The Arid Climate of Easter Island
In my previous post, I examined the Easter Island society collapse using Jared Diamond’s first item on his “cheek list”, ‘How did the society, either intentionally or unintentionally, affected the environment?’ Now I will move onto the second item on the list, ‘How did the climate change, either gradually or immediately?’ Examples would be the climate becoming dryer, wetter, hotter, or colder.
In the case of Easter Island, the climate became much more arid. The mass collection of all the island’s resources is attributed to the change to an arid climate. The climate further added to the problem of deforestation. Any trees that the Rapanui, the people of Easter Island, had not yet cut down could not reproduce successfully because the baby saplings did not have enough water. The islander’s crops were starting to die. The main parts of their diet, yam, taro, breadfruit, banana, coconut, and sweet potato, could not grow on the island which forced them to scavenge for other foods, which may or may not have been poisonous.
Written by Chris Graman for History Solon
*”The Lessons of Easter Island.” eco-action org - ecological direct action. http://www.eco-action.org/dt/eisland.html
* “Jared Diamond on why societies collapsed.” http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse.htmlhttp://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse.html
* “Earth Watch Institute (Europe).” http://www.earthwatch.org/europe/newsroom/science/news-3-newresearchhopes.html
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