CHEFS 4 THE PLANET

THE GLOBAL INFORMATION AND SOLUTIONS NETWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE GASTRONOMY

THE GLOBAL INFORMATION AND SOLUTIONS NETWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE GASTRONOMY

Seaspiracy shows why we must treat fish not as seafood, but as wildlife

George Monbiot. The film gets some things wrong, but it exposes the grim ecological destruction of the Earth’s oceans

When the BBC made a film about the crisis in our oceans, it somehow managed to avoid naming the greatest cause of their ecological destruction: the fishing industry. The only significant sequence on fishing in 2017’s Blue Planet II was a heartwarming story about how kind Norwegian herring boats are to orcas. It presented industrial fishing not as the greatest threat to sealife, but as its saviour.

It’s as if you were to make a film about climate breakdown without revealing the role of fossil fuel companies. Oh, hang on, the BBC did that too, in 2006. Its documentary The Truth about Climate Change mentioned fossil fuel companies only as part of the solution, because one of them was experimenting with carbon capture and storage. These films consisted of handwringing about a scarcely defined problem, followed by a suggestion that we should “do something”, while offering no hint of what this something might be.

They are symptomatic of a disease that afflicts most of the media, most of the time: a phobia about confronting power. Though the BBC has subsequently made some better films, it still tends to direct us away from the massive commercial assaults on our life support systems, and towards the issues I call micro-consumerist bollocks (MCB), such as plastic straws and cotton buds. I see MCB as a displacement activity: a safe substitute for confronting economic power. Far from saving the planet, it distracts us from systemic problems and undermines effective action.

The central premise of neoliberalism is that the locus of decision-making can be shifted from democratic government to the individual, working through “the market”. Rather than using politics to change the world for the better, we can do it through our purchases. If neoliberals even half-believed this nonsense, you’d expect them to ensure we were as knowledgable as possible, so that we could exercise effective decision-making in their great consumer democracy. Instead, the media keeps us in a state of almost total ignorance about the impacts of our consumption.

Read the rest here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/07/seaspiracy-earth-oceans-destruction-industrial-fishing

More

Articles

How Can Consumers Eat Well Without Wrecking the Planet?

Can fixing dinner fix the planet?This is the...

Palm Oil Is in Almost Everything We Eat, and...

In her new book, ‘Planet Palm,’ journalist Jocelyn Zuckerman investigates the...

Eat this to save the world! The most sustainable...

What should we be scoffing if we want to help fight...

Oatly’s IPO Is Bringing More Investment to Vegan, Planet-Friendly...

After much speculation, Swedish oat drink company, Oatly, is set to launch its...

Seaspiracy explored: Why are bottom trawling and bycatch such...

Data from environmental group Oceana showed there had been an increase...

World’s soils ‘under great pressure’, says UN pollution report

Soils provide 95% of all food but are damaged by industrial,...