Was Easter Island a warning to us?

The topics that were brought up in class, that I contributed to, caused controversy. As we were discussing the topic of deforestation and how it differed from our society today versus how deforestation happened on Easter Island brought up different ideas. When I think of deforestation in our world today, I think mainly of forest fires that are tied to global warming and the irresponsibility of society. Climate change has caused forest fuels to be drier doubling the amount of large fires in the western United States. Also, society is being irresponsible to the fact that when they go camping or start fires in the woods, they leave it burning causing the fires to spread and making deforestation even more of an issue. I brought up the fact that deforestation is caused mainly by forest fires and how the smoke that is let up in the air is bad for us and our health because it makes it hard to breathe. A student in class then brought up the fact that the gas that fires cause can sometimes be good for the environment because the release of certain gases. After this was said, others agreed that in today’s world, forest fires are one of the main reasons for deforestation and it became a topic of discussion. With listening to everyone’s insight, I got a better understanding of the benefits of those gases and it made me open my mind to other ideas. I was then left with the opportunity to hear what the others had to say and made me realize that forest fires aren’t necessarily the main reason for deforestation, but a major aspect of it. After this discussion, we were put into our breakout rooms where we discussed if the problems that we face today are the same or different from those on Easter Island. Our group came up with the ideas that some aspects are the same and some are different. We mainly focused on the topic of deforestation and how on Easter Island, deforestation was an issue because they as a civilization cut down the trees and used them for resources and way of transportation, while in today’s society, the main reasons for deforestation is because of the irresponsibility of us as a whole and forest fires. We are faced with the same issue, but not in the same way. The takeaway from this week helped me better understand the issues that we are faced with right now. In my family, a lot of them are from California where they are faced with a lot of issues with deforestation and forest fires and during these discussions that was my main focus. I discovered that not only is deforestation happening a lot now, but it has been an issue for thousands of years. The only way for this issue to go away starts with our generation and what we contribute to our world today. Deforestation is not going away and we need to be there trying to fix the problem rather than standing by and watching it disappear. 

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