Easter Island is famous for its tight-lipped statues that stand across the island, which were erected by the native Rapa Nui people. These are ancient wonders of the world that are still being studied to get a full understanding of how and why these statues were created. From written history, the explorer’s first impression of the island was that it has nothing but a sand island, there were nothing left on the island except for hundreds of the Rapa Nui statues. According to Diamond, the climate and location of the Easter Island should create abundance of trees, soils and other natural resources.
Many questions have arisen to Easter Island’s current existence. After many years of research, scientists and sociologists have come to a conclusion that the natural resources of the island were used by the islanders to survive their daily life, they cut down woods to transport those Rapa Nui statues and build canoes in order to find food. As time goes by, the population of Easter Island increased rapidly, and these islanders started to utilize all the natural resources abusively until the last tree was cut down.
With today’s rising population around the world, we have been exhausting our limited natural resources, if we do not learn to conserve all the limited natural resources, we will have nothing left for our future generations. Longer summery reflection I was very interested in the Easter Island topic when I first saw the title of the article. I have always seen pictures of the statues on Easter Island and wanted to visit there someday. I thought this would be good information to know about, so I started to read the article “Easter Island’s End” by Jared Diamond.
After I finished reading it the first time, I think I understood most of the article. But I still didn’t understand how the islanders collapsed the Easter Island. So I went on google and did some research. I found a Ted talk by Jared Diamond about how human collapsed the natural and civilization. After watching the video, it helped me a lot in understanding how human are slowly destroying our own planet, similar to what happened on Easter Island. After viewing the video, I went back to read the article again, and started to write down notes.
I divided my long summery into five sections, the first section consisting of the main idea of the article, over population and over using the natural resources lead Easter Island to an end. The second section is about the history of Easter Island, and what was on the island before it was destroyed. The third section is about the condition of Easter Island after it was destroyed. The fourth section is the conclusion of the summery, we can see that Easter Island is the miniature version of our earth, if we don’t stop over using our limited natural resources, our earth will end up like Easter Island. Shorter Summery
In the article, “Easter Island’s End” by Jared Diamond, he states that the overpopulation and overusing the natural resources can affect and destroy our environment. Easter Island can be used as a warning that cultural and environmental dangers exist due to overexploitation of natural resources. The local inhabitants of Easter Island over-utilized the island's natural resources to the point of a complete extinction of those very resources that were sustaining them. Easter Island can be thought of as a small scale model of the earth, and what could hypothetically happen if we do not exercise natural resource sustainability and management.
Shorter summery reflection I found that writing a short summery is much harder than writing a longer summery, especially on keeping it under 100 words. At the beginning, I didn’t know how to start with the shorter summery, but I thought a good way to do it is to condense my longer summery and make it into 100 words. So I start with filtering out the least important information from the longer summery. First thing I took out was the history and introduction of Easter Island. Then I filtered out the information about the gigantic statues. Finally, I deleted the example of how they waste the natural resources.
After I have the edited version of the summery, I read it again, and thought that the most important part is the author’s thesis, which is “he states that the overpopulation and overusing the natural resources can affect and destroy our environment. ” So I decided to keep the same sentence. In the article, the author clearly illustrate that the cause of the ending of the Easter Island is because of the islanders didn’t use their resources wisely. He wants to warn us that the Easter Island is a lesson for us and if we don’t want to end up like the islanders, we should stop abusing our limited natural resources.
I expanded the information what I think I have learned from the article, and then make them into a academic form. This is how I put my shorter summery together. Critique and essay In “Easter Island’s End”, published by Discover Magazine in 1995, written by Jared Diamond, a professor of geography and physiology at UCLA, has shown us the beginning till the end of the former heaven, the Easter Island. In the article, Diamond illustrates that overpopulating and overusing natural resources will result in destroying our natural environment. Easter Island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
When the European explorers reached the island in 1722 they found a desolate landscape with less than 2,000 people existing there. They noticed that the islanders lived in caves and had a very limited supply of food. And they also found these gigantic statues that were carved out of stone. Those were evidence which proves that refined civilization once existed in Easter Island. Because of the unique location of the Easter Island, it has very good climate that creates abundance of natural resources. “In theory, this combination of blessings should have made Easter a miniature paradise, remote from problems that beset the rest of the world. (165) However, when explorers discovered Easter Island, it was a completely opposite of the “paradise”. It makes us wonder what happened in this Island. The first hypothesis the researchers considered was the forest was lost because of climate change, but evidence quickly pointed to the hypothesis that the people had gradually destroyed their own island. Researchers predicted that the trees provided wood, building material for houses and canoes, fruit to eat, fiber for clothing. Most importantly, lots of woods were used as the first resource to move the stone statues.
These statues are 33 feet tall, and weighed up to 99 tons. Some of them are very far from where they were constructed in the quarries to the coastal sites where they were positioned. With the trees slowly been cutting down, rain would have eroded the soil away. Population raised rapidly over generations, people started to unmanageably use the limited natural resources on the overpopulated island. As a result the islanders turned against one another because of the shortage of food. “Gradually trees become fewer, smaller, and less important.
By the time the last fruit-bearing adult palm tree was cut, palms had long since ceased to be of economic significance. ”(173)The life of paradise Easter Island has come to an end. In the article, Diamond has point out that we can consider our planet as a large version of the Easter Island. We have a potentially non-sustainable eco system. If we look at our progression over the last 300 years that we have inhabited North America, we will notice that we have removed many natural resources. Such as Trees in the Northwest, plains in the Midwest, the marshes of Florida, all of which have been devastated by humans in the past centuries.
Our great grandparents did not notice the destruction, nor will I ever be able to actually notice some of it myself. We must learn from the lesson of the Easter Island and start to use our natural resources wisely. If we don’t preserve our environment by recycling, saving trees, and protecting land, we will be forced to face the same ending as the islanders. Natural resources are important and limited, if we don’t protect them, the nature will pay back to us and there will be nothing left for our future generation. Citation Diamond, Jared. "Easter Island's End. " Science and Society (2007): 164-74. Print.