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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teapot tempest

Mark Lynuas writes:
In my initial post on the myths of Easter Island I discussed the conclusions in archaeologists Carl Lipo and Terry Hunt’s new book ‘The Statues That Walked’, which demolished the idea – popularised by Jared Diamond in his book ‘Collapse’ – that Easter Island’s prehistoric society suffered some kind of ecologically-driven collapse which offers a parable for our modern-day environmental problems. Jared Diamond then sent over a robust response, which I published in full. Now Lipo and Hunt in turn respond to Diamond, which I am happy also to publish in full below.
The Easter Island ecocide never happened’ – response to Jared Diamond

Go there and read both.

This tempest in a teapot troubled me. It shows a lack of perspective in my opinion.

In 40 or 50 years people will look back on how narrowly we averted global collapse of our civilization by changing the way we see our environment. Earth is our life support system.

Or we will mourn the collapse caused by unrelenting consumption and pollution. Having exhausted our resources and pushed our climate into chaos, having suffered the resulting riots, famine, war... all that's left are pockets here and there, and they will not survive. In 10 thousand years, people like Carl Lipo and Terry Hunt will study the artifacts we left behind. Hope they find  copies of Jared's books.

Either way, the work of Jared Diamond will be relevant, prophetic even, while the work of Lipo and Hunt will satisfy academicians high in their ivory towers. There's room for both.

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