Easter Island


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Making it harder

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According to the speaker, why did clans carve statues on Easter Island?
To pray for an abundance of food
To show their superiority
To protect the island from natural disasters
To ward off Westerners
What happened as a result of the statues being built?
The island's people became rich through tourism.
One tribe enslaved the rest of the island's people.
Western explorers conquered the island.
Deforestation led to destruction of the ecosystem.
Which of the following is NOT a lesson that can be taken from the speaker's talk about Easter Island?
Tribal competition can lead to disaster.
People should live in harmony with the land.
Resources should be used responsibly.
Statues help create a lasting legacy.
What is the main idea of the talk?
Easter Island's limited resources led to its demise.
Societies should always respect natural resources.
Easter Island's statues are impressive monuments.
Competition is the key to success in any society.
About 1500 miles, off the coast of America, lying in the Pacific, is an island which we call Easter Island. It's renowned around the world, for the huge figures, carved out of stone. Lay- laying across the coast, facing out to sea. Like giant warriors they try to fend off, any outsiders from la- landing on the island. When, Westerners originally landed on this island. They found, a few poor people, warring with each other. Poverty stricken, in a terrible state. The end of the population. In the beginning of the island's history, there was a strong community, and a strong population of people. Working together, with plenty to eat and plenty to do. But unfortunately, they led to their own destruction. They lived on animals such as pigs and chickens. And they sewed their own grain, which they harvested. And they lived on, um, tubers such as, sweet potatoes and that sort of thing. As they had so much food, they had plenty of time, to do other things. They weren't constantly having to search for food. So, the clans of people, fought for supremacy in the island. And a way of showing, their supremacy, was to show that they had so much food, they could spare this many people to carve a huge figure. So the stone was hewn out of the rock of the island. The figures were carved, and they were put in the most prominent places on the island. So that all the other people could see how clever that clan was. How strong they were. But in order to move, the figures, to the coast, they had to chop down trees. And they chopped down the trees and they used, tree trunks as rollers. And they rolled these statues. As each clan got one extra statue, the other clans thought we must get another statue as well. So, they, built and they built. And they chopped more and more trees down. And they moved them all to the coast. The trees never had a chance to regenerate. Because they were chopped down too quickly, in too small an area. Once the trees had gone there were no, root systems to hold the soil in together. And soil erosion took place. Nutrients were leached out of the soils. And they soon found, in the space of a few hundred years. That, they could no longer grow food of a good nutritional quality. People became... Starving. They, couldn't search through the forests for food, because they'd already chopped them down. The animals, didn't have enough food. So it was difficult to live off the meat as well. And this is the state that the people found them in when they first landed on Easter Island. So... The poignant lesson, on how we should look after what we've got. And, not try to, fight for supremacy between ourselves. Um, the, ecosystem in which they lived, was fine before they... Tried to get above themselves. Just living at harmony, with one with the ecosystem, everything would have been all right. And the island would still be a perfect Pacific paradise now.