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The plight of the Amazon: Seeking the Truth

Here are 2 videos about the Amazon and apparent efforts to destroy and protect it. I say apparent since reality is often not as clean cut as the videos project. In both cases the videos involve people who are somehow related, in the first case I know well a person who works at the Repsol plant in Ecuador. I will keep their identities anonymous.

1. Repsol and oil exploration

What my contact explains is that many of the employees of Repsol in the video still work there to this day. The video in general is quite accurate. But some points of the video have a nuanced explanation. First of all Repsol isn’t so interested in destroying the Waorani’s though they are not the greatest priority either. Also, complying with reg’s is much cheaper than dealing with a spill, so Repsol doesn’t seek to propagate such results. Finally, there are many competing evils of which Repsol is a lesser one perhaps, such as FARC who operate in the area, and land colonizers who yield worse environmental destruction. Not to defend Repsol by any means.

2. The Field Museum: Amazonian Conservation

This video shows in an excellent way the behind-the-scenes of conservation. It is encouraging and interesting to see how the narrative now includes social science as one of the concerns, and integrates the local population in conservation efforts. I say interesting since many environmental conservation efforts disregard the human dimension entirely. Recently a Galapagos Park Ranger told me National Geographic had refused to film a program on the islands since the Park required the local population to be integrated in the documentary. “Pure Nature” was the standard sought after. In this documentary, still, it seems that the human concern serves the purpose of a greater environmental benefit; but to see that humans have a purpose, albeit instrumental, is already something. One must wonder what the natives are thinking, about these white people who travel so far and spend so much time to focus on plants and animals, but not really to help them, the local people. I wonder what they think? It also contrasts with the opposite position, of the missionaries of the old days, who travelled thus far to seek the people entirely. Are conservationists from the Field Museum the “new missionaries” of the causes for the 21st century?

2 thoughts on “The plight of the Amazon: Seeking the Truth

    1. Sorry I have been traveling, i haven’t followed up. I looked at your work, it seems impressive. I’d be happy to post a little article by you and your blog links. I know a few video producers in Peru and Brazil that may be interested in contributing to your work.

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