The Easter Island, particularly isolated is a small island (162 km2) of the Pacific, 3700 km from the coast of Chile and 4,000 km from Tahiti.
The first human population of the island has drawn hundreds of statues of several tens of tons, the moai, between the years 800 and 1200.
The island, inhabited by 4,000 people, was discovered by the Dutch Jakob Roggeveen, on Easter Day, April 5, 1722. This small island is famous for its archaeological heritage and its megalithic remains (about 900 statues of basalt, 400 unfinished).
The island has few forests but the first European explorers describe the presence of wood and underbrush.
Archaeological research shows that many tree species have disappeared entirely or almost from the years 1500-1600. The habitable earth, the most isolated of the world, is an example of self destruction of a society. Scientists long have wondered how on an island covered with meadows, treeless, the Polynesian could have to do to build these huge statues and why the greater part of them were demolished.
In fact at that time this island owned forests and large trees but people cut them down gradually until the last to develop their society.
Without wood, without a rope, the statues were abandoned and hundreds remained unfinished. Soil erosion that follows, the lack of resources and clan wars eventually destroy this company.
This collapse is an example of total exhaustion of resources, on an isolated territory, and marks the abrupt stopping of the development of a society.
It is the same on our planet where we are prisoners and depletion of resources faster than they are renewed is a risk that threatens all humanity.
Our human expansion could mark a setback when the many resources we draw on the planet will be insufficient.
NB: In 1798, Thomas Malthus remarks that living species tend to have exponential growth, while resources can grow at the same rhythm. It follows that a demographic catastrophe is inevitable.
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Image: The moai, megalithic remains of the first indigenous civilizations of Easter Island. Since 1995, the unique heritage of Easter Island is protected and a World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.