John Dearing is professor of physical geography at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. His research interests focus on the use of long-term, multi-decadal, proxy records of environmental change and ecosystem services in addressing sustainable development problems. In 2010, he was awarded a grant for a two-year program framework project, Poverty and Ecology: Developing a New Evolutionary Approach, based in the lower Yangtze basin.

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There are many historical case studies of past societies that show how they waxed and waned in the face of climate, technology, war, and disease. Classic examples include the collapse of the Mayan civilization due to land stress, warfare, and climate change and the end of the Roman Empire due to its overextension and financial […]

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