Monday, October 29, 2007


George Packer looks at the imminent extinction of the world's primates and sees tragedy:

The passing from the world of our closest relatives is not a political tragedy, like Burma; it is not a humanitarian nightmare, like Darfur; it is not an ideological disaster, like Iraq. All the same, it makes me unspeakably sad. How lonely to inhabit the planet without that familiar and alien gaze to keep us company. The fact that magnificent, uncomprehending, essentially helpless animals have to pay the ultimate price for our indifference seems at times like a worse crime than anything human beings do to one another. Our belated awakening to the distant prospect of collective suicide known as global warming might be the last chance to prevent the more imminent crime of kin-killing.

It doesn't have to be this way. We just have to summon the will to inconvenience ourselves for the sake of our cousins, whose only failing is to not be as powerful, cruel and selfish as we are.

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