Thursday, 30 April 2020
Gwen Robbins Schug, in The Long View of Climate Change and Human Health on the American Anthropology Association website, writes:
Broadly speaking, bioarchaeology demonstrates that there are no grand narratives in human history. Small-scale societies are often resilient in the face of environmental change; mobility, flexibility, and adaptive diversity are a largely successful strategy for avoiding negative consequences…. Complex societies, in contrast, are often much more rigid and they are built on social inequality. When these large-scale societies overshoot—undergo rapid population growth and practice unsustainable agricultural overproduction in the context of rapid climate and environmental changes—those who are resilient and who survive the short-term crisis may experience other forms of suffering….
I’m not clear about the implied link between rigidity and social inequality, although I do see how inequality can be destabilizing, especially in times of food stress…short-term or long-term…. I am not commenting on how much this is now in some places in the USA and many places in the world.