Are we the next Easter Islanders?

For class today, students were asked to read “The Lessons of Easter Island” and take notes of what we thought were some of the important points. Let me first start by saying that I encourage those who have not read this passage, to take the time to read it and relate it back to our world today and reflect on how we may be facing some of the similar problems the islanders were facing back then. Upon arriving to class, we began to discuss the passage and analyze how we may be similar to the islanders and what makes us different from them. We were given a statement and asked to choose a side we supported and to back it up with examples from the passage and the world today. The first statement we were asked was related to the topic as to whether the islanders were destined for failure or if they did it to themselves. I personally choose the side supporting the fact that I believe that everything the islanders went through they did it to themselves and could have definitely done things differently in order to sustain their life longer. I supported this by telling the class that just like our earth today we are given the resources to survive, granted our situations are different and we now possess greater forms of technology then they had, however, when they arrived on the island they saw everything they had and the amount they had. A simple solution could have been to limit the amount of resources they used and that for everything they did use to quickly replace it, in order to avoid taking more than they needed . However, I know what you are thinking, as humans some of us are a little greedy and we are always wanting more to demonstrate our power and wealth, but unlike us the islanders had less than us and knew what they were up against, so there should have been no need to over use their resources when they knew that they were limited. 

The second statement we discussed was about examining how the problems that islanders faced, if they are similar or different to the ones we are facing now. Unlike the first, I choose the side not many agreed with, and that was that I believe that the problems we are facing now are not similar to the islanders. In today’s day we poses more knowledge and understanding to our surroundings that we have the ability to easily make a change. Although I will say that we do share deforestation and damaging the environment with the islanders, however the problems have been dealt with differently and that is what makes us different from them. They faced deforestation because they did it for the purpose of establishing power and dominance through the building of statues, and we are facing these problems because we need them in order to continue growing. Although it is safe to say that we have both hurt the environment, as a human race now we have noticed the problem and are slowly trying to change this.

This assignment helped me to understand how the wicked problems we are facing now are the same as to what generations behind faced and how if a change is not made generations in the future will continue to face to the point where life may no longer be sustained here on earth. A major take away for me and hopefully those who have read this article, is that once we have reached a point where there is absolutely no turning back or fixing the damage we have created, what is next for the human race and will we be able to make a come back or will life just completely end. So although I know we tend to avoid these types of conversations because some of us may think that the problems will solve themselves, it is important to play a role in saving the environment and not just think about ourselves all the time.

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