"Why Saving the Whales Means Saving Ourselves"

"After decades of conservation efforts to protect whales, two recent books shed light on why they’re still threatened—and how we might change that."

"In 2016, disturbing footage captured on a sunny beach in Argentina went viral. The video appeared in news outlets around the world under variations of a disquieting headline: “Baby dolphin dies after a mob of tourists pass it around to pose for selfies.”

Stills from the video show a man holding the dying dolphin aloft as dozens of beachgoers crowd in around them, some wielding smartphones, others hoisting their kids up for a better look. Several people are reaching with outstretched fingers for the dolphin, touching it or trying to, as if it were some kind of holy relic.

One of the most gripping chapters in “Fathoms: The World in the Whale,” Rebecca Giggs’ cultural history of whales, takes this scene as its impetus. Giggs is disgusted by the images from Buenos Aires, but she is also interested in what they reveal about the modern relationship between humans and nature—and the unique and enduring connection between humans and whales."

Kiley Bense reports for Inside Climate News March 11, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 03/13/2023