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Rapa Nui

3 February 2015

Yet another story on the inhabitants of Easter Island. Were they decimated as a result of rubbishing their own environment or were they blighted by the arrival of European ships bringing diseases they had no built-up resistance to, and succombed so quickly their population plummeted within a short time?

  Well, various people have set about demolishing the narrow view of Jared Diamond and his environmentalist fan club – and why not. It is extraordinarily discourteous to a people that were subject to horrific exploitation. However, in spite of this the accusation pops up endlessly at the Green Blob – as it is regarded as the perfect warning to modern consumerism.

At www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/01/2015/obsidian-artefacts-hel… … a paper published by PNAS is based on a real life study of the environmental history of the 63 square miles of Easter Island and it found some areas had been abandoned prior to the arrival of Europeans. However, it also found that other areas maintained a fairly robust population well after European contact. In a nutshell, both theories are awry as a reversion to a dry environment, or a very wet one, simply led to population shift to a better location.

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