A conference of VIPs on wildlife preservation is taking place in London. Loads of highly-paid and powerful people will jaw for hours, issue a press-conference, and then things will go on much as before.
Cynical? Well, the terrible tragedy taking place in the extermination by Homo Sapiens of beautiful and sentient creatures that do Man no harm is far from new. This has been going on for decades, even if Great White Hunters no longer return from Africa proudly boasting how many big cats, rhinos or elephants they have killed.
Driven by the lunatic ignorance and immorality of nouveaux-riche Asians, the greed of the usual poacher suspects and the poverty of many who see a rhino kill as a way to a quick fortune, the slaughter of these animals is even accelerating, notwithstanding the continual summits, resolutions, pledges and so on. Indeed, the fewer of these animals there are the higher the price for those products derived from them – a truly appalling example of supply and demand.
What is needed are:
A) … the sale and/or possession of rhino-horn and tiger products, ivory and other stuff from these creatures to be made illegal by China and other governments – AND subject to extremely harsh punishments – AND with resources made available to stamp it out instead of mere lip-service (and yacking at posh conferences)
B) … an international military task-force to hunt down and kill the poachers.
C) … a massive publicity campaign in China, Japan etc, but not a pussy-footing affair, one where the Premier comes on telly and says:
“Look, we have inherited from our tradition the practice of using animal products. This is both STUPID, since they have in fact NO KNOWN THERAPEUTIC qualities and IMMORAL, as these are sentient creatures that do us no harm. Your government has outlawed the purchase and use of products derived from these species, and will ruthlessly pursue and punish those involved in this disgusting trade.” (Don’t hold your breath ….)
None of these are exactly PC, but the way things are going at the moment we are getting nowhere. Frankly the time for fannying about yacking at summit conferences is over. These species are dying out NOW.
Another great help would be if venal, corrupt, scum-drooling African governments would show more respect for their animals, their people and indeed themselves. However, there is fat sign of that in some of the key countries, including Tanzania as highlighted last week.
An alien visitor sent to observe Homo Sapiens would surely conclude that he is a total and dangerous aberration in galactic life and should be exterminated. We KNOW that this is happening and we KNOW that it is wrong, but somehow we just cannot STOP it. Truly pathetic.
Let us hope at least that when GW and the ensuing famines, plagues and wars wipe us out that as many animals as possible will survive. Perhaps the next supermammal to evolve in a few million years will be more successful than the current one.
The Telegraph Article is excellent: full of information,
and listing the following as examples of endangered species.