Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ecological Sustainability Is Now As Good As Dead. Europeans Are The Reason Why.

Unless somebody pulls the "do not resuscitate" sign from above its death bed and there is some miraculous last-minute intervention, the United Nations' historic 1987 Brundtland Commission on the Environment and Development is dead. It could take at least a year to complete the final autopsy report, but we already know that there were lethal and crippling toxins coursing through Brundtland's system for some time, and yesterday's European ban on Canadian seal products contained a fatal concentration of these same toxins.

Africa will notice how the vote went in the European Parliament. China will notice. The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species will be the next victim. You just watch.

If "animal rights" eccentricites and other cultural peculiarities are allowed to trump universal principles that are supposed to govern sustainable wildlife management, then there is no reason to expect African countries to save all the lovely elephants that Europeans find so precious. If Brundtland means nothing, there's no reason not to liquidate the bothersome, crop-stomping elephant herds. The profits from all those spectacularly valuable tusks could be reinvested in things that earn higher rates of return than the annual tourist income derived from German hobbyist photographers.

And on and on it will go like this, and you won't have Brundtland or any other UN covenants to stop it from happening.

The Brundtland Commission was a historic victory in the global campaign to establish the universal, enforceable principle that harvests of renewable-resource surpluses should be sustainable. It rested on the necessary basis of a simple and straightforward idea, which is that humanity's interest in the integrity and health of natural resources should be held above and beyond narrow national economic, national or cultural concerns.

But ever since 1987, the international environmental movement has been looking the other way while Canada’s humane and eminently sustainable harp seal hunt has been villified and lied about by animal-rights activists, slowly but surely undermining everything that Brundtland stood for. And now it's come to this.

Gro Harlem Brundtland herself saw it coming years ago.

In 1993, the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission was overrruled by a decision forced on the IWC by its European member states. The IWC listed the North Atlantic's huge, healthy and growing minke whale populations as endangered, which was a lie. The IWC was already a circus, but what little credibility it had was in the work of its scientists. By 1993, its credibility was gone for good. But the damage didn't end there.

The toxin spread to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species when CITES scientists were then instructed to place unambiguously non-endangered cetacean species on CITES' red-alert Appendix I. Like the IWC, CITES was by then already enfeebled by weird European ideas about the ways "aboriginal" people are supposed to behave, and those same weird ideas now show up in full bloom in the European "exemption" on Inuit seal products. The Inuit quite understandably find the exemption insulting, and don't even want it, and these same toxins now threaten even the international General Agreement on Tarriffs and Trade.

In 1997, Brundtland wrote: "We have to base resource management on science and knowledge, not on myths that some specifically designated animals are different and should not be hunted, regardless of the ecological justification for doing so. There is no alternative to the principle of sustainable development. This is necessary and logical. People haven't understood how important this is."

At the moment, it certainly looks like Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn't understood how important this is, either. He is proceeding with free trade talks with the Europeans, despite the harm their idiocies have done not only to Brundtland's international sustainability principles, but also the harm they've done to our swilers. International Trade Minister Stockwell Day says he won't raise the seal ban in the trade talks, and that if push comes to shove, the toxins can always be stopped by some sort of appeal to the World Trade Organization.

This is dreaming. This is not good enough. Not by half.

Stand With The Swilers.


Blogger Graeme said...

Peter Stastny stands with them.

9:48 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

I, like all citizens of conscience, stand with the swilers and the sealers of the Arctic.

The battle for the very future of conservation has now begun.

May God help us.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Old Brooktrout said...

This is a great piece of writing.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Swinging canadian dicks.

In the wind.

You can get protein from beans and shit.

You should try it.

Healthy as well.

(whining canadian says -- "you can't grow beans in canada").

Ha ha.

5:50 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

Once again, Will is an ignorant fuck.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Will's just channeling his inner Thatcher (miners can eat beans and shit).

6:15 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...


6:18 PM  
Blogger Will said...

I am interested in this 'ignorant fuck' shit.

especially as the ignorant fuck shit emanates from a not too bright cunT.

Canuck fuckers who have hypo-allergenic reactions to beans and shit. Pussy mutherfuckers. Scared of protein coming from beans and shit.

Scotchlanders are worried about their sporrans and shit.

Wow -- wot a big issue this seal shit is.


6:57 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

Hmmmm...Arctic bean fields.
Yep, Will's an ignorant fuck all right.

FWIW, I'm from Croydon.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

I'm with Will. If you kill it, you should eat it. But if you're selling ivory and skins to sate some supermodel wannabe's needs, or gall bladders and eagle feathers to fulfill some antiquated superstition, that's just bourgeoisie shit.

7:48 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

So both Kirt and Will are part of a long an illustrious tradition of neurotic middle class cunts.

It's got nothing to do with supermodels. It's about local and ecologically appropriate food production. No one up here deals in gall bladders despite the temptations from the extreme poverty found in Arctic communities...
made worse by Ignorant fucks like you.

This is for you Terry.
Grab a coffee (55 minutes)and enjoy the historical perspective.


Will and Kurt can rot in their own shit.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

If Iceclass eats and otherwise consumes everything he kills and it's sustainable he's got no argument from me. It's the hunters who take bears down for their claws and gall bladders and aren't prepared to carve, wrap and haul out the roasts and skin that I detest.

I also think a wealthy country like Canada should subsidize vegetable shipments to the far north so that all Canadians can have a balanced diet without paying exorbitant prices. Call me idealistic...

As for any opinions expressed about yours truly we have an old family proverb I'd like to share: "Opinions are like assholes; everyone's got one."

9:25 PM  
Blogger BustaGrill said...

Kurt -

"If you kill it, you should eat it. But if you're selling ivory and skins to sate some supermodel wannabe's needs, or gall bladders and eagle feathers to fulfill some antiquated superstition, that's just bourgeoisie shit."

I don't understand how eagle feathers and gall bladders get lumped in with seal pelts.

No human I know - white, brown, or any other colour - has ever eaten the flesh or oil of an eagle.

Gall bladders are a problem because its too easy for unsavory or desperate characters to sneak over to the local dump in the middle of the night and pop off a couple bears, take out the gall bladders, and leave the carcasses to rot. Besides, even non-dump bears are not the tastiest creatures. The gall bladder trade must be illegal for many reasons - but it all gets back to ecologically sustainability. (Ice - poaching bears for gall bladders may not happen much in your community but it does happen in many others).

The seal hunt is ecologically sustainable. The flesh and oil of the seals are consumed locally and sold in various markets for consumption by humans and other animals. And I hear they're quite tasty. It seems to me that denying the lawful sale of the pelts could lessen their value, thereby discouraging full use of the animal for full economic benefit of the sealers, perhaps encouraging the waste of perfectly good pelts. The people who buy them may be predominantly "bourgeoisie" shits, but that seems a little extraneous. You could just as easily apply that label to people who pass judgement on the sealers for making a buck selling pelts derived from an ecologically sustainable harvest that makes full use of the animal.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Iceclass: It's up now.

10:39 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

Crazy shit eh, Tel'?

10:45 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

It's brilliant.

10:55 PM  
Blogger EBD said...

It's my belief that as long as people are free from top-down dominion, any so-called universal principles that are actually based on common-sense will assert themselves locally. Internationalist bureaucratic mandarins, to whatever extent they are empowered, will always pander to the noisiness of those who feel it is their inalienable right to determine how others should conduct their lives. It's built-in to the process.

I fully agree with your take in the National Post on the seal hunt, but I disagree with one specific part of your argument, namely the notion that the viable, traditional and sustainable seal hunt is endangered by "'animal rights' eccentricities and other cultural peculiarities" trumping "universal principles." I would suggest that it's the other way around: that the putative "universal principles" argument is in fact the loud, empowered capital of those who oppose the hunt, and that local customs and local common-sense will inevitably be the victims of that approach.

In the current and increasingly internationalist climate the greatest extortionist noise always seems to come from those who possess the self-righteous, campaigning, "Royal We" feeling of entitlement to determine, based on putative universal principles, how others should live. In my view, Islamists, and the Taliban, and the internationalist bureaucrats are on that side of the line, while the prototypical liberty-fighters, often parochial, or even embarrassing in their perhaps seal-clubbing ways, are on the other.

Common sense, to the extent it is freed from top-down restriction, religious or bureaucratic, and from enforcement by the more aggressively and internationally righteous, will hardly ever trump universal principles. The "universal" approach frequently argues that local customs are, in sum total, always in constant opposition to "universal principles."

As a nominal conservative, I find my largely consistent agreement with your conclusions on a wide range of issues to be quite disturbing, so I'm reduced here to disagreeing with one of your premises on a particular issue. So, erm, take that!

2:20 AM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

Gee, Will's "never use a regular word when an expletive will do" routine is beginning to look less lBilly Bragg and more Buddy Hackett/Bob Saget. Of course, neither of the latter individuals are known for their profound insights.

10:03 AM  
Blogger IceClass said...

Once more that convenient and purely cultural line dividing the "wild" from the "domesticated" rears its' ugly head:

"Ottawa, Washington and Mexico City issued a joint declaration that the NAFTA nations are prepared to take "any steps" against countries that impose "unscientific bans" on their pork and meat products due to the spread of the H1N1 virus."


But when the swilers and sealers of the North need some back up from the Harper Government against unscientific and demonization based bans they can go whizz up a tree.
Where's the reciprocity?

4:04 AM  
Blogger IceClass said...

"local customs and local common-sense will inevitably be the victims of that approach."

The French and their declaration of Foies Gras being part of their "patrimoine" and hence beyond the bans sought by the animal protest industry would seem to prove that hypothesis wrong.

4:09 AM  
Blogger EBD said...

Well, yes, "inevitably" is obviously too strong a word. Certainly in this case the French managed to fend off those who wish to enforce whatever the current "universal" principle, as determined by internationalist bureaucratic mandarins, is.

4:43 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

ToFLU: After Swine Flu, A Vegetarian Pandemic?


5:24 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

Governor General Michaelle Jean stands with Nunavut's seal hunters:


7:52 AM  

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