1.Easter Island is an island off of the coast of South America. A once thriving society, it collapsed due to environmental mismanagement. Was their society sustainable? What could have been different? What can we learn from this?A.This is a great discussion, yes the increasing human population and more “demands” on the environment lead to pressure to support and them and this contributed to its downfall.Class, what is a carrying capacity? Do you feel Easter Islands population exceeded it’s carrying capacity?Ecology is the study of organisms and how they interact in the environment. There are many things that can impact the organisms in the environments. Look around your area and outline some ecological changes that may have resulted from environmental issues. Are these positive changes or negative changes? What do you think?XXX you have some very interesting observations about the weather, spring, pollen, air quality and impacts on human health in Metro Atlanta.Class, what is smog? Is it experienced in the spring or in the summer? What conditions make worsen smog in the atmosphere?What makes the pollen count in Atlanta to be so high unlike many other cities?
Sustainability of Easter Island Society
Easter Island, located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, was once home to a thriving society that ultimately collapsed due in large part to environmental mismanagement (Diamond, 2005). The central question of whether their society was sustainable has been extensively debated by scholars.
The carrying capacity of an environment refers to the maximum population size of a given species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available in the environment (Campbell et al., 2016). On Easter Island, archaeological evidence suggests the population grew rapidly to around 7,000–10,000 inhabitants between the years 1100–1680 CE (Bahn & Flenley, 1992). This rapid growth likely exceeded the island’s carrying capacity.
As the population increased, the demand for resources like timber and land for agriculture also grew (Flenley & Bahn, 2003). The islanders cut down the native palm trees, which were an important resource, for various uses including firewood, housing construction and canoe building. As the forest was destroyed, vital resources became increasingly scarce (Diamond, 2005). This environmental degradation reduced the carrying capacity of the island and its ability to support the population.
Additionally, without trees to absorb rainfall and prevent erosion, much of the island’s soil washed out to sea (Flenley & Bahn, 2003). Less fertile land meant reduced agricultural yields, less food and ultimately famine. The collapse of this society serves as a cautionary tale of what can happen when a population grows unsustainably and damages the environment beyond its ability to recover (Diamond, 2005).
In summary, the Easter Island civilization did not appear to have a sustainable relationship with their environment over the long term. Rapid population growth exceeded the island’s carrying capacity, leading to overexploitation of resources and eventual societal collapse once the environment could no longer support the population (Diamond, 2005; Flenley & Bahn, 2003; Bahn & Flenley, 1992). This case highlights the importance of balancing human needs with environmental protection for long-term sustainability.