How Whales Change Climate
The astonishing story of how whales keep the oceans alive – and alter the composition of the atmosphere.
Written and narrated by George Monbiot. Produced and directed by SustainableHuman.
“I Love not man the less, but Nature more” George Monbiot
George Monbiot’s website is probably one of the most challenging sites with regard to politics, environment, education, globalisation, law, war, health and safety, land-rights and just about everything that involves your well being in today’s world – especially in regards to where YOU stand.
Here is an excerpt from the INTRODUCTION of George Monbiot’s website www.monbiot.com
My job is to tell people what they don’t want to hear. That is not what I set out to do. I wanted only to cover the subjects I thought were interesting and important. But wherever I turned, I met a brick wall of denial.
Denial is everywhere. I have come to believe that it’s an intrinsic component of our humanity, an essential survival strategy. Unlike other species, we know that we will die. This knowledge could destroy us, were we unable to blot it out. But, unlike other species, we also know how not to know. We employ this unique ability to suppress our knowledge not just of mortality, but of everything we find uncomfortable, until our survival strategy becomes a threat to our survival.
Whenever I have tried to bring an awkward issue to public attention, it has been greeted with a cacophony of voices insisting that there is nothing to worry about. The volume of denial bears no relationship – except perhaps a positive one – to the strength of the evidence.
Denial is exacerbated by the nature of the media. I believe that the first purpose of journalism is to hold power to account. But it is used, overwhelmingly, to support power against those who challenge it. Most media organisations are owned by very wealthy people or corporations. They appoint editors in their own image, and the people who work for them are acutely aware of where their interests lie. One of the privileges of wealth is that you can employ other people to engage in denial on your behalf. Ideas and information which conflict with the interests of the proprietorial class, or upset their assumptions, are either energetically denounced or comprehensively ignored by their employees.
To read more of the INTRODUCTION go to his website. As well as his Introduction and a brief on his background and qualifications you will realise George Monbiot’s dedication to the environment and all things in nature – and what an incredibly prolific writer and dedicated activist he is. With a love and lifelong genuine appreciation for the health and safety and sustainability of this planet you will be inspired in your own life to make a stand – which if enough people contributed, would make for an enormous shift in consciousness and usher in a new world for the benefit of all humanity.
An excerpt from www.monbiot.com/about/
After six years working in the tropics, I decided to return to Britain. There I became involved in the direct action movement: first against timber companies importing mahogany from the Amazon, then against the government’s road-building programme. In the summer of 1994, while contesting the road being built through the flank of Solsbury Hill, I was hospitalised by two thugs in yellow tabards, who impaled my foot on a fencing spike, smashing the middle bone. I was one of 11 people admitted to accident and emergency in the local hospital that day as a result of beatings by the security guards.
I saw the road-building programme as an example of the kind of enclosure the peasant movements in Brazil were fighting. Reading histories of land alienation and resistance movements in Britain, I began to see that these forces had played a major role in our politics, but were now largely forgotten. I co-founded a group called The Land is Ours, whose purpose was to try to revitalise public engagement in decisions about how the land is used. We occupied a number of sites, including 13 acres of prime real estate beside Wandsworth Bridge in London, which was destined for yet another supermarket. We held it for six months, beating the owners, Guinness, in court, and built a village there, which was eventually destroyed in the eviction.
After writing a few op-eds for the Guardian, I was offered a regular column in 1996. Thanks to the tolerant and open-minded editors I have been blessed with ever since, I have been able to explore the issues that interest me, however obscure they may be. I cannot think of any work I would rather do, except perhaps tracking wolves, but there’s not much call for that in Britain.
As a result of some of the things I learnt while researching my columns, I began the investigations which culminated in my next book, Captive State: the corporate takeover of Britain, published in 2000. The discoveries it made, I felt, shone new light on politics in this country. But while the books I had written about other countries were reviewed in most of the papers, Captive State was reviewed hardly anywhere, at least when it was first published. The deathly silence with which the book was received suggested to me that some issues are treated by the media as too impolite to discuss.
After identifying what I felt were some of the problems curtailing democratic politics, I set out to propose some solutions, in my next book, The Age of Consent. Like Captive State, this sold well. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been little progress towards the solutions it proposed. Since then I have published three more books. The first is Heat: how to stop the planet burning, which shows how we can cut carbon emissions by 90% without destroying our quality of life; the second is a collection of essays called Bring on the Apocalypse. The latest, which was first published in 2013, is about rewilding: the large-scale restoration of ecosystems. It’s called Feral: searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding. It’s a wonderful subject. Researching it felt like stepping through the back of the wardrobe.
My work is more sedentary than it used to be, so I temper it with plenty of physical activity: sea kayaking, ultimate frisbee, running and some heavy duty gardening: growing my own vegetables and much of my own fruit.
Here are some of the things I love: my family and friends, salt marshes, arguments, chalk streams, Russian literature, kayaking among dolphins, diversity of all kinds, rockpools, heritage apples, woods, fishing, swimming in the sea, gazpacho, ponds and ditches, growing vegetables, insects, pruning, forgotten corners, fossils, goldfinches, etymology, Bill Hicks, ruins, Shakespeare, landscape history, palaeoecology, Gavin and Stacey and Father Ted.
Here are some of the things I try to fight: undemocratic power, corruption, deception of the public, environmental destruction, injustice, inequality and the misallocation of resources, waste, denial, the libertarianism which grants freedom to the powerful at the expense of the powerless, undisclosed interests, complacency.
Here is what I fear: other people’s cowardice.
I still see my life as a slightly unhinged adventure whose perpetuation is something of a mystery. I have no idea where it will take me, and no ambitions other than to keep doing what I do. So far it’s been gripping.