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CO2 and Climate
Supporting Mathematics
Easter Island

Mathematics of the
Easter Island Collapse

A recent survey of ancient and contemporary societies
whose original ascendancy was followed by collapse
includes a chapter devoted to
Easter Island

with its land area of 66 sq. miles and an estimated peak
population (depending on the study surveyed) of
between 6,000 and 30,000 people
                     (See Jared Diamond's book Collapse, 2005)


Taking a mid-range peak population estimate of
approximately 15,000, the following mathematics

Assume that e
ach person, while standing, is, on
average, approximately two feet width at shoulders
and 1.5 feet front to back
, so that each individual
physically occupies (2) x (1.5)  =  approximately
3 sq. feet of space


Thus, 15,000 people x 3 sq. feet each would
occupy approximately  ~ 45,000 sq. feet.

Since o
ne square mile  =  27,878,400 sq. feet,
total "empty space" on the island amounts

66 square
miles times  27,878,400 for a total
island area of  ~ 1,839,974,400 sq. feet


Since a total of approximately 45,000 sq. feet is
physically occupied by the 15,000

45,000 sq feet divided by 1,839,974,400 sq. feet
(the total existing area) equals:  

             2.44568 x 10 -5   =  .000 02446
or  .
                      2.45  / 1000ths  of  1%

(a)  1% of 1,839,974,400   =  .01 x 1,839,974,400  = 18,399,744  sq. feet

(b)  1/10th of 1%:                .001 x  1,839,974,400   =  1,839,974  sq. feet

(c)  1/100th of 1%:           .000 1  x  1,839,974,400   =    183,997  sq. feet

(d)  1/1000th of 1%:           .000 01  x  1,839,974,400    = 18,399   sq. feet
(e)  3/1000ths of 1%:          .000 03  x  1,839,974,400   =  55,199  sq. feet


Thus, at its peak, the human population of Easter
Island probably occupied less than 3/1000ths of 
1%  of the island's total available area



In addition, since 100%  minus 3/1000ths of 1%
                    equals  99.999 97 %

the total percentage of unoccupied "open space"
at the time of collapse was
99.999 97 %.


Thus, Easter Island's human population, its
environment, and its society underwent
catastrophic collapse

even when
.99.999 97 %. of the island
remained unoccupied

In other words, collapse occurred
               as "vast amounts of open-space

                 remained theoretically-available


In other words, we see still another history
that ended in collapse, this time involving a
human society confined to an island with
limited resources. 

In addition, the above collapse occurred
even as "vast amounts of open-space"

remained theoretically-available to the
island's human occupants




Footnote 1: 

Just like Easter Island, earth itself is, after all,
also an island (in space),

and though earth is many times larger in size
than Easter Island, so is the size of our


Footnote 2:  The similarity of our situation
and that of the peak population of Easter
Island is not perfect, however. 

The humans on Easter Island constituted
a pre-industrial society
that could deforest
their environment, kill all of its birds and
most of its seabirds, and
overexploit its


Unlike us, however, they could not generate
billions of tons of CO2 and industrial wastes

and plunder resources from all parts of the

In addition, they had no industrial wastes,
automobile exhausts, oxidized fossil fuels,
chlorofluorocarbons, mercury wastes,
logging concessions, investment portfolios,
and mechanized fishing fleets with which
to assault their environment















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 GPSO 2010

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