Friday, May 18, 2007

Vanity Fair


Most people who know me, know I used to be a marine biologist and that I am very much pro the environment.

Although I avoid politics I would urge everyone to check out the Editor's Letter in this month's GREEN ISSUE of Vanity Fair. Called 'On Borrowed Land' by Graydon Carter, it encapsulates much of what bothers me about the current US administration's environmental policy. I've always believed science (like the church) should be kept separate from government, and I have personal experience of the powers-that-be in more than one country, wanting to manipulate scientific data to suit their needs. I can also see the difficulties for politicians needing votes and cash to get elected. Not exactly an ideal system, but what is the alternative?

In the UK it is always fishing quotas that grab the headlines. The argument against scientifically recommended restrictions is that fishermens' livelihoods will be affected if the quota is too low. How will the fishermen feed their families on what the scientists allow them to catch?

This is a valid point, but has never made any sense to me. Preserving a sustainable fish stock is the only way to have a long lasting fishing industry.

No fish, means no fishing, means no feeding of families.

If you don't believe me just research the collapse of the cod stocks off the coast of Newfoundland in the 1990s. Nearly twenty years on and it still hasn't recovered, and there is no guarantee that it ever will.


Theodore Roosevelt summed up my feelings about the environment.

"The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others."
Address to the Deep Waterway Convention, Memphis, TN, October 4, 1907

9 comments:

  1. Belated birthday greetings. (I've been otherwise engaged ...:o) )

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  2. Great post Toni. I think most of us are just so used to living in the here and now that these issues seem like they will become problems long after we're gone, and that's obviously not true. We need to take responsibility NOW, now 10 or 20 or 50 years from now. I would think most of us would want to have these resources for our own children, and grandchildren.

    Thanx for bringing this to my attention.

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  3. I love that T.R. quote. That's so true. It's like worrying about your daughter's Easter dress while she's playing in the road.

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  4. Suzanne, LOL. Yes, isn't it?

    I think I should add this is something many governments in the world are guilty of, but many of them are trying to do better and literally 'clean up their act'.

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  5. The problem with people in general is that they are unwilling to cinch up their belts and do what is necessary for the greater good, not only for everyone, but even for themselves.

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  6. Scott, yes. You're right. Another problem is being given affordable choices. Many people would make better choices if the price gaps were closed. I know I often stand anxing over buying green products or buying things in my budget.

    School supplies though. Everyone should buy sustainable school supplies and not the cheap crap.

    :)

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  7. I hate politics and politicians. Most of them are greedy, selfish bastards. But that's a nice cover! ^__^

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  8. Mailyn, LOL--yes it is a lovely cover :)

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  9. Don't get me started on this administration and it's environmental policies. Grrrrr

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