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Greenpeace direct action

Greenpeace have totally blockaded all the entrances to the EU Council Secretariat, beside my office, in a protest against overfishing. I feel sorry for them because it is such a bitterly cold morning, but the Eurocrats don't seem too devastated at being unable to get to work! And the point is one well worth making.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2007 09:59 am (UTC)
Rant warning.

The state of European (and other) fisheries is an excellent illustration of what happens when politicians and bureaucrats try to find a middle ground between, on the first hand, what scientists and experts say is the absolute maximum sustainable limit on some human activity and, on the other hand, what interest groups insist is the absolute minimum tolerable level of that activity.

The process generally involves: many years of delay; the invention of hugely complicated, expensive, wasteful, and loophole-ridden systems of regulation; the grandfathering in of unsustainable traditional practices; the predicted destruction of the underlying resource; and then loud cries of woe from the same interest groups who buggered it all up in the first place, because they have destroyed their own livelihoods as sure as a farmer eating his seed-corn.

We could have learned lessons from it, but instead we're repeating the mistakes, on a far grander scale, at Bali and elsewhere.

It's a language problem, really. Somehow, expressions like "absolute maximum sustainable limit" just don't convey their plain meaning.

Obviously a much better process would involve the politicians finding the courage to tell the interest groups to go to hell directly, rather than taking this roundabout route which gathers the rest of us into their handbasket. The money saved could be used for regeneration and redevelopment. Fat chance.
Dec. 17th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC)
Fishery's issues are a sore spot.

Current fishing practices are wiping out the stocks we want to eat and unbalancing the ecosystem to a point where it's starting to look as though jellyfish (which we can't even eat) may take over as the dominant species in many ocean areas.
Dec. 17th, 2007 12:07 pm (UTC)
Do you think if astronomers and particle physicists did this at the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills that it would make any difference?
Dec. 17th, 2007 12:15 pm (UTC)
Well, it's probably worth a try!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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