Web Skills, CITES &c.

My last few diary entries have come out in particularly bad format. I maintain that I’m good at user-friendly Windows and Mac OS, but not much more. Of course, basic skills with Microsoft Word or organizing bookmarks on Firefox manage to impress the elder generations, but when it comes to dealing with HTML, tagging, or whatever, I tend to fumble a bit. I like formatting things, and appreciate good web design, but I leave it to the experts and the naturals. Anyway, I’ll try not to have 2-inch gaps between my paragraphs this time.

So, CITES is meeting again to discuss regulation in rare species taking and trading, and regardless of what one feels about globalism or environmentalism, there has been a whole lot of ‘good’ out of the international agreement known as CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna).

Totally deregulated fishing came to a head in the Atlantic sometime in the middle of the 19th century, with whalers and other fishing folk traveling further and further for their takes, oftentimes totally eliminating regional populations or entire species in the process.

CITES (1973) is a product of IUCN (1948), the group that studies and lists species according to their level of endangerment, another valuable service.
Anyway, on the table this year are several shark and tuna species. The East Asians (as usual) are the biggest perpetrators, taking whales, sharks, and fish with little or no attention to sustainability or long-term viability. Recently, yes, they have come around a bit, but if every nation (or even just a few more) caught sharks and whales at the rate of the Japanese and Chinese, extinctions would be just a few years out, if that.

So, this international convention is attempting to put limits on much of these trades. There has been relative success since the organization’s establishment in 1973, regarding elephant, rhino, and tiger parts, along with hundreds of other species. (Though the dramatic decline in tiger populations and failure to control trade in tiger parts–esp. to provincial Chinese, is intensely concerning.) This is the first time that the prime focus will be on commercialized fish.

The biggest objectors are the Japanese, naturally, and they intend to defy whatever bans or limits are proposed by CITES, as they always have. You know, the whole “9,000-whales-a-year-for-scientific-study” claim.

But I guess I’m writing this to express my personal opinion on the matter. While I resent the idea of global taxes, oligarchic centralization of resources, and basing all environmentalism on the “global warming/climate change” scam, I do find a lot of value in such international agreements as IUCN and CITES. In the tradition of the early-20th century migrating birds treaties, the big cat preservation programs in South America, and the more recent Endangered Species Acts that have been implemented all around the world, simple dialogue and cooperation can lead to incredible things, like we’ve seen with the rebound of Atlantic cod stocks in the 90′s and some of the salmon population rebounds just over the last few years.

Yes, mineral extraction and fisheries are valuable resources. But so are wild sharks, whales, tigers, elephants, and God’s creatures big, small, and microscopic. Cooperation and the work of private environmentalist groups can work wonders that have benefit for all. If you remove (mostly leftist) political motivations from environmentalist causes, there is a lot of good to be had.

If you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you’ll feed him for life. Further, if you give the fish breeding ground, clean water, and wild habitat, you’ll guarantee thriving wild ecosystems and a constant supply into the future for all-around economic benefit especially for local communities.

It’s hardly a left-right, up-down issue. It’s a human issue, it’s an economic issue, and it’s a theological issue.

Thanks for your time, and I hope the spacing and indentation isn’t messed up!

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