Sunday, June 06, 2010

Save the Whales Part II?

Wow, I'd never thought that we in America would have to rally once again at our own government to Save the Whales. I remember well back in 1986-I was a left-leaning 25 year old angry at my government because they weren't doing the right things when it came to environmental preservation. It seemed like all of the great environmental strides that we accomplished under Democrats, Johnson and Carter and Republican Nixon would be the zenith in conservation acts. The Reagan administration just wasn't as interested in environmental protection-after all this was the time of the Sagebrush Rebellion and the New Right-a shift that began pushing moderate-conservation-minded Republicans to the side. But Ronald Reagan in 1986 signed two landmarks pieces of environmental legislation-one, the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Act (more on that later with my upcoming book on the gorge) and the other, the International Whaling Commissions (IWC)'s ban on commercial whaling. The slaughter at sea of our majestic sea mammals would finally end-well at least abate greatly-

Well-then again maybe not. So, here 24 years I was absolutely shocked when I saw a headline from Fox News that President Obama plans on lifting the Whaling moratorium. Surely that can't be correct-those right wingers at Fox just want to smear the president. Right? Well, maybe not- So I went over to Greenpeace, that seminal organization responsible for bringing the whaling issue (that and a Partridge Family episode) into my conscious. Yep-according to Greenpeace-it is true! Funny though how I can't seem to find much in the mainstream media about this-just like I had a hard time finding that the Obama administration has a worst record on protecting endangered species than George W Bush. Now, I'm not smearing the president. I'm just reporting some inconvenient truths. I commended the president when he signed into law last year an Omnibus Wilderness bill. Bravo Mr President-but you still have a long way to go convincing me that you are a conservationist. You are no Dick Nixon or Teddy Roosevelt or even Jimmy Carter (on the environment that is-one of Carter's few bright spots).

Oh yeah-Candidate Obama said in 2008, "As president I will ensure that the U.S. provides leadership... including strengthening the international moratorium on commercial whaling." You wouldn't break your promise now would you? Not like the one on having the most transparent government in US history? Nah-

Mr President, in case you need to hear why it would be a terrible idea to let the whaling moratorium lapse-I quote you Rich Lowry from the conservative magazine the National Review-

Why protect whales? They should be preserved as befits anything else that evokes wonder; they are the mammalian equivalent of the Grand Canyon or of the giant redwoods. They are also incredibly long-lived creatures with a sophisticated social structure, closer to chimpanzees than to cattle.

Besides, there’s no reason to kill whales. No one has needed whale oil to light lamps for at least a century, and blubber isn’t a necessary source of nutrition in a modern society. Yet Japan persists. It agitates against the moratorium and organizes international opposition to it at the same time it cynically defies it.

This would be one case for you Mr President and your administration to now be the party of "No!" That is NO TO WHALING! I hope I made myself clear.
(Picture from Greenpeace UK)

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