Archive for January 27th, 2011

Posted by: ahowland | 27th Jan, 2011

Easter’s Parallel

Throughout the first couple weeks of the new semester, we have been reading the book Collapse, but Jared Diamond. It is a very interesting book that fascinatingly talks about the collapse of previous civilizations throughout the world. All of the civilizations have collapsed basically as a result of environmental degradation such as the overexploitation of resources (i.e. deforestation). Once the environment collapses, the entire civilization soon collapses as well, turning on each other and their leaders. This eventually leads to cannibalism and then decimation of the entire civilization. Reading about this is very tragic, and really makes you think about our current world. One of the main themes of Collapse that has really stuck with me is the fact that every failed civilization Diamond writes about, he parallels it to our modern life and world. For instance, take Easter Island. In their prime, Easter Island was a thriving civilization that carved huge statues to worship their gods. However, after centuries of being on the island, the people started straining the natural resources, and eventually they had completely deforested the entire island, and killed the huge bird and fish population. Without many resources to live on, the islander’s world collapsed, and being on an extremely remote island, they had no where to run to, and eventually all died (but a few). Diamond relates Easter’s civilization to us on Earth by saying through globalization and the Internet, etc., the entire world is connected to each other on the large earth, just as Easter’s clans were connected to each other by being on the same small island. When the islanders got in trouble, they had nowhere to turn or no one to turn to, just as we modern “Earthlings” have no place to escape either. Once we completely destroy Earth by overexploitation, deforestation, and pollution, we have no where to turn to for aid, which in my opinion is pretty scary and true.

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