Saturday, April 26, 2008

Forget Polar Bears! What About The Noble Fox Snake?

Word came in yesterday that the COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) has decided that the Polar Bear is not "endangered", instead recommending that it be dubbed a "Species of Special Concern", which is a lower form of protected status:

The Polar Bear was one of the most challenging species ever assessed by COSEWIC" said Dr. Jeff Hutchings, Chair. Extensive inventory, research, a wealth of Aboriginal traditional and community knowledge and the emerging threats posed by climate change and northern development were considered. In some areas, the bear appears to be increasing; in others it is declining. The reduction of sea ice, a consequence of increasing temperatures, is a threat to the species, especially in the southern part of its range. Future stresses on the population mean that harvest will have to be managed particularly carefully in coming years.

So I zipped over to the COSEWIC website and read up and tried to decide what my opinion was.

And my opinion, until someone smarter tells me different, is that this is a not bad Canadian compromise. While less than 100% protection, if you read the relevant parts of the legislation you will see that the new status requires the Environment Minister to produce a management plan and, more importantly in my view, he

...may adopt a multi-species or an ecosystem approach when preparing the management plan if he or she considers it appropriate to do so.

As the Polar Bear is protected, so too are the species needed to sustain it; it may become significantly more difficult to drill, log, hunt, or etc. within the polar bear's established habitat.

Now, there are a number of possible flies in the ointment.

1) The government does not have to accept the committee's recommendation. John Baird has three months to decide, and so far he has made happy sounding mumbling noises.

1) If the government accepts the recommendation, the Environment Minister has a whole 5 years to produce his plan. You would think that John Baird et al would want to move swiftly on an issue like this, to establish a few environmental creds, but with this government who knows?

2) As much as I like to think I am aboriginal friendly, the only innocent party in this debate is the Polar Bear. While on the one hand Inuit spokespeople have bitched about global warming, sometimes citing the fact that their people are seeing more polar bears as the poor starving dears move inland in search of food, on the other hand they have referenced the fact that more people are seeing polar bears etc. in support of the contention that the polar bear population is in great shape and the status quo is fine re hunting levels. Their whole traditional knowledge schtick--"Breeding levels are healthy. We can sense it on the wind."--is growing a bit stale when it comes to this particular issue.

But while we are on the subject of endangered species, I would be amiss if I didn't point out the obvious fact that people gravitate towards protecting animals considered "cute" or "majestic"--usually large mammels. However, there are all sorts of endangered snakes, bugs and birds also dealt with in COSEWIC's latest release, and nobody is paying any attention to them.

So, I personally would like to put in a word for The Eastern Fox Snake

Ranging from 3 to 6 feet in length, The Eastern Fox Snake is very quiet, and won't eat you, like a polar bear. It probably won't fetch to your morning newspaper, either, but that is no reason to deny it protection.

Finally, in all matters environmental, remember my motto: Animals are Innocent, and People are Assholes.


Anonymous said...

Greetings, and welcome to The Morning Pedant. Some stories we're following this morning:

"As much as I like to think I am First-Nations friendly, the only innocent party in this debate is the Polar Bear. While on the one hand Inuit..."

The Inuit, having arrived in Canada only 1000 or so years ago, aren't considered First Nations even by the Indian industry; typically one would say "First Nations and Inuit", for example.

Got nuthin' else to add, other than America protects its environment much better than Canada.

bigcitylib said...

Thanks fake, I've changed that. For once you have proven mildly useful

Ti-Guy said...

Language policing tips from someone who references "The Indian Industry?"

Got nuthin' else to add, other than America protects its environment much better than Canada.

Yes, we've noticed. The nature parks down there are truly spectacular.

Anonymous said...

Pudendaphobic proto-commie posits: "Language policing tips from someone who references "The Indian Industry?"

Check the name, it's still Indian Affairs and Northern Development, just like it was under Paul Martin and the Chretien "interrugnum'. If you had ever stepped foot on a reserve you'd know that Indian is the usual term (eg. Indian Posse, not Native Posse).

I took history in French, in the 80s, when the terms we were forced to use by the teacher unions were "Amerindiens" and "Auchtotones". Nobody uses those ridiculous terms today.

Today in the schools it is no doubt First Nations or Spiritual Persons or some such malarky that will be forgotten twenty years hence. And the names will still be Indian Posse and Indian Affairs.

Ti-Guy said...

It's not the "Indian" part I'm objecting to. I grew up with Indians. It's the "Indian Industry" I find stupid. It's the rigid political (in)correctness and rhetorical conformity that poorly-read wingnuts have adopted to sneer at everything...Poverty Industry, Human Rights Industry (hat tip to American immigrant and professional harridan Margaret Wente) and now "Indian Industry." Aren't you guys in the "Wingnut Welfare Industry" ever concerned about how unlettered and stupid you all sound when you repeat the dumbest things, over and over again?

As for what we (and since half my family looks more Indian than most Mohawks, I myself find the use of *we* here a little tenuous) non-Indians call them, I just go by the rule of calling people what they want me to call them. That's pretty much standard, all over the world.

FYI: autochtone is the most common term these days. I don't know what you think has replaced it (maybe you should read once in awhile). I agree that amérindien never really caught on. Anyway, stop blaming the teachers for your lousy education. Blame your parents, who I'm sure are kkkretins.

This ridiculous Conservative cant has become more tedious than the worst excesses of language prescription/proscription ever attempted in the last 30 years, a lot of which was ignored, anyway.

Anonymous said...

So TTC's on strike, eh? This should be fun to watch.

Considering the Toronto cabbies recently arrested for refusing fares, the shootings on the subway, the militant unions, and TTC ticket collectors making six figures, now more than ever TTC means Take The Car.

Public policies need to be harmonious, and an unchecked, unaccountable public transit sector (rude cabbies, shitty public transit) is incompatible with traffic and pollution reduction efforts. In short, unless you are willing to aggressively bring the cabbie and bus driver unions in line, you're just wanking with your enviro-spew.

Anonymous said...

Let's take a closer look at the creepy paternalism toward Indians from a lib-left appointed judge, and a surprisingly conservative response from the Indian industry:

Special treatment in bail case `insulting,' Mohawk chief says

MONTREAL–The grand chief of a Mohawk reserve near Montreal wants a Quebec court judge to be reprimanded for saying a man's native heritage entitled him to special treatment in court.

Judge Juanita Westmoreland-Traore granted...

Let's stop right there. That name is familiar:

Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré (born March 10, 1942) is the first appointed black judge in the history of Quebec. She also holds the distinction of being the first black dean of a law school (University of Windsor's Faculty of Law) in Canada’s history.
From 1983 to 1985, she was a Commissioner for the Canadian Human Rights Commission. From 1991 to 1995, she was Employment Equity Commissioner of Ontario. She was appointed a Judge of the Court of Quebec for the District of Montreal in 1999.

OK, I remember her from Bob Rae's Ontario, when her office tried to ram race quotas down the throats of small businesses. The NDP got bootfucked forever for their efforts.

Anyway, this veteran of the racism industry ran the race quota office and I clearly remember a print interview of her saying "do you have any better ideas?" when challenged on the morality of race quotas. Way to justify the existence of your very job and ideology, honey.

So I see she's on the bench now, dispensing racist justice, and it doesn't look like it went over very well:

"...granted Davin Johnny bail on charges he took part in the riot that followed the Canadiens' series-clinching win over the Boston Bruins on Monday.

In granting bail Thursday, the judge said Johnny's native origins had to be taken into consideration.

Westmoreland-Traore said native Canadians "who sometimes show a high rate of unemployment and dependence on alcohol" are at a disadvantage in society.

Mike Delisle, the grand chief of the Kahnawake reserve, complained Johnny, 32, was given special treatment because of his native background and called it "insulting and embarrassing."

"We're not looking for any type of handout or any less justice to be laid down to First Nations people," he said yesterday. "This person should have been taken to the full measures of the law, like everyone else."

Ti-Guy said...

Flaming, we've heard of all this from you before.

Christ, haven't you started dating yet?

Dante said...

We can't forget the polar bears. The science is settled. Al Gore said they are drowning so they must be and we need to act now!
Are you now a polar bear endangered denier?

Ti-Guy said...

I swear, when this is all over, I'm going to lead seminars on humour for "conservatives." I'll make a killing.

Mulroney was funnier than this collection of dull foghorns who don't even know that they shouldn't try.

Dante said...

yah're pretty funny...but looks aren't everything.

Ti-Guy said...

Don't say hurtful things to make me cry, Dainty.

Dante said...

I see you are getting comfortable with your feminine side.

Go and borrow Bowie's pink shirt and you will have completed the transformation.

Anonymous said...

I really need to get off my ass and "monetize" the insolence of the left. Look, Harper isn't going anywhere anytime soon and it's time you learn how to act properly with Conservatives. Some topics we'll be covering:

-Excuses, and why they are anathema
-Gay subtext, and why it's all in your head
-Tattoo removal for effective employment retainment
-Why your beggardly ass is entitled to fuck all
-The Cock, and why it is never about it
-Showing up on time
-Passive aggressive: leave it in the girls' change room
-Personal responsibility
-Why you aren't entitled to act like a queen in the workplace
-Stoicism, for fuck's sake
-Speaking clear, unloaded sentences featuring periods at the end
-Punctuation: once is enough

Ti-Guy said...

Would you please shut up? You're nowhere near as clever as you think you are.

Unknown said...