This isn’t a story about San Francisco per se, but it is about a friend of mine who lives in San Francisco. I won’t share his name to protect his anonymity, but he’s flown off to join the crew of the Sea Shephed Conservation Society to serve a noble cause–the end of whaling. When was the last time you woke up and thought, hmmmm I want some whale today? Probably never. Part of that fact is that there has been a moratorium in place on commercial whaling for many years. The Japanese have made an end run though and saying their doing it for scientific research. What exactly is so scientific about killing and cutting up whales then putting them in cold storage?
My friend on board is an average guy yet remarkable. He is risking his life as well as his career and the possibility of facing jail time for what he believes in. Yes, you could say he’s a “Berkeley hippie type”, but he’s not. He’s the type of guy who’s trying to protect our environment and the animals that live in it. He was on a boat in the Antarctic Ocean watching as a Japanese whaling boat turned and rammed a much smaller trimaran boat injuring several of the people on board who had to dive into arctic waters to save themselves. By international maritime law, this falls under piracy, by the laws of Australia and New Zealand it is considered an act of war. The Japanese on this ship aren’t just researchers as why would researchers need Swat armor and flash bang grenades or LRAD systems that our soldiers use? If you visit Animal Planet’s website you’ll see this for yourself.
Australia and New Zealand have condemmed the actions of the Japanese, but are also afraid of the possible loss of $52 Billion Australian dollars they get from the Japanese. From my understanding of this, while the Aussie might loose a bit of money, it will be for a short period of time. The coal and beef going the Japanese will not stop once they start getting cold and hungry.
I’ll be the first to admit, I like my meat, but I have to send out a word of thanks to a friend of mine who’s doing a good job in a place where it’s way to cold for me to go under conditions I don’t think I could tolerate. This is what San Francisco is all about, not smug yuppies that came from somewhere else who sit around drinking latte’s and swearing during our Board of Supervisor’s meetings, oh wait, that’s our local government.