Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The simple answer is that cultural accumulation depends on leisure, on division of labour and of persistence of cultural memory - not just in the sense of information being around with lack of bit-rot or paper damage, but in the sense that there exist individuals who have the time, skills, and resources to access it, use it successfully, and expand it.

Climate change has the potential to stress these factors.

Cultural accumulation isn't an inevitability. Of the million or so years of human habitation, it wasn't until a 2-4 millennia ago (depending who you ask) that it became a significant influence. And it's only in the last few centuries that it became a very significant influence.

Without it, humans default to monkey tribalisms, which seems to have been the state of things for most of recorded history, and most of the time before that too.

(See also Republicans in the US.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 9th, 2011 at 12:39:49 PM EST
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