Sunday, June 6, 2010

Obama Backs Deal to Lift Global Ban on Commercial Whaling

This is strange on a few levels. The first is that this directly contradicts a campaign promise where he said the moratorium should be strengthened. The second is that the reason behind this to save whales. Unlike some drugs were you can argue that part of the allure of taking them is that it is forbidden, I do not think you can argue with a strait face that people are killing whales just because most of the governments of the world say you should not. Lifting the ban may stop some countries from using loopholes, but that does not mean that they will stop killing. They will just kill without needing the excuse and likely kill significantly more.

"Environmentalists, already peeved with the administration’s handling of the Gulf oil spill, are accusing President Obama of breaking his campaign pledge to end the slaughter of whales.

The Obama administration is leading an effort within the International Whaling Commission to lift a 24-year international ban on commercial whaling for Japan, Norway and Iceland, the remaining three countries in the 88-member commission that still hunt whales.

The administration argues that the new deal will save thousands of whales over the next decade by stopping the three countries from illegally exploiting loopholes in the moratorium.

But environmentalists aren't buying it.
The groups have run ads in major newspapers highlighting Obama's campaign promise in 2008 to "strengthen the moratorium on commercial whaling," adding that "allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable."

"We ask you to honor your promise, stop the sellout, and save the whales," the ad reads.

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