When new businesses come into existence, it is largely under the principles of established businesses and therefore unsustainable and environmentally harmful ideals are fostered at the initial period. If attitudes were to change at the fundamental structures of business, people could set up organisations that nurtured and conserved the environment instead of using it up for profit. The former is what has been termed sustainable development. The idea has been difficult to promote to society, since it seems to involve a complete change of ideals when it comes to business and daily life; regardless of this hesitation, can sustainable development be the way towards a healthy environmental future world wide
As pointed out in Conformity and Conflict, Easter Island has been shown as a microcosm of the entire world; resources used up completely and the human society made impossible and then extinct (Spradley et al 2000 pp.118-126). The difference is glaringly obvious: the inhabitants of earth have no viable options when it comes to relocating, whereas the Easter Islanders were able to abandon the island and inhabit outlying lands. Diamond explains how the society of Easter Island was built up quickly and then brought to an almost immediate halt as the people living there used up virtually every resource that was available to them. Where the island had been rich in plant and animal life when humans initially settled there, a mere few hundred years of unsustainable development left the rich lands barren of all life sustaining resources and now sits bare with the skeleton of human society for all to witness. How does this factor into today's society Diamond explains that Easter Island can be used as an example to the rest of the world because the people there acted in exactly the same way as we are now, all over the world: they did not respect the balance of life and overstepped their boundaries as one species and one small part of an ecosystem.
Easter Islanders will have noticed their food and other natural supplies dwindling, however they certainly didn't manage to rectify the situation in time for their own survival. The ethnographer notes that these isolated Polynesians "grew bananas, taro, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, and paper mulberry" while their only domesticated animal being the chicken (Ibid.). Extensive use of fishing hooks, Polynesian style tools and above all their amazing stone statues and carvings goes to show that the island must have supported several thousand inhabitants at its peak. Diamond asked, "what happened to those settlers" Linguists and archaeologists are in agreement that the society flourished from around A.D. 400 to after the 1500's, after the resources had run out. Archaeologists have found that during the prosperous years of the Easter Island culture, sustainable development was not on the agenda despite the fact that the society was obviously structured and quite complex and capable of many things. For the erection of