Monday, June 19, 2006


The international whaling commission (IWC) just voted for a resolution that stated the ban on whaling was meant to be temporary. It is largely meaningless as lifting the ban would require a separate vote with support of 70% of the commission in favor. Japan was accused of effectively bribing a host of smaller nations into voting for whaling and, itself, largely ignores the ban (in practice) anyway (yes Iceland and Norway also ignore it). I'm generally of the opinion that, properly regulated, whaling could be okay. The problem, of course, is that it will not be well regulated and what regulation there is will lead to petty bickering, and be largely ineffective. Whaling is not a sustainable enterprise, in terms of a real source of food, when considering the number of whaling nations and the number of people and the number of whales. Whale meat is a luxury item if you live in Japan or a nation that can receive imported whale meat. It will continue to be so if the ban is repealed, just that more people will have access.

The funny thing about the article was a pro-whaling argument offered by the delegate from St. Kitts and Nevis. He basically said that whales were responsible for the depletion of fish stocks and whaling would boost fish numbers. "That's like blaming woodpeckers for deforestation," was the counter to that rather idiotic statement. Over fishing is a real problem. Food production in general is becoming one. Solutions short of socializing agriculture are difficult to see. As the world is now, yes, we can produce sufficeint foods to keep everyone from starving to death. Of course, what happens when better fed populations explode? They will, if only because people will not be dying off as quickly. Sounds callous doesn't it? It is. That does not make it less true.

Humanity has not been a sustainable life force on this planet. We over consume. Every environmental problem we have is due to the greed of humanity. Our greed is from our value for life. Sounds weird, but it is true. We place a greater value on human life than we do on any other thing, likely more than we place on all other things combined. The result is that we take more from the planet than we give. The end result of this continuing (possibly millenia from now) will be that it kills us. Ironic, huh? Keep in mind: we are killing ourselves...not the planet. Notions of saving the planet are wrong headed, because this planet will be here long after we are extinct. Environmentalism is the long term preservation of humanity, not whales. I wonder if environmentalists know that...

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