American Deforestation

Decent Essays
The question is, as asked and attempted to answer by almost every scholar who studies about Rapa Nui’s anthropologist history, environmental history and archeology, that is deforestation the main reason of societal destruction. Peiser mentions that deforestation is the most important evidence held by Diamond and many scholars who see Rapa Nui as an example of ecocide (Peiser, 2005). Diamond is definitely not the first scholar, who links deforestation to Rapa Nui’s societal collapse; back in the 1970s, William Mulloy was one of the first scholars who suggests that deforestation is the cause of societal collapse, based on the point that pollen data has suggested that there were once native palm trees on the island (Peiser, 2005). Later in the…show more content…
By that time, Rapa Nui have only around 111 surviving inhabitants left on the island; in short, a total state of decline, as suggested by the foreign visitors. This time is also after the Rapanuis has experienced a series of brutal, inhuman slave raider captures, and as mentioned earlier, that numbers of them were sent back to the island with smallpox diseases infection, which later on were spread to the remaining islanders, leading to the state of decline. At that point of history, Rapa Nui’s tradition and culture were at a point of distinction because the remaining survivors were just trying to, basically, survive. This is where in the point of history that the catholic missionaries arrived to the island and written reports based on a few oral interviews with the islanders, which is, in Peiser’s view, an unclear and unreliable source that generates the myths passed on by later generation (Peiser, 2005). While the European slave raiders have taken away many of their lives, the Tahiti bishop and other western missionaries have destroyed their culture. However, Diamond has never acknowledged this part of the history in his studies, which creates a significant problem, as recalled by Peiser. Diamond on the other hand only repeatedly criticizes the natives’ acts on destroying the environment has leaded to the distinction of an island of people and their civilization (Peiser, 2005). In other worlds, Diamond purposely chooses to believe depict the Rapanuis as a violent bunch of people who just fit into the barbarian stereotype and that they started civil wars to fight for resources; this, as suggested by Peiser, may however be something told by the missionaries
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