Easter Island is one of the most remote places on the planet—more than 1,000 miles from any other inhabitable land area—and the home of a lost civilization that archeologists still do not fully understand. More than 600 ancient statues dot the island—evidence of a highly advanced society, yet when the first European visitors arrived in the eighteenth century, they found a barren landscape and a very primitive society engaged in warfare and cannibalism and unable to sustain itself. Easter Island is volcanic in origin. The environment lacks freshwater streams, there are only a handful of small lakes, and the soil for cultivation is marginal. In addition, the natural flora and fauna are not very diverse. The ecosystem includes about 30 native plants and trees and a few lizards. The Polynesian settlers who originally occupied the island brought domesticated animals and planted non-native crops to survive. When the population of settlers was small, this worked fine. The environment could absorb the strain. However, as the population grew and the society developed, the burden on the island’s resources became too great. Archeologists estimate that at one point there were approximately 10,000 people living on Easter Island. This placed a tremendous strain on the island’s resources. Eventually, all of the trees were cut down. The settlers discovered too late that the trees played a crucial role in nourishing the soil and preventing erosion. The land was overused, and not enough food could be produced; the civilization collapsed. Easter Island is an extreme example of the tragedy of the commons. The use of the island’s resources was unsustainable, and diminishing resource availability created ever more intense use of what remained. The island descended into the anarchy that the first European explorers observed. Surely the settlers knew this was happening—they lived it firsthand. However, they were powerless to stop the process. Thinking like an economist, write a 2 page paper (Times New Roman Font size 12, double spaced, 1″ margins) explaining the Tragedy of the Commons, why did this happen? How could we have avoided it?
You must include a minimum of 2 credible sources cited and reference using APA formating.
Video Link: https://youtu.be/c4U5Y7MSAJc
You will be graded on the use of economic analysis and terminology, proper grammar, writing style and paragraph structure, and APA usage.
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