Showdown Expected as Japan Plans to Resume For-Profit Whaling
For years, the Japanese government has hunted whales under the name of "scientific research." Now officials are angling to resume commercial whaling at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting this September in Brazil.
At the meeting, officials "will propose setting a catch quota for species whose stocks are recognized as healthy by the IWC scientific committee," Hideki Moronuki, an official in charge of whaling at Japan's fisheries agency, told Agence France-Presse.
Japan is also seeking to lower the proportion of votes required to set catch quotas to a simple majority of IWC membership, rather than three-quarters, Moronuki added.
Commercial whaling was banned internationally in 1986 under the IWC's moratorium. However, Japan launched its "scientific whaling" program in 1987 as a loophole to the moratorium. Japan intends to kill some 4,000 whales over the next decade.
Norway and Iceland are the only other countries that have authorized whaling despite the moratorium.
Japan's controversial hunts have continued despite international protests. Japanese politicians have insisted that the species they hunt, the minke whale, are not endangered and that eating the meat is part of its culture, even though most of its citizens no longer eat it.
This year, like in seasons past, Japanese whaling vessels returned with 333 Minke whales from Antarctic waters, of which 181 were females. Of those, 122 or 67 percent were pregnant. The whalers also took 61 immature males and 53 immature females.
Japan Kills More Than 120 Pregnant Whales https://t.co/PI5eMQHDAH @SeaShepherd @Oceanwire @savingoceans— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1527638705.0
Some of the hunting takes place in Australian whale sanctuaries. In a statement to Fairfax Media, Australia's Department of the Environment and Energy said it was aware of Japan's reported plan to resume whaling and will seek to block its bid.
"Australia will strongly oppose any proposals to overturn the moratorium [on commercial whaling] or change the rules for setting catch limits," the department said.
Other anti-whaling nations, including New Zealand and most countries in Europe and South and Central America, would similarly be opposed to Japan's purported plans, Fairfax Media reported.
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
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Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.
She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.
"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.
She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.
This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.
"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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