Worse, it's the.
With so much hyperbole in conservation writing, no wonder we consistently fail to build political consensus. The tunnel vision has a deeper impact. This book follows a wider cultural fetish for particulars. One lost whale. One brain-dead patient. One politician's mistake. One crying mother. Such fetishes give writers convenient objects for rhetorical focus. I appreciate that it's hard to describe diffuse and less objectifiable subjects. Cultivating fetishes is easy to do and easy to follow.
But this approach shifts attention away from more important matters, and authors who create these fetishes are culpable in wider processes of wilful ignorance. Forget George. What will happen to the Galapagos when sea levels rise by two metres, air temperatures rise by 3C, and oceanic or atmospheric currents radically shift? There's another plain truth in the demise of George's kind. It comes from our own over-consumption. In the Age of Sail, the Galapagos served as a restaurant for ships heading into the open Pacific. We humans ate large numbers of George's kin for supper.
Afterwards, our naturalists unsustainably collected more for our museums. Then we delivered competitors to his ecosystem because we had other purposes. We directly caused this demise.
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To be fair, Nicholls describes these processes. But is his heroic tale of intense last-minute efforts to breed George supposed to offer some kind of redemption? Does it somehow absolve us, or science, of blame? I think not.
We do n'ot forgive an abusive spouse when they bring flowers to the hospital bedside. I do n'ot feel absolution knowing that a few researchers are working desperately hard to breed George. As a human and as a devotee of natural history museums, I have to live with the knowledge that my people caused this.
- Fashion: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions).
- Raising awareness of Galapagos in the UK.
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- Lonesome George: the life and loves of a conservation icon by Henry Nicholls.
- Lonesome George - The Life and Loves of a Conservation Icon | NA NA | Palgrave Macmillan.
- Lonesome George – Henry Nicholls.
I should use my knowledge of that culpability to avoid the same said about me in years. The triumph in this story will come not when George successfully breeds, but when we avoid repeating this all-too-frequent error. In setting his spotlight so narrowly on scientific preservation in the Galapagos archipelago, Nicholls actively hides our larger culpabilities.
He robs us of a chance for greater triumph. For me, that diminishes this book, regardless of how well Nicholls tells his narrowly framed story.
Lonesome George: The life and loves of a conservation icon
Finally, like so many other books about the Galapagos, Nicholls presents the archipelago through the eyes of his own cultural priorities. For him, science and pristine nature are the moral goods. Everything else is extractive and somehow reducing; things to be prevented. I visited the Galapagos a few years ago on a tour much like the one that first took Nicholls.
Today, Lonesome George has come to embody the mystery, complexity and fragility of the unique Galapagos archipelago. His story echoes the challenges of conservation worldwide; it is a story of Darwin, sexual dysfunction, adventure on the high seas, cloning, DNA fingerprinting and eco-tourism. He lives in south London. NYT - Adult Fiction. NYT - Adult Nonfiction. Classic Catalog. Average Rating. On Shelf. Basalt Non Fiction. Place Hold.
Add a Review. Add To List. Lonesome George is a 5ft long, lb tortoise aged between 60 and In he was discovered on the remote Galapagos island of Pinta, from which tortoises had supposedly been exterminated by greedy whalers and seal hunters. He has been at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz island ever since, on the off-chance that scientific ingenuity will conjure up a way of reproducing him and resurrecting his species.
Meanwhile a million tourists and dozens of baffled scientists have looked on as the celebrity reptile shows not a jot of interest in the female company provided. Today, Lonesome George has come to embody the mystery, complexity and fragility of the unique Galapagos archipelago.
Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of a Conservation Icon (Macmi | eBay
His story echoes the challenges of conservation worldwide; it is a story of Darwin, sexual dysfunction, adventure on the high seas, cloning, DNA fingerprinting and eco-tourism. Also in This Series. More Like This.
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