Tuesday, January 19, 2010

WHEN PUSH TURNS TO SHOVE

My best friend said a very.... interesting (?) comment today in school. I forget how the conversation went, but it ended up like this "... you'll probably want to be the President of Greenpeace one day."

And that got me thinking.

Greenpeace is THE environmental NGO out there, yet its methods are often controversial, usually involving direct action. This ranges from sit-ins to the blocking of whaling vessels and criminal damage on coal-plants. To the average person, such activities do seem rather radical- after all, its 'just' the environment, but to me, (except the last bit) all of their activities are justified, for the public continues to ignore environmental concerns in favor of tiger-bone, ivory and sharks- fin soup.

But, where do we draw the line? Where does direct activism become eco-terrorism? Can it really be justified in the name of the environment? As forecasts for the state of our biosphere becomes ever more dire, does it become right to bomb, maim or kill in defence of the planet? Consider the fact that human lives are going to be sacrificed by depleted mountain glaciers, melted ice and more extreme weather events

It does not. Not for me. Because the value of human life is the same as the value of animal and plant life all over the world. This means that if you're fighting to save species, destroying your own to call attention and grab the headlines does seem rather bird-brained.

And what would happen if we set an oil-palm headquarters alight? Carbon dioxide is released, isn't it? It therefore becomes more illogical to destroy the environment in the hope of saving it.

Still, deploying vessels to physically block whaling craft is quite alright. And shooting animal poachers is also fine. Maybe we should consider the death penalty or life imprisonment for poachers and illegal fishermen.

In the meantime, lets accept that since its the Year of the Tiger, that great beast deserves our respect. Why waste money eating its parts when the science says there're no benefits whatsoever? You wouldn't want a tiger to eat you, right?


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