Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I was at the Met, with politics on my mind, to talk with Susan Leibovitz Steinman about "Fish Story" for the "Memphis Social" project May 2013. Walking to the stairs, I was greeted by the Acapela Blues singers playing, "Do you love me?"

I'm pulling together an amazing team of thinkers for "Fish Story," including the 2 scientists I've worked with the most since I began "Gulf to Gulf," in 2008: Gene Turner and Jim White. respectively a couple of the top people in the world working on dead zones in Gulf regions and global warming. The big deal now, is scheduling my first visit to Memphis, meeting folks there to hear their concerns and what they've already been working on. What I hope might come of that visit would be to begin to flesh out a picture of how Memphis is already functioning as a trigger point at a critical geographical nexus.

Memphis is between the Midwestern factory farms to the immediate North and melting Arctic to the far North, dead zones to the South in the Gulf of Mexico, at the base of the Mississippi, increasing drought and wild fires to the West, increasing floods and storms to the East and is on a river that reached historic flooding levels in 2011 and has recently had to be dredged when it fell too low for barge traffic in 2012.

The politics on my mind, are the surge of approval for Mitt Romney, which seems entirely based on whether Obama is a "strong leader," and whether he can deliver jobs, regardless of what those jobs are or the consequences, for example, extractive industries that destroy water and air, causing death and destruction, not just to wildlife but people.

Fish are an indicator species. I chose them as the focus for this project because they tell a story that's much more basic than all the political rhetoric in the world.

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