President Bush today embarrassed our country for the umpteenth time at the end of the G8 summit:
The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.”
He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.
Every time I think I can no longer be shocked by anything that comes out of his mouth, he manages to top himself.
Call me silly, call me elitist, I don’t care. I am glad we’re coming to the close of the presidency of someone you’d “want to have a beer with.” I’d rather have someone who doesn’t make me cringe every time he opens his mouth.
Okay, well…not ENTIRELY.
In a previous post, I pointed out that the main reason contact was made with this tribe was to highlight the fact that they exist in order to curb the unchecked clear cutting in the Amazonian rain forest. This morning, the Guardian broke the story that the tribe’s existence has been known since 1910, and:
the mission to photograph them was undertaken in order to prove that ‘uncontacted’ tribes still existed in an area endangered by the menace of the logging industry.
The disclosures have been made by the man behind the pictures, José Carlos Meirelles, 61, one of the handful of sertanistas – experts on indigenous tribes – working for the Brazilian Indian Protection Agency, Funai, which is dedicated to searching out remote tribes and protecting them.
While I do not disparage Funai’s cause or reasoning, their methods may have just set that cause back substantially. Something happens in people’s minds when they feel they have been swindled, whether justifiably or not. There is no question that the clear cutting is a global concern with far reaching effects. But to give the public a focus for that concern, causing an emotional connection, and then revealing that they were, in fact, misled will no doubt garner backlash that has the potential of harming the very thing they wish to protect. Public interest and goodwill only extend so far.
While I do not waver in my support of the cessation of clear cutting or the protection of the Amazon’s indigenous tribes, I find the methodology of this group reprehensible, and fear for the fallout. For those tribes, and that area, this can only be seen as an unfortunate set back.