Ignorance is devestating

Society doesn’t usually collapse in one fell swoop. It takes the culmination of various actions for a society to vanish. Usually people make ignorant decisions which end up hurting themselves in the long run. 

The Vikings in Greenland are an example of ignorant people who by their actions hurt themselves and ended up “vanishing”. They, as cited in the book review “The Vanishing” by Malcom Gladwell, did not properly adapt to their surroundings in Greenland. The Vikings did not follow procedures done by the Inuit who effectively adapted to the environment. The Inuit hunted seals for their blubber, which they used for various purposes. The Vikings did not have a good opinion of the Inuits and continued to apply their European practices like raising cattle and other things that were not appropriate such as cutting grass to make pastures. The Vikings strictly adhering to their culture caused them to go extinct, due to the fact they ran out of food in Greenland.

The inhabitants of Easter People were also ignorant, but in a different capacity. They did not care for their environment by cutting down trees and raising farmers and livestock on the areas that the trees are. Unfortunately, the environment of Easter Island was very susceptible to deforestation so they ended up “vanishing” as well. Even modern “vanishing” in Rwanda has also come down to environmental factors. Lots of environmental degradation has occurred there, which helped spark the conflict between the ethnic groups there.

It seems the common variable between multiple ethnic civilizations “vanishing” is the lack of concern for the effects of their actions on the environment. A lesson to take, is when developing a civilization you should always take note of possible environmental effects. People should not always completely follow their biases, and be open minded to the point to find the best solution for their culture and the environment.

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