Kin Killers

As ever, George Packer is much more eloquent than I am. He talks about the imminent extinction of the great apes.

The passing from the world of our closest relatives is not a political tragedy, like Burma; it is not a humanitarian nightmare, like Darfur; it is not an ideological disaster, like Iraq. All the same, it makes me unspeakably sad. How lonely to inhabit the planet without that familiar and alien gaze to keep us company. The fact that magnificent, uncomprehending, essentially helpless animals have to pay the ultimate price for our indifference seems at times like a worse crime than anything human beings do to one another. Our belated awakening to the distant prospect of collective suicide known as global warming might be the last chance to prevent the more imminent crime of kin-killing.

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