Home > Uncategorized > Winning the War On Fish

Winning the War On Fish

July 17, 2009

That’s right, Senator Coburn, it’s all about you and your personal consumer “freedom”:

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn: “What if you want to drive a gas hog? You don’t have the right any longer in this country to spend your money to drive a gas hog?”

This is why I get exasperated by denialists, who seem to think that if it inconveniences them at all to think about the environment, then they shouldn’t ever have to ever think about the environment.  Their answer to everything is pretty much, “This Can’t Be Happening.”  But not only can it be happening, there’s no rule in life that says you get just one crisis at a time.  Here’s one – overfishing:

When I was a child, TV specials on the ocean suggested no limit to the number of people who could be fed from the ocean’s bounty.  The concepts of major factory-style fishing lay in the future, but today we are, as the video says, “winning the war on fish”. I can almost hear the voice of Mister Burns, exulting that his industry “Sweeps the sea clean!”

And here’s another -  Ocean Acidification.  Just to be certain of victory, we’re undermining the oceanic food chain from its foundation:

“…Ocean Acidification is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels. When carbon dioxide in the atmosphere ends up in the ocean it changes the pH, making the sea acidic and less hospitable to life. Over time, C02 reduces calcium carbonate, which prevents creatures from forming shells and building reefs. In fact, existing shells will start to dissolve. Oysters and mussels will not be able to build shells. Crabs and lobsters? Your great-grandchildren may wonder what they tasted like…”

And oh yeah, there’s that global warming thing too. 

We can’t, like Senator Coburn, just pretend that our home can take unlimited abuse.  For starters, this would be a very good time to get out of the habit of eating fish.  Support energy conservation and renewable energy.  Support women’s rights and education worldwide. (Surest path to reducing the global birthrate).  Move closer to work, and ride a bike.  Don’t throw aluminum in the trash.  Buy a car every ten years instead of every three.  The crises (plural) are brought to us by the culture of consumption, and by world population.  It won’t kill us to pay attention to those things, but we’re already way past the point where it would be OK to ignore them.

We can’t keep expecting to live off the interest when we’re spending the biological capital;  nature isn’t listening to our arguments and she doesn’t make political compromises. 


  • (h/t Guilty Planet for video)

  • At SEED publishing online – Six experts discuss the global fisheries crisis; the economic, political, and social pressures that contributed to it; and what it will take to make fish stocks bounce back.
  • Though I’m writing this mainly to share some interesting links, or just to get it off my chest at four in the morning when arthritis is winning the War On Sleep, I have no idea how to get these concepts on the table for conservatives.  Any suggestions?
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Ray
    July 17, 2009 at 07:29 | #1

    I grew up in the UK, and started coming to the US for business trips back in the 70s. Then in the 80s I came here to work for four years, and one of the things that first struck me when I really got to know people was their insistence on “rights”, even when such “rights” flew in the face of logic and what was best for everyone.

    Perhaps we need to start instilling in our children the concept of taking wider interests into consideration when making personal decisions. I know we tried to do that with our children, with the result that I believe they are far more sensitive to the consequences of their actions than many others. Of course, they are more – far more – than balanced out by those who were never taught to think this way.

    As for conservatives in general, I suspect it will take personal calamities to make them understand that their “rights” should come at least second to what is best for everyone. It’s a pretty depressing picture, but I don’t see them changing their ways short of a catastrophe. I mean, if they can’t understand something as basic and straightforward as universal health coverage being a good thing, then how can we hope they will grasp anything less obvious?

  2. gruntled atheist
    July 17, 2009 at 09:31 | #2

    Shouldn’t ‘responsibility’ be a conservative value?  It sounds like a conservative value.  We have rights and we are all tickled about that.  But every ‘right’ carries with it an equal responsibility.  Whether there is a law in place or not, we each have a responsibility to not shout “fire” in a crowded theater.  Everyone has a responsibility to take care of this planet.  It baffles me that this is so hard for some to comprehend.

  3. July 18, 2009 at 20:34 | #3

    We’ve basically created our own problem in being able to win over conservatives with any argument. We created the society where it’s our right to be able to do what we want. I think it’s one of the third rails of our society and a tough one to break. We didn’t grow up in a society where you need to look out for your neighbors because you need them to look out for you. We weren’t forced into a situation that demanded the need for something like solidarity like Cuba was. It’s hard to see a need for something that was never needed before.

    The only thing I can think of taking the money out of politics by denying lobbying (even for good causes like global warming, green initiatives, and other liberal causes) and having political campaigns be funded from tax dollars. If you take special interests out of politicians than maybe you can get someone in who’s willing to do the right thing and at any cost.

    In other words I’m not smart enough to think of a solution besides having a disaster. Unless those thoughts are feasible.

  4. July 19, 2009 at 07:16 | #4

    I wish I knew how to talk sense into Cons.  However, I have discovered over the course of my blogging career that you usually can’t talk sense into the senseless.

    I just hope the next generation grows up fast, gets politically active, and votes these idiots out of office.  It’s the only thing that gives me hope – the youngsters seem a little savvier than the vast majority of older folk.

    We could solve the whole crisis if we could just imprint your blog post on conservatives’ neural circuitry….

  5. July 19, 2009 at 07:20 | #5

    I get a wry chuckle out of statements such as Coburn’s. Okay, let’s ignore everything else, even the recent Republican president Bush preached against dependence on foreign oil. Aside and apart from such considerations as global warming, isn’t burning less gas in accord with rational thinking on an economic and geo-political level?

  6. July 19, 2009 at 20:32 | #6

    The great thing about being a god-bothering imbecile like Sen. Coburn is that you don’t have to do any work. The situation will take care of itself if everyone does enough prayin’.

    I read last year about how ocean acidification is happening faster than previously predicted. It’s a result of higher atmospheric temperatures, among other things. Of course, to conservatives that makes it another funny thing that Al Gore talks about.

    There really is no convincing such people, but hopefully the arguments will convince others. At least, I tell myself that when I’m in an optimistic mood.

Comments are closed.