Culture and Environmental Degradation

Culture and Environmental Degradation

ESL 272, Reading Assignment 2

In “Easter’s End,” Jared Diamond claims that environmental degradation was the main reason for the destruction of the culture and population on Easter Island.In the second article, “A Monumental Collapse,” researchers, including Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo, argue that there were more factors contributing to the collapse, and they disputed environmental degradation was the main factor.After considering the evidence presented in the two readings, what were the most plausible (possible) explanations, in your opinion, for the collapse of Easter Island?

Answer the assignment question in three paragraphs:

  • Paragraph #1: Summarize Jared Diamond’s arguments of environmental degradation in relationship to the building of the statues (Moai).(About 150 words)
  • Paragraph #2: Summarize the findings of Terry Hunt, Carl Lipo, Thegn Ladefoged, Christopher Stevenson, and Benny Peiser. You should cover these topics: Arrival date of the first Polynesian settlers on Easter Island, prehistoric paths, rock gardens, low rainfall on the island, soil erosion record, slave raids, and the spread of smallpox after Europeans came into contact with islanders between 1722-1862. (About 180 words)
  • Paragraph #3: Answer the question below (offer your opinion) now that you have read and written about arguments from both articles. (About 180 words)
  • Other requirements:

Question for Reading Assignment 2After considering the evidence presented in the two readings, what were the most plausible (possible) explanations, in my opinion, for the collapse of Easter Island?

  • Use FOUR if not more words from the vocab list below and underline them.
  • Use at least one quote and one paraphrase. Include page # for both, and type the original sentence(s) of the paraphrase at the bottom of the page(Do not use a long quote in your summary paragraph, which should always be written in your own words.)
  • Include Works Cited in MLA (Modern Language Association) format at end of the paper:

Vocabulary list: gigantic stone statues (moai), isolation, cessation, subtropical, archaeology, pollen analysis, topsoil, validate, devour, wiped out, colonized, collapsed, denial, undeniable, self-destruction, dispute, confirmation, culture, acculturation.


Diamond, Jared. “Easter’s End.”ESL 272 Course Packet, compiled by Clara Lam, De Anza College, Spring 2019, pp. 29-31,

Answer preview:

Word: 650