Daily Archives: April 28, 2019

Written in Stone: The Silent and Eerie Eloquence of Stone Structures in the Atlantic Trade | EV & N – 311 | CCTV

http://ecoethics.net/2014-ENVRE120/20190428-EV&N-311-Link.html

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/634404

Europeans oversaw the construction of massive stone castles and forts in Africa to conduct the slave trade from the 15th through the early 19th centuries.  These enduring stone structures and their surrounding areas can now be studied in depth by coordinated teams of international scholars to uncover more information about the embedded labor history, archaeology, ethnobotany and ecology of the Atlantic trade and its extended impact in Africa.

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As the poem by the 20th century writer, Berthold Brecht, reminds us, stone structures like these raise a whole series of particular questions in the minds of anyone who looks at them from a worker’s point of view:

A Worker Reads History

Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
And Babylon, so many times destroyed.
Who built the city up each time? In which of Lima’s houses,
That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?
In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished
Where did the masons go? Imperial Rome
Is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Byzantium lives in song.
Were all her dwellings palaces? And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the seas rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.
He alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Was there not even a cook in his army?
Phillip of Spain wept as his fleet
was sunk and destroyed. Were there no other tears?
Frederick the Great triumphed in the Seven Years War.
Who triumphed with him?

Each page a victory
At whose expense the victory ball?
Every ten years a great man,
Who paid the piper?

So many particulars.
So many questions.

Berthold Brecht 

“Great men” are everywhere celebrated in monuments.  Assessments of their contributions are written in stone.

Christopher-Columbus

The citizens of Westerly, RI, — many of whom were descendants of Italian immigrant stone workers — recently erected this statue of Columbus next to their public library.

Zheng-He-China

Zheng He: China’s Most Famous Muslim Navigator, is remembered in stone.

What is ignored and forgotten in the dominant historical narrative of our time if this is the only kind of “history” we learn?

Some problems with the master narrative re-emerge even though — or, perhaps, precisely because of the fact that  — the master narrative has been written in stone.  It is carved in such permanent material that it cannot be casually amended.  It seems that it must be torn down and perhaps eventually replaced with some other narrative form.  Consider the recent demand of the President of Mexico.

Mexico-BBC-Apology

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and consider:

 

 

David Wallace-Wells, “The Uninhabitable Earth”


Politics and ProsePublished on Mar 19, 2019

David Wallace-Wells discusses his book, “The Uninhabitable Earth”, at Politics and Prose on 3/12/19. Expanding on his July 2017 New York magazine article—called “the Silent Spring of our time” and the most-read piece in the magazine’s history—Wallace-Wells’s new book is an unsparing look at the realities of climate change and the consequences of our continuing failure to face them.

Pointing to the increase in storms of unprecedented magnitude, the now year-round wildfires, and the rising oceans, Wallace-Wells argues that climate change is well under way, and that its impact will be more severe than even our worst-case scenarios indicate. Writing with passion and urgency, Wallace-Wells, a national fellow at the New America foundation and a columnist and deputy editor at New York, goes beyond the science of climate change to show that it’s an existential crisis so severe that it will reshape every aspect of human life. https://www.politics-prose.com/book/9…

David Wallace-Wells is a national fellow at the New America foundation and a columnist and deputy editor at New York magazine. He was previously the deputy editor of The Paris Review. He lives in New York City. Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online.

Why it’s time to think about human extinction | Dr David Suzuki


Kerwin Rae
Published on Dec 16, 2018

After listening to this ep with Dr David Suzuki, you’ll never be the same again. The environmentalist, activist, professor of genetics and science broadcaster hits us with some home truths about what our future will look like if we continue to live the way we have been. What will life be like for our children and grandchildren? Can the damage we’ve done to the planet be reversed? Is extinction of the human race imminent? We talk about population control, the importance of renewable energy and discuss what we can do right now in our own lives that can actually make a difference. This is for anyone who cares about the future of mankind.

Timestamps
20:06 Why humanity has only got 1 minute left to live
25:25 Humans are the only species that don’t care about their own children
29:17 Educate yourself on politics or don’t complain about the government
36:26 Can we be saved from our own extinction?
59:09 A final challenge for entrepreneurs

The battle against climate change by Paul Kingsnorth – Documentary


vpro documentary

Published on Apr 26, 2019
Humanity has lost the battle against climate change. That is what Paul Kingsnorth thinks. The former environmental activist believes that we can´t stop climate change anymore. How should we live on knowing that climate change is a fact that can´t be denied anymore? A documentary that gives thinker and writer Paul Kingsnorth the time to explain how humanity still can be hopeful although the battle against climate change in his eyes has been lost.

Former environmental activist and writer Paul Kingsnorth has withdrawn to Ireland on a unspoilt part of the earth. You could say that he lives now at the end of the world. A portrait of an end-time thinker who nevertheless does not give up hope and continues to believe in the power of nature.

Thinker and writer Paul Kingsnorth stood early on the barricades as a conservationist. He resisted the insatiable hunger of the globalized world for more land, resources and things in England and on the other side of the world in Papa New Guinea. Kingsnorth was one of the leaders of the environmental movement and reached a large international audience with its passionate speeches. But at some point, he came to terms that he had to revisit his belief that humanity could save the world.

In his bundled essays “Confessions of a recovering environmentalist” (2017) he describes how some weak-kneed accountants of this world hollowed out the green movement from the inside and exchanged the barricades for ties and conference tables. Limiting CO2 emissions became the new gospel because it was measurable and countable. But according to Kingsnorth, that is an illusion. He thinks that in his victory rush, the green movement of today exchanges the remaining wild nature for a wind or solar panel farm. The battle is lost.

Kingsnorth withdrew with his family to the Irish countryside to live self-sufficient. He founded the “Dark Mountain Project” in which writers, poets and artists are looking for a different view of the end of the world, based on the connection between man and nature. He exchanged his clenched fist and protesting voice for an inner, literary search for the question of what makes us human and what our place is on this magical planet.

Original titel: De aarde draait door

Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2018.
© VPRO Backlight December 2018

On VPRO broadcast you will find nonfiction videos with English subtitles, French subtitles and Spanish subtitles, such as documentaries, short interviews and documentary series.
VPRO Documentary publishes one new subtitled documentary about current affairs, finance, sustainability, climate change or politics every week. We research subjects like politics, world economy, society and science with experts and try to grasp the essence of prominent trends and developments.