Humans of the first world usually have the opinion that the comfort they have available is like a gift, an acquired right from the cradle, when the truth is that highly developed cultures before ours, have fallen, for example, when weather conditions prevented their subsistence to continue as had been developed. When the weather changes there are consequences, mainly food shortages, diseases, population movements etc., and thus a culture may be doomed to decline.
The Khmers of Cambodia possessed a great empire in Southeast Asia between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, and built great temple-cities such as the famous Angkor Wat, a huge city of over 1,000 km2.
What is left today are only remains of stone buildings.
Researchers at Columbia University conducted a study with cypress wood residues found in Vietnam from more than 1,000 years old, discovering how the climate between 1250 and 2008 was. In these analyzes what was noted was that there were very dry periods.
This dryness brought poor harvests and possibly serious diseases.
To this we must add the unstable it was the monsoon, which caused heavy rains, making that the irrigation canals of the Khmers were damaged. Today we know that the causes of climate change was an effect of El Niño in the equatorial Pacific, which produced among other things unusual currents.
All this goes to show that the climate and cultures react in a very sensitive way to changes occurring.
Another example of cultures that disappear by changes in the weather comes from the hand of the geologist Gerald Haug, of ETH Zurich, who discovered something interesting in caves in China, a stalactite that had formed very quickly and from which it could get a lot of data, which compared to historical records resulted in the following: two out of three dynasties came to an end when there were periods of extreme drought, which resulted in uprisings and conflicts.
This means that when the supply of the population is endangered, social clashes occur.
The fault that a civilization reaches its final, it’s obviously not given because the monsoon is not presented as scheduled, but we can say that this event generates a catalytic effect that can destabilize entire societies, make them stagger and fall.
The lack of food lead once again in internal conflicts, uprisings and countless appreciable consequences.
But in terms of a decline due to environmental influences, the most significant example is found in Easter Island, colonized by Polynesians around 800 AD, being then a wooded paradise where the palms grew higher.
But around the year 1100 they started building large statues, the famous moai stone, which had to transport and erect with the help of tree trunks.
From this moment the cultural splendor began his countdown, lasted until the mid-seventeenth century, when the last three of the island was felled. With this they couldn’t erect more statues, but also couldn’t build canoes and go fishing, which in some ways was the beginning of the decline of this culture.
Gerald Diamond defines what happened on Easter Island as a typical example of an extreme lack of foresight.
With these data, among the many that could have been selected, we conclude that there are similarities between the societies that collapsed and ours.
The common bond would be a selfish use of nature and environment without any consideration. Today we could speak of a modern society built on unscrupulous exploitation of its own planet, coupled with a changing climate.
The time that it can hold a similar human behavior, is something that cannot be said, but it will have consequences, and no one disputes this.