Destroying What Remains

| 6/3/2015 10:43:00 AM

Sea ice

As sea ice in the Arctic vanishes, the Navy looks to begin naval training including live bombing runs and the use of active sonar in the middle of the most pristine, economically valuable and sustainable salmon fishery in the country.

Reprinted with permission by TomDispatch [This essay is a joint TomDispatch/Truthout report.]

I lived in Anchorage for 10 years and spent much of that time climbing in and on the spine of the state, the Alaska Range. Three times I stood atop the mountain the Athabaskans call Denali, "the great one." During that decade, I mountaineered for more than half a year on that magnificent state’s highest peaks. It was there that I took in my own insignificance while living amid rock and ice, sleeping atop glaciers that creaked and moaned as they slowly ground their way toward lower elevations.

Alaska contains the largest coastal mountain range in the world and the highest peak in North America. It has more coastline than the entire contiguous 48 states combined and is big enough to hold the state of Texas two and a half times over. It has the largest population of bald eagles in the country. It has 430 kinds of birds along with the brown bear, the largest carnivorous land mammal in the world, and other species ranging from the pygmy shrew that weighs less than a penny to gray whales that come in at 45 tons. Species that are classified as "endangered" in other places are often found in abundance in Alaska.

Now, a dozen years after I left my home state and landed in Baghdad to begin life as a journalist and nine years after definitively abandoning Alaska, I find myself back. I wish it was to climb another mountain, but this time, unfortunately, it’s because I seem increasingly incapable of escaping the long and destructive reach of the U.S. military.

S & SL
6/19/2015 11:08:32 AM

I "liked" this article because it's vitally important -not because it's 'likable', OK? It is is an absolute outrage. For a good measure of the gap between humanity and nature, read the apt parts of the recent Encyclical and try to rationalize them with the conduct described in this article. It's truly mind-blowing. But it also points directly to the Root Cause of our impending demise, *IF* We The People of the world choose to do something to prevent it.

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