Sustainability of Complex Societies
Historical knowledge is fundamental to sustainable development. Recent research implicates the development of complexity in systems of problem solving as a primary cause of societal collapse. Diminishing returns to problem solving limited the ability of historical societies to resolve their challenges, and will limit the ability of contemporary societies to address global change. The solutions to this dilemma lie within (a) knowledge of our historical position in a system of evolving complexity, and (b) the further development of energy to finance problem solving.
Tainter, J. A. Sustainability of Complex Societies. Futures 27: 397-407.