greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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The Court of the Crimson King (Pt. 1)

The Final Cut. Children of Men. Global warming. Polar bears. My head goes round and round in these circles.

For the most part, Planet Earth seems to be keeping mentions of humanity's impact to a minimum, but the polar-bear sequences stand out in stark contrast, an exception to the rule. This appears to have resulted from the camera men encountering so many drowning and starving polar bears. As global warming leads to shorter Arctic winters, ever-thinner pack ice, and earlier spring thaws, polar bears are quickly losing ground. Some biologists think they may be extinct by the end of the century, these bears, the world's largest extant terrestrial carnivores. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) share a common ancestor with the brown bear (Ursus arctos spp.), from which they likely diverged in the Middle Pleistocene, becoming a distinct species over the last 100,000 years*. But humans can wipe them out in only two or three centuries.

It would be a mercy, I suppose, in a purely selfish psychological sense, to ascribe to a religion that gives humanity dominance over "lower" lifeforms, that draws a distinction between Homo sapiens sapiens and all other animals, that says there's Man and then there's dumb, soulless nature (lowercase), which was only placed here to provide for Man's needs until some God or gods come/return to give mankind His just reward.

Anyway, because, one way or another, everything is connected, the polar-bear sequences in the "Ice Worlds" episode of Planet Earth last night brought me back around to Children of Men, and that got me thinking about these lines from Pink Floyd's The Final Cut (1983):

A place to stay.
Enough to eat.
Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street.
Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears,
And what's more, no-one ever disappears,
You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door.
You can relax on both sides of the tracks,
And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control.
And everyone has recourse to the law,
And no-one kills the children anymore.
And no-one kills the children anymore.

— Pink Floyd

Today, I'm trying not to think about drowning polar bears, trying to wander elsewhere and elsewhen in my mind, trying to find a story for Sirenia Digest 17.

*Kurten, B. 1964. The evolution of the polar bear, Ursus maritimus (Phipps). Acta Zoologica Fennica 108:1-26.
Tags: children of men, global warming, pink floyd, polar bears
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