When I got home my roommates were watching show TV special about Easter Island. Now what is putting me on my soap box was the left leaning dodo incorporated into this TV special. It was an amazing feat when the first people reach Easter Island and when thy got to the island it was a lush Topical Island. Over the years, instead of developing the land to sustain life and keep a way to get off the island; the islanders instead decided to eat or kill all the wildlife on the island, to eat all the fish in the area, to totally wipe out the entire forest to build a bunch of statues, and to destroy the only means available to them to leave the island. During this time the population (about 10,000 and with no way to leave the island) grew to an uncontrollable level and they broke. A once happy group of people now had to compete for the very limited recourses that were left. And how did they do that – They went to War – Total War
Those beautiful statues that they used up all their resources to build were destroyed. Not by the bad evil westerns but by the peace (now war like) loving people who built them. And while they were destroying the moais they were destroying each other and then started to eat each other.
By now you are wondering where this going and what got me on my soap box – I will tell you. According to this TV special it was not bad enough that Local Easter Island population had turned the island into an eco-disaster -that they had destroyed the statues, that they killed almost every living plant and creature on the island and in the water, that they were killing themselves, and that they turned into cannibals were eating each other. Again according to this TV special and I will quote “that was not bad because the worst was yet to come” Enters the big bad evil Westerners. Oh No the evil Westerns are here now we are doomed – I am so tied of hearing how my ancestors are the root of all today’s wrong. By the time the Westerns landed on Easter Island they themselves had all ready destroyed the land and killed off half their population. So how could a few hundred Westerns hope to survive and fend off the five or so thousand still living on the island, They could not, instead the locals saw this as an opportunity to get more for their clan and to further destroy their enemies, so they let the Westerns take thousands of locals off the island and many of them died. When the locals returned to Easter Island smallpox further reduced their numbers. By this time (early 1900s) the remaining population was moved to one area of the island and the rest of the island was turned over to sheep and cattle for grazing.
It is my opinion that Western intervention saved the island. At the rate the locals were killing each other they would have wiped themselves out and all would have been lost. When the Westerns arrived it gave the locals on Easter Island a way to reattach with the world and a better method for securing resources by giving up their enemies to the Westerns. Right or wrong the population stabilized and peace was restored. Today it is the West (In no small part to William Mulloy) that has restored Easter Island and is trying to stave off another eco-disaster.
Sorry I will get off my soap box.
I really enjoyed my time on the island and Easter Island is one of the most unique places that I have traveled with its amazing landscape (the volcanic craters, lava formations, beaches, brilliant blue water, and archaeological sites) and friendly people, I will return.