Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Humans Doom Themselves

Butterflies Reeling is a study pointing to climate change and habitat destruction as having a negative impact on butterfly populations in California. What about atmospheric pollution and herbicides and pesticides? It's almost as though they are taboo subjects, like incest.

Pasted below is the beginning of Monbiot's review of Avatar. It's worth reading the whole thing, for among other things, the light it sheds on our future. It concisely demonstrates that the expansion of "civilization" predicated on economic and population growth is not sustainable and requires the exploitation of new lands and the extermination of any prior inhabitants. The problem with this tactic of course is that we have run out of new lands. We have fully exploited the biosphere, including the over-fished and polluted oceans. There is no where else to expand to. Here's Monbiot (thanks RPauli!):

Avatar, James Cameron’s blockbusting 3-D film, is both profoundly silly and profound. It’s profound because, like most films about aliens, it is a metaphor for contact between different human cultures. But in this case the metaphor is conscious and precise: this is the story of European engagement with the native peoples of the Americas. It’s profoundly silly because engineering a happy ending demands a plot so stupid and predictable that it rips the heart out of the film. The fate of the native Americans is much closer to the story told in another new film, The Road, in which a remnant population flees in terror as it is hunted to extinction.

But this is a story no one wants to hear, because of the challenge it presents to the way we choose to see ourselves. Europe was massively enriched by the genocides in the Americas; the American nations were founded on them. This is a history we cannot accept.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Gail... thnx.. and you spun this in just the right direction... just glancing over the reviews of Straw Dogs - by John Gray.
    http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?rpage=2&rsort=&reviews=1&qsort=&page=1&matches=42&wquery=Straw+Dogs+Thoughts+on+Humans+and+Other+Animals&full=1&qwork=7605638
    Notion that humans are not to be radically distinguished from other animals.

    ReplyDelete

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