Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gay Marriage Should Be Legalized

May 27th, 2004 saw the introduction of the Marriage Amendment Bill within Australia stating that “marriage means the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of others, voluntarily entered into for life. certain unions are not marriages. a union solemnised in a foreign country between; a) a man and another man; or b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.” The then Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock, and the Liberal party, along with the support from the Labor party, the Nationals, Family First and Christian Democratic parties, argued that this bill was necessary to protect the institution and true meaning of marriage. But isn’t the meaning of marriage to legally bind oneself to the one that they love for life? So who has the right to make the decision over who a person chooses to love, whether that be someone of the opposite sex or the same?

Homosexuality branches from a number of factors including social, psychological and genetic. A study of twins conducted by the Personality and Individual Differences journal produced results that showed that sexual orientation is 50%-60% determined by your genes, and also suggests that sexual orientation may be linked to differences within the brains anatomy. Studies on the human male brain have found that compared with straight men, homosexual men have an enlarged suprachiasmatic nucleus which controls human behaviour and can affect sexual orientation. Qazi Rahman, a researcher from the University Of London, has led studies into this theory over the past two decades and believes that “human sexual behaviour is predominantly biologically determined”. Many other researchers may not fully agree with this, but all agree that your sexual orientation is stemmed from a biological component. Within society today homosexuals can be sometimes treated with little respect, and are often groups that are targeted within society, so why would one choose to put themselves through that?

By not allowing same-sex marriage Australia gets put behind countries such as Canada, Belgium, Spain, South Africa and various parts of the USA where it is legal. A 2007 poll run by GetUp! asked Australians over the age of 16 what they thought about same-sex marriage. 71% agreed that same-sex partners should have access to the same rights as de-facto heterosexual couples and 57% supported the idea of same-sex marriage. There was an increase in over 20% in favour of same-sex marriage from when they last poll was conducted in 2004, showing that the general population is becoming more open minded towards this idea.

Many groups argue that a marriage is a religious ceremony and as homosexuality is not condoned by the church, then why should same-sex couples be allowed to marry? Many consider this to be a valid argument, but what about Atheists? An atheist can be simply defined as one who does not believe in the existence of God, or various other gods, yet they are allowed to partake in this “religious” ceremony. This proves that marriage is not solely a religious institution.

One of the basic social conventions that everyone is bought up with is to not discriminate against people for things they did not choose themselves such as race, sex or a disability. If one’s sexual orientation was added to that list would people be more lenient in offering homosexuals more rights within relationships? At the present time in Australia same-sex couples now receive the same rights as a non-married heterosexual couple. But how long will it be till the discrimination stops and same-sex couples receive what they truly want; to be able to show their love and commitment to one another in the form of marriage.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hi mr hanna

I forgot to post my references when I posted my assignment,
and didn't notice until someone pointed it out to me

EARHART, Amelia, Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, Volume 8, Pages 416-417

The Official Site of Amelia Earhart, last updated August 2007,
Visited on 30 July 2008

Amelia Earhart, last updated 25 July 2008
Visited on 28 July 2008

What Happened To Amelia Earhart, D. Bocco, 2003
Visited on 28 July 2008

Amelia Earhart’s Flight Across America: Rediscovering A Legend, Dr C. Mendieta,
Visited on 29 July 2008


Monday, August 4, 2008

Amelia Earhart

Born on July 24th, 1897 to Samuel ‘Edwin” Stanton Earhart and Amelia “Amy” Otis Earhart in Atchinson, Kansas, Amelia Mary was born into a simple childhood spent climbing trees and hunting rats with her younger sister, Grace Muriel, who affectionately referred to each other as Millie and Pidge. Throughout her childhood many would call Amelia a tomboy, who would rather waste the days away playing outside her grandparent’s farm rather than be inside playing with dolls. Home schooled until the age of 12 by her mother and a governess, Amelia very much kept to herself as a child.

In 1907, Samuel Earhart was transferred to Des Moines, Iowa. Amelia’s parents both made the move, but Amelia and Grace both remained in Atchinson living with their grandparents. Frequent visits were made between the two places, and it was at the annual Iowa State Fair that Amelia encountered her first experience with a plane. Many people nowadays are reasonably surprised with how 10 year old Amelia, future pioneer of the aviation world, reacted when first becoming face to face with a plane. After being asked by her father if she would like to go for a small ride on the plane, Amelia turned her nose up in disgust, stated planes were boring and asked if she could go on the merry go round again.

At the age of 12, Amelia and the rest of her immediate family were reunited in Des Moines and the girls were enrolled in public school for the first time. Only a short few years later Samuel was forced to retire from his current job because of his alcoholism, after trying to rehabilitate himself but failing on many separate occasions. It was also around this time that Amelia’s grandmother, Amelia Otis, died leaving a substantial estate to her daughter. This was put in a trust as she had feared Samuel would drown it with his drinking. Samuel found a job as a clerk at Great Northern Railway in Minnesota, but the position was short lived as the previous clerk decided to come out of retirement and demanded his job back. With the family still in mourning and Samuel still searching for a job Amelia decided to take her two daughters with her to stay in Chicago with friends.

Here Amelia enrolled in Hyde Park High School which is where she remained until she graduated in 1916. Amelia began attending a local college but left the following year to obtain training as a nurse’s aide from the Red Cross to help during WWI. During the war Amelia was stationed at the Volunteer Aid Detachment Centre at Spadina Military Hospital preparing food and handing out medication. Amelia enrolled briefly at Columbia University in 1919 to study a course on medicine but left after a few months to join her parents in California. It was here on Long Beach a year later where Amelia went on a plane ride that would change her life.

On the 28th December 1920 Amelia and her father attended an airfield where a stunt flying exhibition was being held. Pilot Frank Hawks gave Amelia a plane ride where Amelia is quoted to have said “By the time I got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly” in an interview conducted later. After this one 10 minute flight Amelia became determined that one day she would pilot a plane of her own. January 3, 1921 saw Amelia have her first flying lesson at Kinner field under the instruction of Anita Snook a pioneer female pilot who used a Curtiss JN-4 “Canuck” for training. Over the coming months Amelia skimped and saved over $1000 which she earned from working three jobs as a photographer, a truck driver and stenographing at a local telephone company to be able to afford her ongoing lessons.

6 months after having her first flying lesson Amelia purchased her own second hand plane, a bright yellow Kinner Airster biplane which she affectionately nicknamed “The Canary”. It was in this plane that Amelia set her first record by being the first women to fly to an altitude of 14,000 feet, and on the 15th May 1923 Amelia was the 16th women to ever be issued a pilots license by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. By this time Amelia had begun to make a name for herself in the world, and set out to be accepted into the mainly male dominated world of planes, even going as far as buying a leather jacket and sleeping in it for weeks before wearing it out in public to give it a more worn feel.

After taking a small break from flying and pursuing other careers such as teaching and becoming a social worker, Amelia soon returned. Amelia became a founding member for the American Aeronautical Society and was elected vice president of the Boston chapter. Amelia also invested money into Dennison Airport and became a sales representative for Kinner aeroplanes in Boston. It was around this time in 1927 that Charles Lindbergh began planning his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. An American socialite at that time, Amy Phipps Guest expressed interest in accompanying Lindbergh on the flight as a passenger, making her the first women to cross the Atlantic by plane. As time passed and the departure date loomed, Guest began questioning the safety of the flight and pulled out, suggesting Amelia Earhart take her position.

Charles Lindbergh, accompanied by Wilmer Stultz, Louis Gordan and Amelia Earhart departed from Trepassey Harbor, Newfoundland and arrived 20 hours and 40 minutes later in Wales, United Kingdom making it the first flight of its kind. Upon return to the US they were greeted with a parade in New York and then a reception with the President at the White House.

By now Amelia had gained somewhat of a celebrity status and the press began referring to her as the Queen of the Air. Many companies wanted Amelia to endorse their products and she was used for marketing campaigns from luggage to cigarettes to sportswear. Amelia became actively involved in many of her promotions and used the funding from these projects to help fund her flying. Apart from advertising different products Amelia became the associate editor for magazine Cosmopolitan and used the magazine as an opportunity to gain a wide acceptance of women in aviation.

Amelia was always a feminist and all for equality between males and females and in 1930 Amelia became a member of the National Aeronautic Association and promoted the establishment of separate women’s records and wanted to convince America that “aviation was no longer just for daredevils and supermen”. Amelia was a founding member and president of The Ninety-Nines Organisation which provided moral support and helped in the advancing of women in aviation.

On the 7 February 1931 Amelia Earhart married George Putnam after he had proposed to her on six different occasions in Naank, Connecticut. Together they did not have any children but Amelia became stepmother to Putnam’s 2 children from a previous marriage. Unfortunately later that year a fire took the family home away from them and the family moved to the west coast where Putnam got a job as Head of Editorial Board at Paramount Pictures.

1932 saw Amelia preparing for what would be her solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean. On May 20 Amelia left Harbour Grace in Newfoundland and headed towards Paris. The flight lasted 14 hours and 55 minutes in which she endured strong northerly winds and icy conditions but finally landed in a pasture in Northern Ireland. Amelia was awarded many awards for this flight including the Distinguished Flying Cross, The Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honour from the French Government and a medal from the President. From this flight onwards Amelia went on to set many new records and became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland, Las Angeles to Mexico and Mexico to New York.

In 1936 Amelia purchased a new plane, a Lockheed L-10E Electra plana and began the planning of her world flight. One of the first things to consider was who was going to navigate the flight? Amelia first chose Captain Harry Manning, and then Fred Noonan an experienced marine and flight navigator as a second navigator for the flight. The original plan was that Noonan would navigate from Hawaii to Howland Island, Manning would navigate from Howland Island to Australia and then from there onwards Amelia would go alone.

17th March, 1937 was the big day and they set off from Oakland, California for Honolulu, Hawaii. Throughout the flight lubrication and galling problems were experienced with the propeller hubs and maintenance was required in Hawaii. Three days later they were all set and ready to set off again but during take off it is believed Amelia ground looped and the right tire blew and the right landing gear collapsed. Because of the extensive damage caused here the plane had to be shipped back to the Lockheed facility in Burbank, California for repairs delaying plans.

By June 1 the plane was repaired and plans were back on track when they departed from Miami this time heading west to east due to changes in weather patterns and wind since the previously planned flight. This time round only one navigator would be accompanying Amelia on the flight; Fred Noonan. On June 29th Earhart and Noonan arrived in Lae, New Guinea 35,000km into the flight after stopping numerous times in South America, Africa, India, and Asia. From New Guinea onwards there was only 11,000km to go with the rest of the flight being mainly over ocean.

On the 2nd July Earhart and Noonan departed from Lae for Howland Island which was 4,113km away. This would be the last time that they would be seen. The last known position of their plane was near Nukumanu Islands 1,300km into the flight. The United States Coast Guard were set up to communicate via radio but this was not successful with problems believed to have been caused by lack of knowledge of this new technology and not putting into consideration the half hour time difference when scheduling. During the approach to Howland Islands Earharts transmissions could be heard, but it appeared that messages sent to their aircraft were not being received. As time went on transmissions from Earhart became more and more garbled and soon became hard to decipher. The last transmission received indicated that Earhart and Noonan had thought they had found the island, but could not be reached and after numerous more attempts it appeared that the connection had dropped.

Only one hour after last transmission was received had the search for them begun with the United States Coast Guard and Navy both searching the surrounding waters of Howland Island and the neighbouring Gardner Island. The official search ended 17 days later after $4 million had been spent on search resources. At this point in time it was the largest, most expensive and most publicized search to date. Even though the official search had recovered no physical evidence to suggest where they had landed George Putnam financed another search for many weeks after.

There are two main theories which have arisen about what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. One is the crash and sink theory, and the other the Gardner Island theory. The crash and sink theory seems to be more widely believed by people, but the Gardner Island theory has a much more confirmed explanation.

The crash and sink theory is simply that they ran out of fuel and went into the sea somewhere surrounding Howland Island, though remains have never been recovered.

The Gardner Island theory was developed after the International Group for Historic Aircraft put out the idea that the island that Earhart and Noonan had thought was Howland Island was actually Gardner Island which they landed on, found was uninhabited and ultimately perished there. In 1940 Gerald Gallagher found human remains on Gardner Island, and after orders to send the bones to Fiji it was discovered that they were believed to have belonged to a tall, white female of northern European ancestry. Further searching of this island led to the discovery of an aluminium panel possibly from the plane they were driving, a piece of Plexiglas identical down to the exact thickness and curvature of the window on the model plane they were flying and a size 9 shoe heel resembling the footwear Earhart is shown to be wearing in promotional photos for the flight. Even though the crash and sink theory is more commonly believed, the surviving Earhart and Putnam family all have said to believe in this theory here.

Amelia Earhart was regarded highly as a feminist icon. Hundreds of books and articles have been written on her, sharing her motivational tale to the world. To many young females, especially those alive in the years Amelia Earhart was also alive, Amelia is an inspiration and teaches you to strive for your goals no matter how many people believe in you. Among the things Amelia left the world is the Earhart Foundation which helps provide funding and scholarships in the area of aviation, and the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship which is awarded to women to help them achieve getting advanced pilot certificate ratings, college degrees and technical training, along with many other scholarships, museums and awards which are named after this truly inspiration women.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sustainable Societies

A sustainable society is defined as a society that continues to persist and thrive overtime, still providing high quality life for the inhabitants of said society without harming or destroying, but continuing the productivity to ensure that, the resources which are needed to survive are available.

There are many factors which contribute together to make a society sustainable. The society in question must care for and conserve for their environment and natural resources. The society must have a good government. A government which is able to adapt with change to better the society, and can respond to crisis quickly and efficiently. This can all depend on the type of leader the government is led by, the thoughts and beliefs of the society, i.e. religious views, the economy of the society and many other factors. The society would have no enemies, or the enemies they did have would be weak, posing little threat to the existence of the society. The society must have a positive trade system, which would consist of reliable trade partners. The last factor is the response that the society would have when posed with a threat. A societies resiliency can play a big part in whether a society will collapse or survive through the rough times.

In my report I will be discussing the conservation of the environment and natural resources, trading partners and response to crisis.

Conserving Natural Resources & The Environment

The environment plays a big role in the survival of society, but it can also cause many problems from deforestation to soil erosion to water usage if not used and preserved in the right way. These key factors alone have been responsible for the downfall of many societies.

One example of a society which has overcome environmental problems and is ensuring that these resources are available for many years to come is Japan. Starting in the 6th century the inhabitants of Japan began to clear forests not only to use the areas to build up an urban community but also the demand for top quality timber was high, as well as wood being used to fuel the production of steel, copper and many other materials. By the 17th century construction of shrines, temples and other large buildings were beginning to be erected all being made from the same timber. This is clearly a case where how the Japanese responded was prominent in them overcoming the looming crisis ahead. By the end of World War II Japan was suffering major wood shortages. The Japanese government immediately began mass timber plantations and began importing timber, saving themselves from a near fatal collapse.

Another example of a society which has overcome environmental problems is the Dominican Republic. A study in 1981 showed that erosion was one of their major environmental problems. A study only 19 years later showed that this problem had increased by 400%, but clearly showed that most of this damage had occurred in the 1980s and also showed that as time went on, it was beginning to slow down. Deforestation was also a problem they faced. Once 75% of the Dominican Republic was covered by forest, but by the 1980s there had been a large decrease in the amount of area covered. The government responded by launching a number of programs, both locally and nationally. Alternative fuels were discovered, and the amount of land that was protected was increased. Slowly these resources began to recover, saving the Dominican Republic.

To see how important the conservation of natural resources and the environment is we must also compare it to a society which failed to do so. The environmental damage caused on Easter Island played a large role in the collapse of their society. With a limited water supply available it would have been wise to have used this resource with care, but instead they abused this resource. Deforestation also played a part, with almost no trees left on the entire island in the end. This played a large part in the collapse, showing that the environment is very important to the survival of any society.

Trading Partners

Many materials, items, food etc are needed in the existence of any society but are not always available in their location, which is why reliable trade partners are needed.

China is one of the largest trading empires in the world, exporting and importing thousands of products everyday, from and to many countries all over the world. One of Chinas major imports is gas and oil, with 70% of their usage being imported from other countries. Without this, China would not be able to run efficiently, and in turn would not be able to manufacture the fuel to produce many of Chinas major exports to other countries.

Bhutan is a small country which is boarded by India and Tibet. It is considerably less powerful than both, and at any time either India or Tibet could invade Bhutan and conquer it successfully. By successful trade relations built up over time Bhutan has maintained a friendly relationship with each country.

These societies have built up many valuable trading partners over many decades, but what happens when a society does not have access to reliable trade partners?

Rome was highly dependant on it’s trade partners, and as time went on Rome began to grow both in wealth and power. As powerful and as wealthy as they became though, the fact still remained that without friendly trade partners, Rome was not self-sustainable. So when trading partners became hostile, and the trading between societies began to perish Rome declared a war and went out to conquer Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. Though successful in the end, this proved to be a factor of collapse as the more land they conquered, the more resources they needed to be available.

Response To Crisis

How a society responds to crisis plays a large role in the factors that lead to a societies sustainability. How a society responds can make or break a society. A good response depends largely on a competent government and a peaceful society which is willing to work together through tough times.

Japan is a great example of a society which responded well when presented with a crisis. They were presented with a near fatal deforestation problem, but were able to respond quickly to ensure that this did not happen, preventing a near collapse.

In comparison a society whose response to crisis was not effective enough to prevent their collapse is the Mayans. Due to their strict religious beliefs and views they refused to deal with the problems, mostly environmental, presented to them. Instead of trying to help, and try and reverse, the damage done by climate change, drought, etc, they instead chose to believe that it was the Gods angry at them causing the damage. In turn they continued to try and please their Gods, which was doing more and more damage.


The points presented to you above is only a brief outline of the factors involved in a societies sustainability. A combination of these factors must be achieved for a society to be self-sustainable. Societies today should look to past societies, especially those on the verge of crisis, and learn from the lessons that they present to us, in order to achieve sustainability for centuries to come.

Sustainable Seattle (2005, 22 February) What Is A Sustainable Society?
Retrieved 19th April, 2008 from:

Wikipedia, Last Updated: 17 April, 2005 Environmental Issues In Japan
Retrieved 19th April from:

Kuroda, Y. Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation
Retrieved 19th April from:


Dominican Republic Environmental Assessment (2001, September)
Retrieved 19th April from:

Blackburn, G. (2008, March 18) The Collapse Of Easter Island
Retrieved 19th April from:

CIA The World Factbook (Last updated 2008, April 15) China
Retrieved 21st April from:

Chan, A. (2008, March 20) The Roman Empire – Collapse Of Complex Societies
Retrieved 21st April from:

Country Studies (no date available) Bhutan Trade
Retrieved 21st April from:

Reji, R. (2008, March 20) Collapse: Ancient Maya
Retrieved 22nd April from :

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Collapse of the Mayans

The Mayan civilization is a Mesoamerica civilization, which may be best known for being one of the only civilizations to have developed a full language and writing system, which has been deciphered. Located throughout the southern states of present day Mexico, extending down to present day Honduras, the area known as the Mayan area was the largest sub-region in Mesoamerica.

The Mayans developed sophisticated mathematical and astrological systems, along with developing a 360 day calendar long before any other civilizations had done. Therefore, it comes as a surprise that such a advanced society would come to such a shocking end.

Jared Diamond has developed a five-point framework which can be used to help us better understand the collapse of many civilizations before us, using the five factors of environmental damage, climate change, hostile enemies, loss of friendly trade partners and response to crisis. Four of these five points contributed to the demise of the Mayan society.

Environmental Damage
The two main factors within environmental damage was deforestation and soil erosion. The Mayans cleared land for a few main reasons, to clear space for farmlands, and to use the resources that the trees provided such as fuel, for construction and making plaster. Plaster production was a major cause of deforestation, with many Maya buildings going overboard with lavish plaster decorations.

At one point a majority of the population within Maya society resided in the hill sides. Excavations into foundations of hillside buildings show that sometime in the 8th century it had been covered in sediment, and hill slopes had began to erode, and sucked dry of nutrients. Forests that had formally covered and protected soil on the valley floor had all been cleared, leaving the acidic infertile hill soils to be carried down into the valley, blanketing the lush fertile valley soils beneath them.

The vast Maya population outstripped all available resources. Hillside erosion decreased area available for use as farmland. Basically there was too many farms on too little land for the amount of people living within the Maya society.

Climate Change
The repeated occurrence of droughts played a significant role in the demise of the Maya society. Two previous smaller collapses, before the Classic collapse can all be associated with droughts. Maya area was relatively wet from 5500BC until 500BC. The period between 475-250BC was dry, and better conditions returned after 250BC, which may have facilitated the pre-Classic rise. Another drought occurred between AD125-AD250 which is suspected to be responsible for the collapse of El Mirador and other Maya sites. Once that drought ended Classic Maya cities began to build up.

AD760 bought the worst drought to the Mayan society that had been seen in 7,000 years, with the worst stage being around AD800. This is the drought that is thought to be responsible for the Classic collapse.

It has been speculated that droughts may have been “man-made” caused by deforestation, as trees can play a big part in water recycling. Droughts overall caused many problems for the Mayans with them being dependant on their own lakes, ponds etc to provide water to grow crops and to use as drinking water, which were in turn drying up leaving the Mayans in a state of starvation and thirst.

Hostile Enemies
Hostility amongst the Mayan civilization played a big role in the demise of the Mayan society. Limitations on food supply, available farmland and transportation made it difficult to unite the whole Mayan empire. Wars between separate kingdoms, attempts to revolt against their capital, civil wars trying to overthrow the kings and fights between commoners over land were not uncommon. More is known about the warfare, captives taken and the triumphants of the Mayan kings and nobles as descriptive details were inscribed on stone monuments, along with the boasting of their conquests.

Captives were tortured brutally with many of them having their fingernails and teeth pulled out, the bottom of their jaw cut off, fingers yanked out of their sockets, cutting off of their lips and tips of fingers, and putting nails through there lips. Some were even tied up in a ball, legs and arms bounded together, and then rolled to their death down the steep, stone staircase of a temple.

Wars between both the kings and nobles, and between the commons become more frequent and intense towards the time of the Classic collapse. There were many frequent fights over the best land, and many commoners ended up killing each other in struggles to get the best resources.

Loss Of Friendly Trade Partners
Out of Jared Diamonds five-point framework, this is the one point that was not essential in the collapse of the Mayan empire. The main imports that the Mayans received were obsidian, jade, gold and shells, with the last three being non essential luxury items. Obsidian, a shiny, black Volcanic glass, was the preferred material that the Maya used for making tools etc, and still remained widely distributed even after the collapse, proving to never have been in short supply.

Response To Crisis
The Mayan kings and nobles did not appear to be very concerned with the looming collapse that threatened their society. They had a tight rein on the commoners, who believed if they supplied the kings and nobles with luxuries, by feeding them corn and building their palaces for example, they would in turn keep away droughts. This may have made them believe that this was their work, not satisfying their kings, and that the droughts may not be a serious problem.

There was a fierce competition between both the nobles and kings, and a lot of their time was spent trying to take each other captive and over throwing each other. The kings and nobles took higher priority on the emphasis on current wars and erecting large monuments highlighting their triumphants rather than facing the larger, underlying problems. They did not take priority on trying to find possible solutions for the long term problems their society faced, which would have been a factor in the Maya collapse.

One thing we must remember is that the Mayan collapse was not a complete one. The Southern Lowlands were affected most as they were the area with the densest population, and had the most severe water problems. Those in the north were situated in areas with stable water supplies and along rivers, lakes and lagoons at lower elevations. This could factor into response.

Deforestation played a part in droughts becoming more intense. Droughts caused crops to fail, making limited food resources available to the population. Competition for resources began causing hostility and warfare between the commoners, kings and nobles. Many experts have drawn similarities between the Maya collapse and today’s Africa and other places susceptible to droughts. Experts suggest that those countries should learn from the Maya collapse to prevent a chain reaction beginning with drought, and ultimately ending in collapse.

The Maya civilization was a great one. They were the only civilization who appeared to have had a fully developed language, which could also be written. Maya art was considered be the most beautiful and sophisticated in the ancient New World, not to mention their spectacular architecture. At its peak it was the New Worlds most advanced civilization located in North America before the European arrival. Sadly, they were destined to fail. In conclusion I think that all of the factors presented in Jared Diamonds five-point framework play a part in the collapse of this society, with all of the factors tying in together to create a chain of reaction leading to the collapse of the society.

Diamond,(2006) Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, Penguin, USA.
American Scientist Online - Climate and the Collapse of Maya Civilization, 2005
National Geographic News - Climate Change Killed Off Maya Civilization, March 13 2003
Wikipedia - Maya Civilization, last updated 8 March, 2008