Civilization Collapse, Easter Island

1600s CEPacific Ocean

"The history of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) has been presented as a cautionary tale of human society that destroyed its renewable resources and in the process was reduced to a fragmented of the population and a shadow of the culture that had marked its zenith....Along with deforestation came soil depletion and erosion, water contamination, and loss of bird habitat. The resources that has supported the early expansion of the Easter Islanders began to disappear...One day the last palm tree was cut down...The population reached the limit of environmental support, with food shortage as a result. It was not possible for out-migration to relieve population pressure, because no materials remained for the construction of canoes large enough for inter-island voyages. Conflict increased as groups attempted to seize resources from others. The population crashed."

"Moai Rano raraku", Aruba, January 2004

Hughes, J. Donald. "An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life." London: Routledge, 2009. 100-104. Print.