Palladium Podcast 81: Dylan Levi King on East Asian Ecotheology

Guille Pozzi/Mother and calf

Dylan Levi King joins Wolf Tivy to discuss his featured 07 article on North Korean environmentalist policies, Japanese whaling, and the ecotheology that undergirds them.

When Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, was fighting against Japanese occupiers, environmentalism and folk mythology were interwoven parts of his legend—it was rumored he could turn pine tree cones into flaming bullets, preventing the Japanese from harvesting the pine forests for their imperial wars. It was only one part of a much wider “ecotheology” that characterizes North Korean environmentalist policies even today.

Wolf and Dylan also discuss the recent history of Japanese whaling—how global initiatives, beginning in the 1970s, aimed to curtail the practice with mixed results. The Japanese still continue to hunt whales, but argue that is done so on sustainable terms. Ecosovereignty and ecotheology are concepts that will define a world that is now beginning a long climactic and geopolitical shift.

Dylan Levi King is a Tokyo-based translator of modern Chinese literature and a writer on contemporary online culture. You can follow him on Twitter @dylanleviking. His article “Environmentalism in One Country” can be read here, and it is currently available in print in PALLADIUM 07: Garden Planet.