[Marxism] Fwd: The Politics of Extinction

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Oct 23 12:34:04 MDT 2015


Just over six years ago I reviewed “The Cove”, a documentary by Louie 
Psihoyos that exposed the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. The 
local authorities had been warding off photographers and activists ever 
since the coastal waters became a killing ground. Local fishermen 
discovered that they could stampede dolphins into a cove and kill 
thousands at a time, saving just a few animals for export to seaquariums 
around the world, including Seaworld, at $150,000 per head. As 
CounterPunchers might be aware, Jason Hribal wrote a book titled “Fear 
of the Animal Planet” that took up the cause of such sea-going mammals, 
including the orca that was so driven to distraction by living in 
confinement that it killed a trainer by holding her underwater.

Those dolphins that are slaughtered end up in Japanese supermarkets 
labeled as whale meat. Technically, this is true since dolphins are 
small whales. But the meat is hazardous to one’s health. Laced with 
mercury, an inevitable by-product of factory emissions, they can 
potentially cripple or kill you.

To his everlasting credit, Louie Psihoyos joined Rick O’Barry, a former 
dolphin trainer and subject of his film, in guerrilla raids on the 
dolphin killers using hidden cameras rather than AK-47s. “The Cove” can 
be seen on Youtube  for just $1.99 and is must viewing for anybody 
concerned about the massive threat industrial-fishing poses not only to 
the whales but to humanity as well. If the ocean becomes empty of 
sea-life, the earth itself is threatened since there is a delicate 
balance between the two biospheres.

This is essentially the theme of “Racing Extinction”, a film that 
Psihoyos has been working on for the past six years. I saw it on 
Wednesday night at a press screening introduced by Susan Sarandon and 
the director. He warned the audience that the film was a bearer of bleak 
tidings but that it was not too late to avert a Sixth Extinction, the 
subject not only of the documentary but one omnipresent in print and 
electronic media.

The film begins by providing a context for the threat we face today in 
what has been dubbed the Anthropocene era, one marked by the dominant 
footprint of homo sapiens and more particularly its use of fossil fuels 
to sustain an increasingly unsustainable “good life”.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/23/the-politics-of-extinction/



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