[Marxism] Blood on the Ice | by Sophie Pinkham | The New York Review of Books

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Oct 23 08:42:24 MDT 2019

“Nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses; parks 
and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford. Whence came they?” 
Melville asked in Moby-Dick. He knew the answer: “All these brave houses 
and flowery gardens came from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. 
One and all, they were harpooned and dragged up hither from the bottom 
of the sea.”

Bathsheba Demuth’s Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the 
Bering Strait tells the story of how people learned to make money from 
the seas—specifically, from the waters of Beringia, the region that 
includes Alaska, the northeasternmost parts of Russia, and the seas in 
between. At first the money came from sea otters and whales, but when 
these grew scarce in the mid-nineteenth century, they were replaced with 
walruses sleeping in piles on the icy edges of the shore; then attention 
turned to caribou and Arctic foxes, and to the gold, tin, and oil in the 
earth. But as humans hunted and mined at an ever-accelerating pace, they 
did so with little understanding of the cyclical and finite aspects of 
life on earth, or of the ways their actions would disrupt the larger 
ecosystem, especially one as delicate as that of Beringia.

full: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/11/07/bering-strait-blood-ice/

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