here is another piece of tribal wisdom. This advert for EDF, the largest power company in France and the world’s largest nuclear operator carries the slogan: “We develop tomorrow’s energies for future generations”. But what kind of extraordinary logic uses the Easter Island statues as a progressive image? The Easter Island civilization collapsed from deforestation and overpopulation. The statues are a symbol of hubris and denial in the face of an impending environmental disaster. What staggering stupidity to use them to promote nuclear power.
Easter Island's End
By Jared Diamond, in Discover Magazine
In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism. Are we about to follow their lead?
Among the most riveting mysteries of human history are those posed by vanished civilizations. Everyone who has seen the abandoned buildings of the Khmer, the Maya, or the Anasazi is immediately moved to ask the same question: Why did the societies that erected those structures disappear?
Their vanishing touches us as the disappearance of other animals, even the dinosaurs, never can. No matter how exotic those lost civilizations seem, their framers were humans like us. Who is to say we won't succumb to the same fate? Perhaps someday New York's skyscrapers will stand derelict and overgrown with vegetation, like the temples at Angkor Wat and Tikal.
Easter on Easter Island
Reply to: email@example.com
Date: 2007-04-08, 11:56AM PDT
While our Christian brethren are busy chanting their hosannas I suggest that the rest of us might take a few moments to reflect upon the fine example of human religiosity in action that our forbearers on Easter Island have given us. In the final analysis it won’t matter what the ultimate consensus of societal opinion on abortion, school prayer, homosexuality, diversity, race relations, immigration, evolution, sexual politics, taxation, trade relations, globalization, civil liberties or the War in Iraq was if our children and grandchildren don’t survive. Regardless of your political persuasion or religious affiliation if you care about posterity then take a good hard look at what is happening to our resource base. The depletion of our fresh water supplies, the deterioration of the soil, the collapse of our fisheries, global deforestation, mass extinctions and the expanding oceanic dead zones amongst many other harbingers of our future are not just paranoid liberal fantasies. Open your eyes. We don’t have that much time left.
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