Tuesday, February 12, 2008

whaling: science is commerce

The Japanese Antarctic whaling mission takes another blow. The Japanese claim they only kill whales for 'scientific' research. Any report that goes into this explains that in order to tell how old a whale is, you've got to kill it and cut into its head.

So, to find out about their ages and breeding cycles, they're killing quite a few adult whales. This is all scientific and not to do with doing commercial whaling by the back door, honest guv.

Which means there's no need to be killing juvenile whales. So the pictures the Australian government released showing a mother and calf shouldn't exist.

However, there's a point that never seems to get mentioned. If there is some sort of legitimate important scientific whaling to be done, why would it be just the Japanese doing it?

It's because the science is all about ascertaining populations so they can assess the viability of commercial whaling. No other reason.

So anyone who opposes commercial whaling has to oppose the scientific whaling too, as they are two parts of the same whole. So the media should drop the use of the word 'scientific' as a justification.

The other thing that isn't picked up on enough is here

Australian environment minister Peter Garrett said he hoped the "distressing" images would boost international opposition to the whale hunt

That's Peter Garrett, the baldy singer out of Midnight Oil!

They're best remembered in the UK for the anthemic 80s single Beds Are Burning which, typically, addressed Aboriginal rights

The time has come
To say fair's fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact's a fact
It belongs to them
Let's give it back

I don't know enough about Australian politics to know if this means the new government is comparitively cool or if Garrett's been co-opted by the forces of darkness.

But still, it's mad enough whatever, it's like finding out Morrissey or Theo and Shannon have been given Cabinet posts.


Anonymous said...

Garrett sold out. The new (Labor) government is a big improvement on Howard's far right corporatist rubbish but it's not progressive by and means.

merrick said...

dj3huty, thanks for that. My gut feeling said you can't put anyone in a Western government without them working for the benefit of ecocidal profiteers, but i sorta hoped it somehow wouldn't be the case this time.

You'd have thought that, so early in the new regime, they'd be making a bit of an effort to appear radically different and more trustworthy than the last lot.

I fucking hate that 'commercial confidentiality' thing governments hide behind. The UK government does it all the time to cover up how much we're overpaying the corporations who get contracts to run stuff that used to be genuinely state-run.

The thing is this; the government is (in theory) a bunch of people we choose from among ourselves to run a few of our affairs. To say that we can't know how much we're paying and what they're doing is absurd and an abuse of their (supposed) position.

it's like me sending you to the shops with my wallet to buy food, but you won't tell me how much you've spent because that's a secret between you and the shopkeeper.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, everyone knows the "science" excuse is a load of bollocks. How much is this supported in Japan?

Unknown said...

frankly the thought of Morrissey on the cabinet is very scary - back to rivers of blood methinks

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

It's distressing, the horrors we commit against fellow creatures.

merrick said...

Don't believe what you read in the papers, James. Especially not from ailing paper long past their glory days who have a long standing grudge against their subject.

Morrissey is avowedly anti-racist. He is suing the NME over their claims that he isn't. His forthcoming tour is to be heavily branded with the Love Music Hate Racism campaign.

His response to the NME tosh can be read here.

Anonymous said...

Weird coincidence - I only just recently heard that Midnight Oil song again on a juke box and I was amazed at how apparently ahead of its time it was. Of course, all politicians are compromise merchants, but at least Pete Garrett seems to be on message about whaling.
By the way, on the "Morrissey not a racist" theme, cue for me to link to my very own "Morrissey not a racist" story again, just in case you missed it before ;)