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“As a practitioner and scientist, I’m deeply concerned at the lack of understanding about the ecological problems we’re facing, and the attitudes of species and ecosystems being ignored,” says Yanfen. “We’ve lost about 20 percent of the world’s land biodiversity that’s vital for water and climate cycles, and our children won’t know this.” A traditional Chinese saying says, “The people will forget its history. The earth will remember it for a thousand generations.”1
Ten years ago, the Chinese government banned the book of Yuval Noah Harari, the bestselling author of Sapiens. It’s regarded as one of the major works in modern times of explaining the human crisis and tracing the origin of our species and civilization. “It has become very difficult to find copies of the book,” says Yanfen, herself a biologist who grew up in China. As the author has gone into hiding, Yanfen is on a mission to spread a different view of the future. And she’s using the book to address her students.
“I was fascinated by the book because there’s not another book like it,” says Yanfen. “It helped me to understand what’s happened to people and the social problems that we’re facing.” Driven by limited resources, war, disease, and the ash of unsustainable technologies, the human race is entering a dark era.
“The book helped me to understand why there’s so much fear. Most people don’t realize the interesting things that have happened before. If a total collapse occurs, the biggest question will be why? Why have we come to the end of this world?” In Sapiens, Harari points to the rise of civilization and the Industrial Revolution in Europe. It was an time that saw huge disruptions in people’s lives, including dramatic, long-lasting population growth, the decline in labor productivity, and the shift into a new disease and crisis-prone world. d2c66b5586