Bad Behaviour?

Here’s an excerpt  from the RSA’s  ‘Arts and Ecology’ blog, by William Shaw.

… The New York Times blog ‘dot earth’  has picked up on Francesca Galeazzi’s Justifying Bad Behaviour piece for Cape Farewell.

It has ignited a decent barrage of comments from:
‘I love the way Francesca Galeazzi demonstrates the ambiguities of the issue.’

To: ‘If an artist takes a boat to Greenland which spews thousands of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and then announces that other people’s carbon offsets are hypocrisy – does her self-righteous anger count as a personal carbon credit?’

And, after all, igniting discussion was what this piece was about. Galeazzi’s trip was part-funded by RSA Arts and Ecology, and there will be a full interview with her about the work and the reactions it has provoked on the new (RSA) site when it goes live on 17th November.

originally posted by William Shaw at 04:28PM, 7th Nov., 2008. 
… via Arts & Ecology

I don’t know what to say about this. This artist is obviously being as hypocritical as the rest of us, including myself. With our planet’s complex ecology slowly collapsing before our eyes, and many, many of our species dying out and becoming extinct  – mostly because of human behaviour – I am tempted to ask Galeazzi and the rest of the voyagers: did they count the real cost of their trip? Was it worth it?

BUT… Some serious ethical questions are raised here, which personally I can’t answer. Maybe it was worth the cost – maybe it was not only worth it, but Cape Farewell’s expeditions are crucial in shifting humanity’s environmental awareness up to a new level.  Certainly, apart from being such a fabulous adventure, a great deal of important scientific and artistic work has emerged from the expeditions. A lot must depend upon how people use and disseminate the information gained through their experience.

I know, too, that there is very little we can do in life without leaving some sort of ‘carbon footprint’. So how on earth do we decide what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ behaviour in the present circumstances? Maybe it is a step forward that we now ask ourselves questions like these before making any long trip, and try to minimise our impact.

About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
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2 Responses to Bad Behaviour?

  1. And thank YOU for getting me thinking!

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  2. William says:

    Thanks for that thoughtful response to the post… Much appreciated.

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