Jared Diamond’s, “Collapse” discusses many causes of environmental problems in different parts and islands of the world and the factors leading to the collapse of societies.  Chapter three focuses on three islands (Mangareve, Pitcairn and Henderson) that are known as Southeast Polynesia.  Each island had their advantages and disadvantages and managed to survive over many years.  Evidence shows that these islands traded things like raw materials, tools, oyster shells, fruits, possibly sea turtles, and feathers.  Trade continued from about A.D. 1000 to 1450, but stopped soon after.  Why did it stop?  Disastrous environmental changes on Mangareve and Pitcairn islands left the people with limited resources.  Out of all the islands, Henderson is the most remote and the most marginal for human existence.  Henderson depended on the other islands for many of their resources, so when trade ended, the people of Henderson were stuck. 

The dependency that Henderson had on the other islands reminds me of the dependency we, the United States, have on other countries for oil.  So what happens if these other countries ran out of oil, or decided that they will no longer do business with us?

http://earthfirst.com/what-would-happen-if-oil-supplies-in-america-suddenly-dried-up/ is an article about the things that could happen if we ran out of oil.  According to the article, the president would declare a state of emergency and martial law would go into effect. First, Americans would panic.  They would stock up on alot of food and supplies, but without oil there’s no way to import more food to restock shelves.  Airports would shut down and everyone would be stranded here.  Emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to respond to anyone and chaos would set in.  As for the environment, life without oil is extremely bad.  Coal would give the people some hope because trains can transport food and other goods, but the waste products are detrimental to the environment.  Some people would grow gardens, but would the soil eventually erode? Would we cut down all the trees, even though we know how it’s affecting the environment?  Would the human population on the U. S. die out?  We have to ask all of these questions because the problems happened on Henderson island due to the dependency on others.  We can’t be sure what would happen, but life would be extremely different from what we know today.