„In fact, one of the main lesson to be learned from the collapses of the Maya, Anasazi, Easter Islanders, and those other past societies (as well as from the recent collapse of the Soviet Union) is that a society's steep decline may begin only a decade or two after the society reaches its peak numbers, wealth, and power. [... ] The reason is simple: maximum population, wealth, resource consumption, and waste production mean maximum environmental impact, approaching the limit where impact outstrips resources. On reflection, it's no surprise that declines of societies tend to follow swiftly on their peaks.“

— Jared Diamond, Chapter "The world as a polder: what does it all mean to us today?", section "One-liner objections" (Penguin Books, 2011, page 509, .

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