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Jared Diamond Quotes

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I read that a false alarm of a tsunami in Hawaii would cost about $68 million.

I'd rather spend my leisure time doing what some people call my work and I call my fun.

I've always been interested in a lot of things, and a lot of things at the same time, and I always tried to explain them to myself. I ask a lot of questions.

I've worked very hard in this book to keep the lines of communication open. I don't want to turn someone away from this information for partisan political reasons.

If you gave me 10 million dollars, I wouldn't live any differently. Although nowadays I guess you'd have to raise that to 20 million to mean anything.

In modern times, Australia was the sole continent still inhabited only by hunter-gatherers... Native Australia had no farmers or herders, no writing, no metal tools, and no political organization beyond the level of the tribe or band.

Infectious diseases introduced with Europeans, like smallpox and measles, spread from one Indian tribe to another, far in advance of Europeans themselves, and killed an estimated 95% of the New World's Indian population.

Introspection and preserved writings give us far more insight into the ways of past humans than we have into the ways of past dinosaurs. For that reason, I'm optimistic that we can eventually arrive at convincing explanations for these broadest patterns of human history.

It's striking that Native Americans evolved no devastating epidemic diseases to give to Europeans, in return for the many devastating epidemic diseases that Indians received from the Old World.

Lest those islands still seem to you too remote in space and time to be relevant to our modern societies, just think about the risks... of our increasing globalization and increasing worldwide economic interdependence.

Measles and TB evolved from diseases of our cattle, influenza from a disease of pigs, and smallpox possibly from a disease of camels. The Americas had very few native domesticated animal species from which humans could acquire such diseases.

Most people are explicitly racists. In parts of the world - so called educated, so-called western society - we've learned that it is not polite to be racist, and so often we don't express racist views, but... Racism is one of the big issues in the world today. Racism is the big social problem in the United States.

Native Americans had only stone and wooden weapons and no animals that could be ridden. Those military advantages repeatedly enabled troops of a few dozen mounted Spaniards to defeat Indian armies numbering in the thousands.

No government is here forever. And there are other forces - the most potent force in our society, in fact, big business - doing good for the environment.

One could say that Patagonia is radically environmentalist, a company that's founded on those principles. But there are other examples, too. I spoke at a World Wildlife Fund dinner fundraiser last October hosted and funded by Starbucks.

People are not helpless in the face of big business. It's up to the public to say what it wants. Only when the public bans single-hulled oil tankers from American waters, only when the public says no more selling wood logged from old-growth forests, will companies... come up with other solutions.

People often ask, "What is the single most important environmental/population problem facing the world today?" A flip answer would be, "The single most important problem is our misguided focus on identifying the single most important problem!"

Science is often misrepresented as the body of knowledge acquired by performing replicated controlled experiments in the laboratory. Actually, science is something broader: the acquisition of reliable knowledge about the world.

Some people have much more pull than other people. But when I say that the public has ultimate responsibility, I'm not saying it in a moral sense. I'm just saying it in the sense of what is it that's really going to bring change.

Starbucks goes to a great effort, and pays twice as much for its coffee as its competitors do, and is very careful to help coffee producers in developing countries grow coffee without pesticides and in ways that preserve forest structure.

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