Things you probably won’t be showing your kids
THE first of a somewhat depressing list of what is soon to disappear from our world forever. Inspired by The Independent.
#1 The Javan Rhino
An obvious starting point, the one-horned Javan rhino is a beast desperately close to the DR’s heart. Rhinoceros sondaicus is now the rarest large mammal on the planet and most estimate its numbers at only 60. We’re so used to hearing about minute numbers of a species left on earth I think we’ve become numb to it. Sixty. One rhino for every second in a minute. And that’s all there is. One minute’s worth of Javan rhino.
Most of these 60 reside in the far west of Java, with a few in Vietnam. In what has become a familiar tale, the previously abundant Javan rhino will be extinct broadly due to one reason – Chinese traditional medicine. The DR fucking HATES this mumbo-jumbo bullshit and also asks that you pardon his French. Such a moronic system of quackery has systematically led to the needless deaths of millions of animals to conjur a placebo dose of rhino horn. The Javan rhino used to roam all over South-East Asia and China. The Sumatran rhino is a cousin from Java’s neighbouring island. It has twice as many horns and about twice as many living, in comparison to the Javan rhinoceros.
#2 Shonargaon-Panam, Bangladesh
The one-time capital of Bengal, Shonargaon (Sonargaon) is a Bengali history lesson. Architecture from the Sultans and the British can be seen side by side. 97% of Bangladesh is under threat from rising sea levels, but in the case of Shonargaon, the situation is worse still. A chronic lack of funding has thwarted all attempts to salvage its rich heritage, now frequently vandalised. Squatting is more than commonplace, as are illegal building, poor sewage and building maintenance and natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes. Woodwork is ravaged by bugs and historic buildings succumb to rising damp.
#3 Buddhism’s Legacy in Afghanistan
Millions of hearts broke as the Taliban inflicted their primitive fundamentalist beliefs upon some of Buddhism’s greatest statues. The colossal Buddha statues at Bamiyan were blasted by dynamite, but in truth were already in a poor state of repair before the nutballs were helped into power by America. Decades of neglect had preceded the Taliban’s vitriolic onslaught. Hamid Karzai has vowed to restore the Buddhas, which is a noble but laughable objective. In a country which ranks amongst the poorest in the world, expenditure on alien archaeology could never be justified. Like all of Afghanistan’s Buddhist heritage, the Buddhas of Bamiyan are unwanted and unloved. They will simply continue to decay.
Labels: Things you probably won't be showing your kids
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