources, this analysis suggests that a transition toward sustainability for the current energy-dense, globalized industrial society will be very difficult if not impossible without dramatic changes.
Read more at Louisiana State University
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