Friday, 21 July 2006

If You See Red, Don't Go Green

Will Greenpeace See Red?
I've always been ambivalent towards green groups like Greenpeace. Over the years public sympathy and funding have morphed them from a free-floating fringe group into something akin to a political party. As everyone knows: When a group professing altruism becomes political, things invariably go wrong.

I remember an old Readers' Digest article about how their "Save the Seals" campaign, led by that witch Brigitte Bardot, ruined an Inuit community by depriving them of a livelihood. Today, the Inuit are hunting seals again, as well as - what I regard as a slap-in-the-face for Greenpeace - Canadian fisherman, who partake in an annual seal slaughter to eliminate the competition for cod, pollock and salmon, while earning a profit doing it.

How long will it be before they cross over to the dark side and employ the terrorist tactics so favoured by loony legions like PETA and various animal welfare groups, who pick the easy battles and ignore the good fights?

Life After Whales
It confounds me that Japan, a well-spring of innovation and improvisation, is in no hurry to find a solution for the sword of Damocles hovering over dozens of fishing communities who supplement their income by killing or capturing whales and dolphins: "What the hell do we do, once we drive them all to extinction?" There's one Japanese fisherman who has given up whaling and dolphin hunting to organise whale watching tours. Others may not be as receptive to the radical idea that a live whale is just as valuable as a dead one.

Maritime patrols would be a good career path for former whalers. Pirates? Terrorists? Straying North Korean vessels? Suicidal Greenpeace pontoons? Imagine the large metal shank of a harpoon several feet long protruding out of the eye-socket of some stubborn captain of a trespassing ship. What other "Don't Bleeping Mess With Us" message could be more straight-to-the... -point?


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