Earth Race meets it's end

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by rider, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. JensG

    JensG New Member

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    The justice system in some countries (including mine) does actually share the opinion of Ken B. Which again makes Ken B's opinion a fact (in those countries).
     
  2. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Enlighten us ... back up your statement with facts & sources.

    Since this is your first post, perhaps you could tell us about yourself and where you kayak.
     
  3. JensG

    JensG New Member

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    It's actually not very hard. Look at his wikipedia site (the controversy part) and then google: "paul watson convicted".
    In short, he has been convicted in Canada, Norway (is still wanted for 120 days jail time) and Faeroe Islands at least. In Iceland he is a "person non grata" which means something similar as an "outlaw".
    His own words (in an open letter to the people of Norway dated in 1992):
    As far as I know the term "criminal" is defined by the latter kind of laws (the ones designed to protect corporate interests), not the former kind of laws (laws of nature). So I do think that Ken B's opinion can be regarded as a fact. However, both the Netherlands and Germany have held Paul in custody but refused to hand him over to Norway to serve his sentence there, in spite of criminal exchange agreements between the countries. This shows that this is a highly political matter.

    I can actually hardly call myself a paddler yet, still only planning to build a kayak. I found some interesting threads here in the boat building forum and signed up.
    I live in Akureyri, Iceland. My interests and hobbies include backcountry-skiing, climbing on rock and ice, mountaineering, hiking, fishing and hopefully soon paddling. I am a real nature lover and try to live an environmentally friendly life (to some degree). But based on some of the actions of the Sea Shepherds and Greenpeace, I don't trust any large environmental movements anymore. I don't believe their propaganda and wouldn't trust them for a dime of my money. So in my case I believe that (some of) their actions have worked against their cause.
     
  4. Chris_Hvid

    Chris_Hvid Paddler

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    Well I guess, based on legalities that Ken B is right. I'd better go have some whalemeat sushi and think over the ETHICAL implications of this. Hmmm.
     
  5. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    My take on this: the Japanes are killing whales (for food) under the pretense of research, and Sea Shepherd has committed non-legal acts in an attempt to stop them. It appears that both parties are operating at the edges of the law.

    Yet Ken B makes a pronouncement about one side without citing any reputable references. He does not present an unbiased overview of the situation. I have to wonder why this is. Do people (and Ken is not the only offender) think that anyone who has a different opinion is wrong? Do they think that controversial issues are black & white?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    OK Steve...please point out EXACTLY any claims in the two websites I provided that are lies.

    Second...regarding objectivity...is the Sea Shepherd Society's website any more objective?

    The fact is...it doesn't matter if I agree or disagree with the objectives of the Sea Shepherd Society, the Sea Shepherd Society breaks laws.
    I can not support any person or group that feels it is above the law.
     
  7. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Go back and read his post(s). Steve didn't say that there were lies on those sites. He pointed out that the sites appeared to be anti-activist -- which seems to be true.

    I think everyone needs to step back and take a deep breath -- every time we have one of these discussions things get a little heated -- perhaps we could do with a bit less of the caustic remarks and insults to others for having a different opinion?

    *****
     
  8. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    Hmmmm...pretty underhanded comment nootka.
    My statement about Paul Watson is FACT, I provided a reference...if you don't agree with my statement and my reference, then the burden is upon you to prove me wrong!

    Now, about opinions...
    What!...a person can't have an opinion?...or is it they can't have an opinion opposed to yours?
     
  9. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Geeze. Did you even read my last post Ken (if you had, you'd see that I was defending YOU) -- everyone (including you) needs to chill a bit and not continue with the caustic posts.

    Everyone can have an opinion, and they can share it here -- but what we don't need are the adolescent replies to opinions that are not mutually shared.

    *****
     
  10. KayDubbya

    KayDubbya Paddler

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    I expect that by the time my children are adults, Paul Watson will be looked back upon in the same way as Malcom X (in the context of civil rights), Ghandi and the Fathers of the American revolution are. They will shake their heads in disgust and disbelief at how people like Paul Watson needed to act in order to wake up the world to the atrocities that are being committed to the planet, out of greed and preservation of the status quo (corporate and cultural).

    Would you like to compare "criminal acts"? How about the Japanese government allowing dolphin and whale meat to be sold in grocery stores with mercury level 100's of time above their own legal levels? How about the European Tuna fleets taking 150% more fish each year than their own scientist recommend (an allowance that they themselves consider to be the minimum to prevent collapse of the species)? How about splooshing around in the lakes of toxic sludge being created by the oil sands in Alberta? How about pumping aquifers dry in Africa so the Chinese can grow rice in the desert to ship back to China? How about the Bush/Neo-cons (with the approval of the U.S. Congress) creating a war in Iraq so their corporation can profit (immensely!) from the mayhem? How about the sale of public water utilities to European (mostly French) water corporation and their profiting by selling contaminated water back to their customers in order to "maximize shareholder value"? How about grinding up 5 pounds of herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies to make 1 pound of farmed salmon?

    Did I leave any particular group out? I doubt Dan has enough server storage space to list every "criminal act" that happens through short sightedness and greed, so I'll leave it there.

    Maybe the Sea Shephard Society is just trying to enforce some of the existing IWC rules against it's most hypocritical violators. I really don't consider whale harvesting and selling of the meat for food to be research. I also don't consider what the Nazi's did to Jewish, Gypsy, Poles, Russians, homosexual, etc. to be research either. Despite the "benefit" of learning how much cold and pain a person could withstand before dying. It was still murder.

    If you're not part of the solution, YOU are the problem!

    (fwiw; I am absolutely not suggesting that killing whales is the moral equivalent of killing people! I'm just drawing a parallel in the context of Japanese "whale research")

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KRD8e20fBo
    http://www.earth-policy.org/
    http://www.bluegold-worldwaterwars.com/
     
  11. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Let me try again:
    I'm not interested in seeing unsupported opinions. If you feel strongly about an issue, then present the facts and let me decide. If your facts are correct, then I'll see your side of the issue. And by facts, I don't mean stuff spouted by spin doctors, or anyone who has an economic or political stake in the issue. I value scientific articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I value unbiased coverage from reputable newspapers. I am likely to value input from people who can present both sides of an issue. I am unlikely to value input from people who know nothing about an issue except that one aspect of it has some correlation to a deep-seated bias that they have.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell
     
  12. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Nootka, that Bertrand Russell quote describes the heart of the decline in public discourse where I live (where you live, also, I suspect). It used to be that statesmen (there were not stateswomen in those days) debated issues with tact, facts, and respect for each other's opinion and point of view. Things have degenerated to name calling, repetition of slogans and unsupportable claims and accusations ... typified by the approach of Mr. Limbaugh, most prominently, in my country.

    It would please me no end for you guys to get to the nubbin of the disagreement here:

    What constitutes a "criminal act" when different countries differ starkly in their approach to regulating or protecting cetaceans? If it is a crime in one country to forestall whaling by harassing whaling, but illegal in another country to take whales, where is the ethical ground? Is there any ethical ground in that case?

    Is it ever a more ethical act to violate an egregiously inhumane or wholly unconstitutional law than to obey it? My country passed through a paroxysm of nonviolent disobedience of established laws regarding race which ran against the very grain of its own constitution, and we are a better nation for having done so. There is a well-established and very supportable rationale for nonviolent disobedience that only a rabid few would deny. Going to prison for violating laws which run against our very humanity has long been an accepted part of accelerating social justice. Can you say Nelson Mandela?

    Here is the nubbin: Is it ever ethical to endanger others on the high seas to attempt to stop them from an act (whaling) which is legal in one jurisdiction but not in another? If someone tried to harass me while under way in a manner inconsistent with maritime law, I'd be justified in attempting to stop their unsafe behavior. That may be the crux of the debate about Sea Shepherd's tactics.

    Off the soapbox.
     
  13. rider

    rider Paddler

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    The whole thing boils down to ideology and what one considers ethical.
    Whalers willingly chose to go out to sea. Whales did NOT chose to be illegally hunted. Right of whales to LIVE, in my opinion,and opinion of Sea Shepherd by far exceeds the WANT of whalers to make MONEY off killing them.
    To play it by the numbers, there's vastly more people than there is cetaceans, our survival as species is hardly dependent on anything even remotely related to whaling, while theirs is directly in jeopardy because of whaling and fishery actions.
    Frankly, even if pretty much any accusation against Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd stands true, I still support their cause and their actions because they are in my opinion more than justified if you consider the big picture.
     
  14. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I've never met a whale I didn't like.

    *****
     
  15. wilder paddles

    wilder paddles Paddler

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    Frankly i believe kenB's comments to be quite valuable. His comment has created more discussion AND research into a much larger issue that needs to be in the public eye. Paul Watsons methods bring out these types of discussions, the result of which is more publicity on the issue. KenB's comment and the resulting debate has resulted in my personal edification of this problem once again furthering Watsons agenda.

    thanks KenB
     
  16. Comoxpaddler

    Comoxpaddler Paddler

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    Certainly not wishing to argue in favour of Japanese whaling.

    However, as a generally anti-whaling type I was very interested in the arguments for whaling by some groups contained in a small book that I found in one of my favourite bibliophile haunts, the UVic bookshop. Called Arctic Wars: Animal Rights, Endangered Peoples the back cover blurb pretty much encapsulates what it sets out, to my mind very persuasively.

    Which is more important, an endangered species or an endangered culture? In a world of diminishing resources, must one be sacrificed for the preservation of the other? Native Greenlander Finn Lynge makes an impassioned plea for consideration of indigenous Arctic cultures. With a perspective rarely considered in the mass media or power centers, he argues that the so-called animal rights movement has put whales and seals above humans. Lynge reveals the Euro-American and urban biases in animal protectionism and presents an alternative scenario, stressing mutual understanding and respect for cultural differences."

    I would certainly urge anyone who sees themselves as irretrievably within the anti-whaling camp to give it a read; and those who are undecided will find much to reassure them that the issue is not black and white.
     
  17. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    Well stated post rider...it obviously came from the heart.
    I don't agree with you, but I RESPECT your opinion.

    So why is it I'm not allowed an opinion(s) without being attacked?

    KayDubbya...
    Are you sure you want to stand by that statement??????
    I mean REALLY...Paul Watson in the same breath as Ghandi????:shock:
    Sorry...but I have to say something about this statement...
    I'm embarrassed for you! :oops:
     
  18. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    You are. It's already been stated that the caustic replies should stop.

    Actually, no, you don't have to say anything.

    I got the point of KayDubbya's post -- it's about beliefs and standing up for what you believe in. Perhaps a bit of stretch to say that Watson will be looked back upon in the same light as those he quoted, but his (Watson's) convictions (not he legal kind) are heard long and far away. I think that's the point KD was making.

    Comoxpaddler, interesting point of view -- I understand the reasoning although I can't say I agree with it. I certainly don't put whales or seals ahead of humans, but there comes a time in this modern world (and it is the current world that we are in, regardless of our individual racial history) where we must reconsider certain aspects of the past cultures of indigenous (and other) peoples as it relates to the world today. Is it right in a world where whales are an endangered species (and an intelligent one at that) to continue to allow First Nations to hunt them just because it was an activity done in their past? Is it right to allow others to kill them for food, just because they've done it for hundreds (maybe thousands of years)? Is it right to allow a small minority to completely kill a species into extinction while the rest of the world warns that there can be no other outcome?

    Note that I'm referring specifically to whales in my post here, I don't share these same considerations with seals, chickens, or cows.

    *****
     
  19. Comoxpaddler

    Comoxpaddler Paddler

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    The point that Lynge makes (and I suspect that others like Jared Diamond of Guns, Germs and Steel and particularly Collapse fame would also make) is that indigenous peoples who succeed in hostile environments (like the Inuit) learned long ago that developing a balance with nature and managing resources is what is important. They did this. Then along comes the new and ignorant kid on the block - (for which read European-originating commercial interests from the 1700s onwards) who rapes the inorganic and organic environment, and then gets all sentimental (seen from the viewpoint of the indigenous peoples), saying "I shouldn't have killed all those creatures, so I won't any more, but you can't either".
     
  20. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    So we should have two sets of values? Regardless of who created the problem, anyone furthering the killing of whales is putting that species in grave danger. Just because someone else came along and tipped the scales on the balance of nature, doesn't give another group (be they First Nations, Inuit, or Japanese) a right to push it over the edge.

    We had a good example of this not too long ago right in nearby Puget Sound where First Nations pushed this very same principle that you speak of in your post -- as we know now, that went over a little less than favorably -- and with good reason.

    Bottom line is that we're talking about a species that is struggling to exist -- should not our self-centered cultural ideals be put a distant second behind the efforts being done to remedy the problem?

    *****