Thursday, August 09, 2007

So it goes

The Yangtze River dolphin has passed away. I don't mean that a River dolphin has died I mean the entire fucking species is officially extinct, and its our fault. The end of the species time was a painful suffering as described by Douglas Adams in a book I need to buy, Last Chance to See.
As I watched the wind ruffling over the bilious surface of the Yangtze, I realised with the vividness of shock that somewhere beneath or around me there were intelligent animals whose perceptive universe we could scarcely begin to imagine, living in a seething, poisoned, deafening world, and that their lives were probably passed in continual bewilderment, hunger, pain, and fear.
Which made me think of this quote from Lord of the Rings.
So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?
Unfortunately we are the cause of the death but the problem isn't our hate, its our apathy and greed. PZ sums this up quickly with some much needed cynicism about our priorities.
Some two-bit publicity hound can die, and that's all you can find on any of the television channels … a whole grand species can go extinct, and there's almost nothing.

Say goodbye to the Yangtze River dolphin. It is officially extinct. The funeral will be poorly attended, and it will be forgotten, except in a few academic papers.

Thank you to Pharyngula, Stranger Fruit and Warren @ stranger fruit for the Adams quote.


mothpete said...

It might be this virus and fever I've got at the moment, but I'm really sad to hear about this, even though I knew it was inevitable.

I hope I don't have to get Douglas' book out and start ticking chapters off.

Kilgore Trout said...

I was about to reply when I spotted one of the crazier avatars I've ever seen...

I don't think you need to be ill, or have an excuse at all for being sad about the destruction of a species by our own. It would probably be a better world if people needed an excuse not to feel sad by extinction, the ultimate genocide.