Jared Diamond is a scientist who did years and years of research on ancient and nowadays cilvilisations and their wayof either surviving or failing. Just one exapmle: Nowadays Easter Island for example is pretty much free of trees. Yet, it has been full of trees for ages. A highly developed civilication created impressive statues, and moved them arround using the trunks of the trees. Someone cut down the last tree, and then not only the building of the statues stopped. When the Euopeans first arrived on the island, there was a few locals arround, still. Yet they did not even have wood for small boats anymore. On other islands, the locals manage to run enduring agriculturing since thousands of years.

Nowadays globalized civilications face various challenges, be it  the increasing population in Africa and their way of agriculturing, be it the increasing comfort of the Chinese and the associated net increase of energy and any other resources.

What sounds like a nightmare for tree huggers is not that pessimistic. Diamond, who's been doing research on many of the places himself for longer periods displays as well a wide range of possible solutions and their beginning implementation. So this book contains a lot of history, and a lot of possibilities for the future of man.