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Jared Diamond's 'Collapse' Chapter- 10

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Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005).
CHAPTER 10: Malthus in Africa: Rwanda's Genocide
A dilemma ■ Events in Rwanda ■ More than ethnic hatred ■ Buildup in Kanama ■
Explosion in Kanama ■ Why it happened
When my twin sons were 10 years old and again when they were 15, my wife and I took them on family vacations to East Africa. Like many other tourists, the four of us were overwhelmed by our firsthand experience of Africa's famous large animals, landscapes, and people. No matter how often we had already seen wildebeest moving across the TV screen of
National Geographic specials viewed in the comfort of our living rooms, we were unprepared for the sight, sound, and smell of millions of them on the Serengeti Plains, as we sat in a Land
Rover surrounded by a herd stretching from our vehicle to the horizon in all directions. Nor had television prepared us for the immense size of Ngorongoro Crater's flat and treeless floor, and for the steepness and height of its inner walls down which one drives from a tourist hotel perched on the rim to reach that floor.
East Africa's people also overwhelmed us, with their friendliness, warmth to our children, colorful clothes -- and their sheer numbers. To read in the abstract about "the population explosion" is one thing; it is quite another thing to encounter, day after day, lines of African children along the roadside, many of them about the same size and age as my sons, calling out to passing tourist vehicles for a pencil that they could use in school. The impact of those numbers of people on the landscape is visible even along stretches of road where the people are off doing something else. In pastures the grass is sparse and grazed closely by herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. One sees fresh erosion gullies, in whose bottoms run streams brown with mud washed down from the…...

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