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Tue Jan 1, 2019, 08:01 AM

Happy new year? Tell that to the natural world we are destroying

Philip Hoare

As humans slow down for the holidays, so does the environmental damage they inflict – if only briefly

So the animals must pay for our dysfunctionality. Japan, swayed by some notion of nationhood, asserts itself by declaring its resumption of whaling. Revenge is being wreaked on the Save the Whale campaigns of the 1970s and 80s – the bedrock of modern environmentalism – and all those yoghurt-knitting hippies. Killer whales and belugas are kept in “whale jail” in the far east of Russia, as far from prying eyes as possible – ready to be sold to marine parks in China. Highly evolved animals are stolen from the sea and people buy tickets so their family can watch them perform in artificial pools thousands of miles from home.

Meanwhile people stand on the banks of the Thames, at the aptly named Gravesend, hoping for a peek at a lone lost beluga. (I decline to call it by its presumptively gendered and anthropomorphic name). Animals have become entertainment, and must therefore bend to our will, adopt our demotic. There are protests when prisoners are allowed to pet goats for therapeutic purposes, but plaudits when spy cams are sent into the natural world as if in extension of our own over-surveilled and tracked existence, and serious public discussions as to whether a film crew in the Antarctic should dig some penguins out of a hole. As if we weren’t in a deep enough one already.

We have to deny the innate beauty of animals because we know we are destroying their world. Newly discovered species can barely raise their heads in the jungle or the ocean depths. “On every new thing there lies already the shadow of annihilation,” as WG Sebald wrote in his melancholy The Rings of Saturn. They are the bycatch of our remorseless progress, like the roadkill of whom Barry Lopez, the great American nature writer, observed: “They are the ones you give some semblance of burial, to whom you offer an apology, who may have been like seers in a parallel culture.”

In an essay for the online magazine Aeon, Gary Kroll, professor of history at the State University of New York, wrote: “We must understand that getting in a car, plane or train, that ordering a book from Amazon – all are destructive acts … Wildlife deserves an apology.” We even suborn the weather. Storms are given human names, as if to announce our control over the climate, even as we destroy it. These are the ultimate anthropomorphisations: Storm Emma, the beast from the east. Weather forecasters talk about “useful weather”, as if the heavens had been invented for our utility.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/31/happy-new-year-natural-environmental-damage

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Reply Happy new year? Tell that to the natural world we are destroying (Original post)
turbinetree Jan 1 OP
Mr. Quackers Jan 1 #1
bdamomma Jan 1 #2
Donkees Jan 1 #3
elocs Jan 1 #4

Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 08:03 AM

1. Almost as if

people don't know their place in the universe or even who they are.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 08:15 AM

2. We must

all step up to these warnings and to the continuous assault done by humans who are driving our animals, and environment over the edge.

Our actions have consequences and we continue to see and feel it everyday, while other countries are trying to obey and practice the Paris Climate Accord agreement, we have deniers in our country who continue to deny it's man made. Sad, when other parts of the world are suffering due to our ignorance. Scientists have been warning us for years hopefully more people will heed their word.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 08:49 AM

3. In Lak'ech Ala K'in





humus, humanity, humility

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 09:02 AM

4. What is going to be the magical way in which all the world suddenly becomes aware of the peril

of the natural world, where countries and individuals will not seek to look after their own present interests?
No, the natural world will eventually shake humans away like fleas from a dog and start over.
We need to continue to fight the good fight, but outside of a benevolent god who intervenes to save the created world, the ultimate future is clear. The nations of the world are not going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Battles will be won, but how the war will end is pretty clear.

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