Greenwash Watch: "Eat Whale and Save the Planet"

The Norwegian-based High North Alliance represents the interests of coastal communities in the Arctic and supports whaling. They are taking a cue from the Fur is Green and calling whale meat environmentally friendly. Their survey suggests that kilo (2.2 lbs) of whale meat represented just 1.9 kilo (4.2 lbs) of greenhouse gases against 15.8 for beef, 6.4 for pork and 4.6 for chicken.

Rune Froevik of the Alliance says "Basically it turns out that the best thing you can do for the planet is to eat whale meat compared to other types of meat...Greenhouse gas emissions caused by one meal of beef are the equivalent of eight meals of whale meat" One can of course be single-minded and think that all that matters in the world is carbon dioxide, forgetting that there are other issues like species extinction and morality. ::Reuters.

Very surprisingly, TreeHugger hero Tim Flannery had this to say about the subject a couple of years ago:Quoted in SMH.com back in 2003:

Less intelligent whale species are much like sheep and should be sustainably hunted, says one of the nation's most influential environmental scientists, Tim Flannery.

"What people fail to realise is that the Cetacea (the group to which whales and dolphins belong) is an extraordinarily diverse group of mammals," Dr Flannery writes. "It includes relatively large-brained hunters like dolphins and killer whales (which have the demonstrable intelligence of land-based hunters such as dogs) and tiny-brained filter feeders such as the blue whale. These leviathans are aquatic vacuum-cleaners, whose need for
intellectual power is slight indeed."

Dr Flannery says it is the filter feeders rather than the hunters that the Japanese and Norwegian target. "If these animals are closer in intelligence to the sheep than the dog, is it morally wrong to eat them if they can be harvested sustainably? My view is that at present the anti-whaling lobby is frustrating the attempt to develop a sustainable industry based on these creatures, and is therefore frustrating good management of marine resources." ::SMH

Tags: Extinction | Fish

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