Tag Archives: Andrew


“An Armageddon is approaching at the beginning of the third millennium. But it is not the cosmic war and fiery collapse of mankind foretold in sacred scripture. It is the wreckage of the planet by an exuberantly plentiful and ingenious humanity.

The race is now on between the technoscientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnassed to save it…

…a global land ethic is uregently needed. Not just any land ethic… but one based on the best understanding of ourselves and the world around us that science and technology can provide.”

–       Edward O. Wilson, The Future of Life

I picked up The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson today since it was so emphatically advertised by Deb after breakfast. Tired of the Kerouac I’d been reading, same old and hackneyed hoboisms, I decided I wanted to try and actually challenge myself to learn something I know so little about – science. In this quote, taken from the opening prologue, Wilson highlights a thought that I’ve been collecting myself lately. Coming out to California for Finding the Good, I had pretty much settled on a hopeless fate of the world – since our ecosystems are being irreparably polluted, even erased, I surmised that we humans with this understanding could wait for only an inevitable economic collapse to bring any sort of positive change; broke humans being mostly harmless humans. But I’ve come into contact with some who think differently. Paul Spitzer, an ornithologist who gave us a bird-watching tour on San Ignacio Lagoon, seems to agree with Wilson, when he told us that it may be necessary for humans to “garden the whole show.” From an in depth understanding of the biology of ecological systems, perhaps some human tampering can be just the thing needed to save it. A great example of this stumbled onto the abandoned San Roque beach today – a group of Mexican ecologists working on island conservation are planning to live on Isla San Roque for six months in order to study and protect a fragile population of Turin on the small, rocky Pacific island. The group plans to set up rat-traps to catch the pest likely responsible for disappearing eggs. Though the problem is human introduced – as many problems are – the problem may also be human fixable. This idea of educated stewardship is perhaps one of the only positive actions left for our society; identify the bits and pieces struggling in ecosystems, and work like hell to sustain them. I use stewardship in what should be its truest sense – not a license to exploit, but a responsibility to understand and conserve.

By: Andrew Payton

Watching the Cove

Today at lunch we learned from Deb that The Cove, which had been nominated for Best Documentary at the Oscars, had recently won the award. Just as an unrelated observation – it was a bit strange for me not to have watched the ceremony, since this is the first year I’ve missed since perhaps sophomore year of high school. Having been almost complete broke all of 2009, and then being out of the country three of the last six months (during Oscar season), the only nominated film I’d seen was The Cove. The other night here in San Roque, the whole group of us watched it on Sirena’s computer, huddled in Shari’s small house. The film explores the dolphin trade and annual slaughter of 23,000 animals in a small cove Taiji, Japan. Japan, the only industrialized nation to still whale on a large scale, has been under animal rights activist’s guns lately for both this issue and the hunting of great whales under the guise of research in the Southern Ocean. When I first saw this film I was so excited not only that the film had been made, but that it had been executed so well. The filmmakers strayed far from the prototype of a boring documentary – talking head Phds and a laundry list of statistics – but instead a mix of action/adventure journalism and the stunning new technologies of nature films. I hardly expected that a few short months after Kristen and I had watched the film, I’d hear of it taking an Oscar. Hopefully films like this can bring the crises of our ecosystems, and man’s utterly detrimental ways, more into the spectrum of acceptable debate. I also hope that using the possibilities of our new media technologies that we can galvanize our youth to fight for new ways and effective change.

By: Andrew Payton

For more information go to: www.thecovemovie.com