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Old Jul 30th 2011, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Well yes, the inabillity to produce sufficient food is almost always the immediate cause of any extinct/lost civilization, but I think the key point about the Easter Islanders is that for them, this was an 'unintended consequence' of their passion for big statues and the resulting mass tree-chopping needed to move and erect those big stone statues.
Using that assumption one could state future food shortages due to generically engineered seeds dependent on endless applications of petroleum byproducts of fertilizers and pesticides would have originally been considered an unintended consequence?

I suggest that parallel as soil erosion due to clear cutting is not an immediate consequence. In primitive eras as trees came down crop positions would have been relocated to avoid initial erosion from primary drainage points. There had to be an early on point where those responsible for gathering/fishing noticed decline in available resources as soil became worthless and sea inlets contaminated by fresh water/silt. I'd think they were quickly silenced by leadership using the statues for worship purposes to control the masses, perhaps turning unintended disaster into a known consequence.
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