Friday, January 25, 2008

Love the Earth or Lose It

(Artist credit: Jim Warren Titled: Love, Lose)

What is is about any pristine or preserved wilderness or land space left on the planet that has not been screwed up, that puts the dollar signs in the eyes and greed in the hearts of certain people?

(1) The Kimberley Coast. Off the coast, it's famous for 8,000 - 12,000 humpback whales migrating there annually. Before Japan agreed they would not kill 50 of these humpbacks, they had planned to lie in wait near the Kimberley coast to kill these whales.

Inpex, a company partially owned by the Japanese government, hopes to "build a massive liquid natural gas processing plant on the Maret Islands, off the Kimberley coast. Inpex plans to pipe natural gas and light oil from the Browse Basin, where a huge natural gas field has been discovered, to a port and plant it would build on the Marets."


The Marets sit in a major tidal area (the Kimberley is famous for its "horizontal waterfalls", which are massive and rapid tidal shifts), a cyclone area and an untainted, fertile marine habitat. There are other places in Western Australia, already developed but further away, where the gas could be processed. If a Japanese company were to propose this project for the Great Barrier Reef, they would be thrown out of court. But the Inpex plan, which dissects the migration and breeding terrain of the whales, is moving ahead. The Japanese can make valid arguments for their developments in Australia. The natural gas field represents a huge export industry. As for the Japanese whaling, the harvesting of 50 humpback whales would make only a dent on a population of 10,000 whales, and the Group IV population has been growing at about 10 per cent a year.

The author of this article talks about the "deceit of Japan." It's a good read here.

(2) The battle between the Polar Bears and Oil Drilling in Alaska.

The government is going ahead to issue permits for oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea, before the determination is made as to whether or not the polar bear species deserves protection.

It's interesting to note that the concern for the polar bears was delivered to the Bush Administration five years ago, and then the request for the oil drill leasing was submitted approximately a year ago. Absolutely no attention was paid to the fate of the polar bears and the requests for reviewing this issue. But the go ahead for the drilling sure came about mighty fast.

Excellent point here (excerpt):

"Robert Frost wrote about two roads diverging in the wood, and here we have the Bush administration looking down two roads with regard to the polar bear," Mr. Markey said. "Down one road lies the survival of the polar bear and the orderly consideration of oil drilling and global warming and common sense. Down the other road, too often traveled by this administration, lies regulatory lunacy and a blatant disregard for moral responsibility."

Full article here: Politics Pits Polar Bears vs Oil Drilling

Tell your Representative to support the Markey Bill and to protect the Polar Bears and the Chukchi Sea region: Voice Your Opposition here

(3) Utah.

That's right, I said the state of Utah. President Bush wants to drill for oil and gas development in an area designated by former President, Bill Clinton, as "permanent wilderness preservation."

If this goes ahead, the impact will be permanent and irreversible.

Areas of concern:

Vernal, in Northeastern Utah, ancient cultural artifacts and dinosaur fossils mingle with a range of wildlife and recreational opportunities.

Nine Mile Canyon, in the San Rafael Swell, offers hiking, serenity, and rock carvings over 1,000 years old.

In the Moab region, there's the Canyonlands and the Arches National Parks.

2.5 million acres at risk of being forever damaged

If preserving the National Parks in Utah concerns you, sign the petition to let the Bureau of Land Management and the Bush Administration know that you oppose it.

Take Action Now

Amazing. These are just three of the very few remaining places left on this planet for people to enjoy and to be reminded of how very fragile our ecosystem is and how vital nature is to each and every one of us.

I don't know if signing petitions helps, but at least the more people that speak up on this issue, the harder it is for the politicians to ignore.

In whaling news, the Japan whalers are headed to New Zealand waters, breaking an agreement to stay in Australian waters. It appears they are trying to avoid both the Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace protest ships.

New Zealand's Prime Minister has expressed "grave concern" over the whalers heading in her direction. She has warned them to stay away and that if they do not, surveillance photographs will be taken and released to the public.

The waters off of New Zealand are notorious for being rough and very dangerous. Last year, the Nisshin Maru ship suffered a fire while out in the Ross Sea (NZ waters) and one of the crew members died. It is logistically difficult for New Zealand to perform search and rescue operations out there.

Japanese officials state the fleets are trying to outrun Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace in hopes these two organizations will run out of fuel, having to leave, and thereby giving the whalers the freedom they want to resume their whale culling without both Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace pestering them.

Sneaky shits.

Outside the Japan Embassy in London, a 14 year old girl was arrested for protesting against the whaling. Both her and her father were arrested after tying themselves to a railing there. Their case will be heard February 6.

When asked why she was doing this, the girl stated that she had seen a video that included a whale being blown up by the Japan whalers. She expressed that it hit her rather hard and she felt that her protest was nothing in comparison to what the whales are going through.

It was the first time she had been removed from a protest or arrested. Previously, she had campaigned against Australia's nuclear policy.

I see a future leader in environmental politics in the making here. You go girl!



1 comment:

  1. Although I like to keep governments out of lots of things, they are absolutely necessary to stop us from totally destroying the planet.

    The "Tragedy of Commons" indicates the need for intervention at the national and international levels.