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Friday, June 30, 2006

Whaling to the Japanese

Is this Whaling FAQ blog a Japanese Government pro-whaling spin operation or what? And it's by the same "Dave" who gives his occupation as an investment banker of David @ Tokyo blog. Why would someone called "Dave" be so obsessed with pumping out pro-Japanese Govt./pro-whaling content into the blogosphere if "Dave" wasn't in the pay of the whaling industry/Govt.?

Here's one comment on his latest post:

I am always surprised to see the media of NZ & AU regard us as devils. In spite of the fact,we are willing to import lamb, kiwii fruit, and beef as we want to. I have no choice but to think we are basically poor. I mean we are lacking of resources. That is why we have to reinforce the sustainable use of them. Is this incorrect?

>ニュージーランドは母国ですが、週末にIWCの総会の場面を見て、恥を感じてたまりませんでした。僕には自分一人ニュージーランド国民として、できることだけはやっていきたいと思います。<

I feel you should not be ashamed. It is ourselves whom we must be ashamed of, because we are informed of much info by you, not by us!

I strongly believe whaling issue is something all the Japanese should give attention to and discuss in our country, but the reality is the reverse.

I am not hostile to anyone of your country. I have a cooking book how to cook lamb. My wife is reading it and in the near future, she will serve nice lamb dish for me. The dish will bridge the gap between your counrty and Japan.


My comment:

Here's another voice from NZ: My name is Tim Selwyn, I am an editor and freelance writer not employed in any form directly or indirectly by the Anti-Whaling industry or any Government.

Is your name really "Dave" and are you employed in any form directly or indirectly by the Japanese Whaling industry or Japanese Government?

The main problem with the Japanese stance in the minds of New Zealanders is that Japan insists on coming down into the Southern Ocean and killing large numbers of whales. If Japan was limited to only taking small numbers off its own shore (along the lines of an "indigenous" quota) then it would probably be acceptable to most people here. The NZ Govt. stance is that even that is not acceptable, therefore NZ and Japan's official positions are at polar opposites.

Do you acknowledge, "Dave", that Japan sending factory ships into the Southern Ocean to slaughter whales in large numbers is not traditional whaling in any sense of the word?


If you want to tell "Dave" how it is go to his blog - the comments are unregulated.

26 Comments:

At 30/6/06 6:23 pm, Blogger andrew said...

Here's a thought... why don't we unilaterally declare (or along with Australia) a Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, and serve notice to Japan that any whaling ships entering this region will be liable to seizure, by force if necessary. It would give our newly upgraded Navy something to do...

 
At 30/6/06 9:11 pm, Blogger David said...

Hello - David @ Tokyo here.

I'm flattered that you think my blog is good enough to warrant funding by a pro-whaling Government.

Since we are quoting people commenting at my blog, here is another good one from a few days back (I feel bad about not replying to it already, but I have a cold):
"In the last two weeks I've been called "beneath contempt" and more names than I care to repeat, merely for pointing out that there are two (or more) sides to this."
http://david-in-tokyo.blogspot.com/2006/06/iwc-2006-whalers-to-sue-iwc.html

Indeed, there are at least two sides to this story. Apparently you are a editor/freelance writer. I wonder whether you are satisfied with the quality of media coverage of this issue in New Zealand.

> Is your name really "Dave" and are you employed in any form directly or indirectly by the Japanese Whaling industry or Japanese Government?

Well, my name is "David" - you can even see some photos on my blog if you really care enough to look. A wee trip down memory lane there - looks like my first post on the whaling issue was way back here:
http://david-in-tokyo.blogspot.com/2004/07/iwc-2004-charade-continues.html
And do I really need to answer the second question? If you insist, I will tell you the answer next time, but you might be disappointed.

> The main problem with the Japanese stance in the minds of New Zealanders is that Japan insists on coming down into the Southern Ocean and killing large numbers of whales.

Here come my standard answers to this (haven't made this one into an FAQ yet)
1) The Southern Ocean is not the property of New Zealand, or Australia, as people in both those nations appear to think. That area of ocean where Japan is conducting it's whale research programmes (which I take it you noted on the FAQ have been commended by the IWC Scientific Committee in the past for their contribution to potentially improving management) are international waters. Whaling in those waters comes under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Both New Zealand and Japan are signatory to this convention (and as you may have seen on the FAQ, even politicians in Australia and New Zealand conceed that Japan is doing nothing illegal under the terms of that convention, which those nations have all put their signatures to).
2) Japan isn't killing large numbers of whales. The numbers they are killing is incredibly small. For example, the common Antarctic Minke stock was estimated at 760,000 in 1990, and even if the population had suffered a major disaster that he gone undetected in the past decade, the 850 whales that Japan plans to take each year does not even approach a single percentage point of the stock estimate. Again with the Humpback population, the IWC Scientific Committee recently agreed that there are around 40,000 in the Antarctic during the summer. Again, 50 whales does not even approach a single percentage point of this figure. I respectfully question the grounds on which you characterise the number of whales that Japan plans to take as "large".

> If Japan was limited to only taking small numbers off its own shore (along the lines of an "indigenous" quota) then it would probably be acceptable to most people here.

So, if I understand this correctly, you think that most New Zealanders are opposed to whaling because they think that they own those whales?
To be honest, in my experience, New Zealanders oppose whaling on a number of grounds, and this is just one of them.

> The NZ Govt. stance is that even that is not acceptable, therefore NZ and Japan's official positions are at polar opposites.

Thank you for the information :-)

> Do you acknowledge, "Dave", that Japan sending factory ships into the Southern Ocean to slaughter whales in large numbers is not traditional whaling in any sense of the word?

Certainly. Whaling in the Antarctic has only been going on for about 100 years now. But perhaps you misunderstand the argument here. There are two types of whaling in Japan:

1) Whaling based in coastal areas around Japan where communities have developed because of the abundant whale resources that were present in those areas.

2) Pelagic whaling which is not traditional, but is completely consistent with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which nations including Japan and New Zealand have all put their name to. This agreement was signed to ensure that whale populations would be conserved, such that whaling industries could develop. Of course, the whales that New Zealand liked to kill were all protected by 1964, when our industry collapsed, due to a big failure on the part of the IWC in it's early days. Since 1964, the New Management Procedure, and most recently, the Revised Management Procedure have been developed, reflecting advances in scientific understanding.

> If you want to tell "Dave" how it is go to his blog - the comments are unregulated.

Almost. I have had trouble recently with a troll, whose comments I delete indiscriminantly, as this particular person contributes little and usually wastes my time (I'm not getting paid for this, you know). That was after 6 months of tolerance, so I think most people should have no problem.

 
At 30/6/06 10:32 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

"David":
I'm glad investment bankers care so much about "abundant whale resources" that they devote so much time and effort to the subject - who would have thought? Thanks for not wanting to answer "are you employed in any form directly or indirectly by the Japanese Whaling industry or Japanese Government?" until next time. Seeing as how your blog is almost nothing but IWC stuff from the Japanese Government's perspective entirely - right down to the same jargon and stock answers it all looks a bit obvious. But if you want to disappoint with the truth, go right ahead. If you just really love the taste of whale meat that's fine too - most people are curious. Please send a sample to: Cuisine Editor, Tumeke Magazine, PO Box 1315 Auckland, New Zealand.

"I wonder whether you are satisfied with the quality of media coverage of this issue in New Zealand."
No I'm not. That's why I posted a piece about the misrepresentation of the facts regarding land-locked countries and the IWC - which you commented on at the time. I know the media in this country is biased very much against whaling as a legitimate industry and that that is because the vast amount of the population also holds the same views. Because of this they run emotive stories, report only the side they want (anti-whaling) and exclude all information from the other side. I don't know what the situation is in Japan. But Japan's specious use of "scientific" whaling as an excuse to take "large" numbers for essentially commercial purposes is recognised for the farce that it is.

"So, if I understand this correctly, you think that most New Zealanders are opposed to whaling because they think that they own those whales?"
No - no-one "owns" the whales. Ownership implies the ability to sell. The only people selling whales is Japan - after they have slaughtered them.

"To be honest, in my experience, New Zealanders oppose whaling on a number of grounds, and this is just one of them."
Yes - but you must take the point that if Japan limited itself to coastal whaling in it's home waters with a quota system as it's only form of whaling then that would be far more acceptable to NZers generally. As I say the official position of the NZ Govt. is strictly no hunting at all - which is different.

"The Southern Ocean is not the property of New Zealand, or Australia, as people in both those nations appear to think. That area of ocean [...] are international waters."
If you look at a map or a globe you will see Japan sits in the top half of the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern Ocean sits in the bottom half of the Southern Hemisphere along with NZ and Australia. What many people in these countries would dearly want to tell the Whaling industry and Government of Japan if was possible would be (as the commenter above mentions) "We will use our navy to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean." Until the Americans declared that 200 nautical miles was the new extent of effective sovereign dominion after WW2 "international waters" used to be very close to land indeed. New treaties acknowledging continental shelf areas beyond the 200nm limit have been filed by NZ and other countries. ie. the zone of international waters is getting smaller and smaller every year. Who knows where it will end? The fact is we don't want it in our backyards - in the same way as Japan would not like it if NZ started "scientifically" taking large numbers of some species of marine life that Japan valued in it's area - even if it was in international waters. If Japan wants to use Northern Hemisphere votes to block a Southern Ocean or Southern Hemisphere sanctuary/no-whaling zone then that just leads to retaliation.

Unlike the vast majority of people in this country I don't personally have a problem with the killing of whales in a sustainable way (honestly - send some meat now!). But I also think that if most of the population and governments in the Southern Ocean area want Japan to stop killing whales there then Japan should relent. However, on the diplomatic side our Minister, Chris Carter, is the wrong person to front at the IWC - his arguments to the Japanese are so poor - they need to be on their terms rather than in the context of ours - in that sense of communication and winning Japan over Carter is the wrong man.

 
At 1/7/06 12:50 am, Blogger Charlie Tan said...

Tim,

The reason mainstream NZ gets its panties in a twist over whaling is that it is such the prefabricated environmental topic for white liberals. There is no need to DO anything about it. You don't have to get out of your SUV's. You don't have to recycle your greywater. You don't have to tax anybody's livestock. It wasn't long after countries like New Zealand and Britain gave up their whale oil for petroleum that whales started becoming "cute" and "sensitive" creatures. Meanwhile, the poor old Japanese who had never hunted many whales in the first place (because they generally only hunted them for food - far less wasteful) cop the blame for whitey's handiwork. As Alanis would say, it's like rain on you wedding day.

Dave is right in his assertion that there are plenty of minke to go around. Even the Australian Department of Conservation puts the figure at around 700,000.

But on to specific gripes about you post/comments

"No - no-one "owns" the whales. Ownership implies the ability to sell. The only people selling whales is Japan - after they have slaughtered them."

Huh? Doesn't this mean that Japan (or their agents) own the whales after they have been caught. If not, the onus is on Mr. White Liberal to explain why are whales magically different than fish in this regard.

"New treaties acknowledging continental shelf areas beyond the 200nm limit have been filed by NZ and other countries. ie. the zone of international waters is getting smaller and smaller every year. "

Okay, now that's just silly. New Zealand's claim to the exclusive right to expolit the resources of the seabed of the continental shelf has got nothing to do with the water above it. And in any case, New Zealand isn't having much luck with getting other nations on board with the concept of a treaty.

If you want to point to dubious claims without much standing in international law, then perhaps you won't mind if Japan hunts whales in the waters around Queen Maud Land. Norway, a whaling nation, claims that part of the Antarctic.

 
At 1/7/06 12:54 am, Blogger David said...

OK... I'm employed by a large foreign financial organization that even has operations in New Zealand, but I write everything I do on my personal blog because I have the personal volition to do so. I have no connection with any pro-whaling government or pro-whaling body, and never have. I've bought a book from IWMC last year, but otherwise exchanged no funds whatsoever. This issue is both a hobby and something I believe in strongly. Some people believe strongly enough about the issue to smash their boat into a Japanese vessel, obstruct harpoon gunners with inflatable zodiacs, and illegally enter foreign countries (I suppose you heard about the events in St. Kitts).

I'm simply on the opposite side of the spectrum to those people, although not extremist like them. I'm happy to just talk to people about it, rather than break the law and use violence to get my airtime. Not as effective, admittedly, but then I have my personal integrity intact.

Which "jargon" in particular that I use do you think sounds like what the Japanese say?

The information I present on whale stocks is information that you can find from the International Whaling Comission. If you want to see sources for any figure I provide, feel free to ask. The Japanese use this information, not because it is Japan's data, but because the official IWC figures support their case for a resumption in sustainable whaling.

I'd rather not send you a whalemeat sample, because I believe it would be illegal to do so. I don't know of any supermarkets where I could buy it anyway, although I've not checked for it. But if you ever happen to be in Tokyo, I can tell you of some restaurants where you can give it a try.

> But Japan's specious use of "scientific" whaling as an excuse to take "large" numbers for essentially commercial purposes is recognised for the farce that it is.

This is where I have to challenge you. I assume you read the information on the FAQ. The fact is that the IWC Scientific Committee has agreed on the usefulness of the data provided by Japan in the past (and indeed the JARPA data is refered to in a large amount of IWC Scientific Committee literature). Yet this information seems to have no impact on you, and you repeat the NGO allegation that the research programmes are actually primarily commercial in nature (despite the fact that the JARPA programme ran in the red for every year of it's 16 year history).

Admittedly, this is certainly easier to do than sitting down and trying to understand an area of science in which most people have no basic knowledge. But please, do elaborate. I'd like to know the weakness of my FAQ answer, so that I can fix it. I think I included a link to the review of the JARPA programme, but perhaps even that is not enough. Perhaps I should say "READ THE SCIENCE FOR YOURSELF!", or something like that to really get the point across?!

> Yes - but you must take the point that if Japan limited itself to coastal whaling in it's home waters with a quota system as it's only form of whaling then that would be far more acceptable to NZers generally.

Certainly some anti-whaling people would be more comfortable with such an idea, but I'd like to understand the logic behind that position. I don't understand why it makes a difference whether the whales are killed closer to home, or in the Antarctic. After all, New Zealand originally signed up to the ICRW with a host of other northern hemisphere nations, who also were hunting whales in the Antarctic. Why is this only now a problem? If we don't agree with the ICRW that we signed anymore, we should do the honourable thing and exercise our rights under Article XI - the right to withdraw from the convention. The fact is that today Antarctic waters are international waters, like it or not. It seems strange to criticise people who agreed to cooperate regarding whaling in international waters, but then turn around and say "just what the hell do you think you are doing in those waters?" To which the answer is, "ummmmmmm... you agreed to this, and here is your signature that says so..."

If New Zealand interests were in the Northern Hemisphere, undertaking some actions in accordance with an international agreement, I don't think you'd find the Japanese complaining about it.

For some reason, we feel that we are above the law here? Surely international agreements should be respected, even when they work against us? It would set a nasty precedent if we acted contrary to this, no?

> If Japan wants to use Northern Hemisphere votes to block a Southern Ocean or Southern Hemisphere sanctuary/no-whaling zone then that just leads to retaliation.

Funny you mention retaliation, because the anti-whaling nations of the world imposed a global whaling moratorium (not a permanent ban), so that the whalers couldn't catch whales anywhere. Despite this part of the Schedule saying that it would be reviewed by 1990 at the latest, this didn't happen, so the whalers still couldn't kill whales even come the 1990's. On top of that, the anti-whaling nations then voted for the Southern Ocean sanctuary in 1994, which was pretty clearly in violation of the ICRW. The IWC Scientific Committee never advised that either of these measures were necessary, yet they were adopted in spite of the ICRW provision that says decisions should be made based on scientific needs, not political ones. There is no reason for sanctuaries when you have a moratorium anyway.

> But I also think that if most of the population and governments in the Southern Ocean area want Japan to stop killing whales there then Japan should relent.

Long term, I don't think Japan would renounce the right to hunt whales in the Antarctic - there's just such an abundance of resources there ripe to be used - but they might consider delaying a resumption in commercial whaling there, if the moratorium would be lifted to allow hunting to resume in the North Pacific first. After 10 years, and evidence that the systems are working well, they might then find a more receptive NZ public. I'd be surprised if Japan would accept even that though, after spending millions on research in the Antarctic. But who knows.

Carter certainly is the wrong man to be arguing New Zealand's position, but then the Clark government signalled from day one that they basicly support Greenpeace's policy. I don't think National would be much better really. I think opinion is changing in New Zealand, anyhow. Ultimately, it's not just Japan and New Zealand. If a few more neutral European nations waver, and use of secret ballots gets expanded at the IWC, Japan may be able to get it's way without New Zealand's agreement. At that point, New Zealand will just have to take it like a grown-up.

 
At 1/7/06 1:11 am, Blogger David said...

> There is no need to DO anything about it.

Indeed. I posted a comment on the Greens blog about a big problem we have in New Zealand with one of our own cetacean populations:
http://blog.greens.org.nz/index.php/2006/06/20/governments-away-from-home/#comments

This is really serious - yet there was no response. The issue has received hardly any coverage in the NZ media. Chris Carter has been very silent. It's easy to do nothing and look green rather than take actions in your own country that could potentially divide the voters.

> It wasn't long after countries like New Zealand and Britain gave up their whale oil for petroleum that whales started becoming "cute" and "sensitive" creatures.

Indeed :-) New Zealand's own Martin Cawthorn has an article on our history here:
http://luna.pos.to/whale/gen_nz.html

> Meanwhile, the poor old Japanese who had never hunted many whales in the first place

Indeed :-) Regarding the Humpbacks, Australia killed 17,000 in the decade prior to them being protected - Japan on the other hand only took around 3,000 in the same period. Today there is no need to overhunt whales.

> Dave is right in his assertion that there are plenty of minke to go around. Even the Australian Department of Conservation puts the figure at around 700,000.

They probably got this from the IWC. The 1990 estimate was 760,000, but there is no current estimate. The IWC Scientific Committee is due to complete one by this time next year. Anti-whaling groups have been mercilessly misquoting the science in the meantime. I get the personal impression that the updated estimate will be a bit lower, but still well within the confidence limits of the previous estimate.

> Norway, a whaling nation, claims that part of the Antarctic.

I think Japan has a base down there too.

You aren't getting paid to say any of that though, are you Charlie?

 
At 1/7/06 2:25 am, Blogger t selwyn said...

Well Charlie and David you make a very convenient tag team :)

David, your detailed knowledge and then use of the IWC mechanisms etc. in your arguments suggest to me that you are a paid lobbyist/PR for Japanese whaling interests/Govt. Any reasonable person viewing your blog and your form of argument here would draw the same conclusion. You say: "This issue is both a hobby and something I believe in strongly." But without giving a reason it for it I must remain sceptical. However, my suspicions cannot be proved or disproved and your information should be assessed on its own merits so I will stop going on about it.

I will get around to going through that data you refer to (direct links would always be appreciated!) because I am not a whaling expert and I do want to know more. I would be one of the more pro-whaling people in the context of the NZ spectrum of public opinion - and yet your line of defence irritates me. Why is that?

IWC scientific committee saying that data is useful is in itself as useful as saying that data from killing every last Dodo is useful in assessing the population of Dodos. And then you say that the last Minke estimate was in 1990 despite also telling us that Japan catches about 850 each year. Meaning for all that slaughter Japan still can't figure out how many there are although you think it may be slightly less? Well it's at least 850 less than it would have otherwise been obviously - is that science?

"you repeat the NGO allegation that the research programmes are actually primarily commercial in nature (despite the fact that the JARPA programme ran in the red for every year of it's 16 year history)."
I'm sure the blood of the whales was gushing as red as the balance sheet. Farming/fishing/whaling subsidies cost money alright - no argument there. The economic rationality of continuing it is a good question. Tell me - where does the whale meat come from that you say is available in Japan?

I like it when you say: "I don't think Japan would renounce the right to hunt whales in the Antarctic - there's just such an abundance of resources there ripe to be used." - Now that's more like it! RIPE TO BE USED! Yes - by the nations in that area - not Japan. We had the same problem with drift netters and black birders before that. At one time it would have been legal to hunt whales right up to 20nm of the coast in the same way that drift netting was legal - now everything within 200nm is regulated. At the moment though, you are correct "international waters" means Japan and everyone else can pretty much do what they like, including exploitation and extraction of marine life.
And then:" "I'd be surprised if Japan would accept even that though, after spending millions on research in the Antarctic.": Spending millions to subsidise the whaling industry you mean. Spending millions on bribing third world countries for IWC votes you mean, surely. Why forget that expense? That's all part of Japan's cost of whaling isn't it? As if such a waste is an argument for further waste - almost as though Japan was owed something?

And when you say things like: "At that point, New Zealand will just have to take it like a grown-up." it makes you sound as though you are part of the Foreign Ministry typing away at Head Office in Tokyo. What you say implies that NZ isn't grown up and that Japan is. That's an odd attitude. The same attitude that leads to renouncing a pacifist constitution perhaps?

Oh - and as regards National Party efficacy - I passed Jim McClay in the street a while back (I saw his nose coming before the rest of him showed up) and recall that he was both former leader of National and also the IWC delegate for many years until recently. I'm sure he would have been better than Carter.

Anyway, David, I will read that data over the weekend. I'm sure there's enough questions and assertions there to keep you going till then :)

 
At 1/7/06 2:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your an idiot dave. whaling in the pre iwc days was a primary resource providing essential items in a day when fuels werent readily available, and whale meat was plentiful. that is why a ban was imposed. it is an un needed practice in this day and age to be hunting such a fragile and slow spawning species. we have alternatives, cows can give birth twice in one year, sheep have a similar pregnancy, and kiwifruit, well, its seeds. you just dont under stand that. yeah theres say 50 kiwis left, does that make it alright to hunt say 2 per year? thats not much, and with the protection scheme they are in abundance. the maori used to hunt them. so does that make it alright? no, it damn well doesnt. a gestation period for a whale is over 12 months. while a fish such as a salmon takes maybe a month to hatch and spawn. slight difference? There is NO need to hunt whales at ALL. it is an unneeded practice. when will you understand that. oh, and whale meat is very easily obtainable, i was in japan 2 years ago, and walking down one of the main markets in kobe i was presented with numerous whale meat to purchase.

 
At 1/7/06 4:49 am, Blogger Charlie Tan said...

anon, a few things:

Firstly, I had trouble with this statement:

"There is NO need to hunt whales at ALL. it is an unneeded practice."

Just because something is a option or a luxury and we don't like the practice ourselves it does not mean that we should insist that everybody else stops. There is no need to eat meat at all, and some people find it abhorrent, but you certainly seem to believe that it is acceptable.

Secondly, inaccurate information does not really help your case. You claim, for example, that a gestation period for "a whale" is over twelve months. In fact, gestation periods differ from species to species. The whales that the Japanese are most interested in in the Southern Ocean (Minke) have a gestation period of around 10 months, slightly longer than the deer commonly hunted in New Zealand. Does that mean venison is off the menu for you too?

Thirdly, no one is suggesting anythinng remotely similar to a kiwi hunt here. The Japanese government has explicitly stated that endangered species are off the list as far as culls are concerned. I've got no reason to doubt them, because the Japanese have voluntarily limited their culls even when there was no need to. Unlike the Icelandic and Norwegian governments, the Japanese government actually took the concerns of other governments into consideration and submitted to the terms of the IWC moratorium on whaling in the 1980s. They have been careful to abide by its provisions ever since. They could (legally) have taken the Norwegian and Icelandic path, but didn't. Since then there have been instances where the GOJ has denied hunters' applications to increase the cull because such increases would be out of line with international obligations.

Finally, much of what you hear about how whale meat is sold in Japan from New Zealanders who 'have been' there is bullshit, and you seem to be perpetuating common myths. I lived in Japan for half a decade. In fact, very near Kobe. Whale meat openly on sale was more novel than mundane. Seeing whale meat in a butcher's shop was so rare for me that it would kind of give me a naughty thrill. If whale meat was sold on every street corner in Japan as you claim, I'm sure I would have noticed. I didn't.

 
At 1/7/06 12:47 pm, Blogger David said...

> David, your detailed knowledge and then use of the IWC mechanisms etc. in your arguments suggest to me that you are a paid lobbyist/PR for Japanese whaling interests/Govt.

Again, I'm flattered :-) And again, what can I say? All the information I have obtained over the years I have obtained simply by reading stuff on the Internet. But, like I say - if you want to see a cite for something that I am saying, ask me. I'm not privy to any information that others are not. I can cite you IWC Scientific Committee papers and other information to support my figures - I guarantee this. That's where I got all my knowledge from - I don't have some evil Japanese scientist whispering everything into my ear.

> But without giving a reason it for it I must remain sceptical.

I don't really get it. Greenpeace imbeciles believe that "whales should be saved" so they put inflatables infront of harpoon guns. I sit on my ass infront of my computer and read stuff.
We all have our beliefs, and mine simply go in the opposite direction. But anyway :-)

> I will get around to going through that data you refer to (direct links would always be appreciated!)

OK, let's see what I have talked about that I can provide links for...

1) 40,000 humpbacks in the Antarctic during summer (up on 10,000 25 years ago):
http://www.iwcoffice.org/_documents/sci_com/SCRepFiles2006/SCREPNEW-GPD.pdf
From page 39: "Branch, 2006 summarised estimates of abundance for humpback whales in the austral summer based on the three IDCR/SOWER circumpolar (CP) sighting surveys. These have encircled Antarctica three times: 1978/79-1983/84 (CPI), 1985/86-1990/91 (CPII) and 1992/93-2003/04 (CPIII). Circumpolar estimates
with approximate midpoints of 1980/81, 1987/88 and 1997/98 were 7,100 (CV=0.36), 10,200 (CV=0.30) and 41,800 (CV=0.11)."
Note that you can walk into http://www.iwcoffice.org/ and click on the link to get the latest scientific committee paper, and then this link is right there. It's easy to find if you know what you are looking for. After following this for a few years, one comes to know that an annual scientific committee report is presented at the meeting of the IWC. This is because the Convention requires that the IWC makes decisions based on scientific advice - that's what this report is.

2) The full convention text is here (and it's quite straightforward to read through).
http://www.iwcoffice.org/commission/convention.htm#convention

3) Australia killed 17,000 Humpbacks in the decade prior to Humpbacks being protected. This is just dirt that I like to throw at Australia, as some people like to accuse Japan of being the bad guys historically as well. When I looked this up I expected to see Japan had contributed evenly, but instead found Australia was more responsible by a greater than 5:1 ratio.
http://luna.pos.to/whale/sta.html
Humpbacks were protected in 1964, or so, so you can check the catch statistics from prior to that. It's not really Australia's fault either - the IWC had a very silly "Blue Whale Unit" technique of setting catch limits in those days which was the main problem.

4) The bit on the IWC page that talks about how the Scientific Committee said the JARPA research was useful:
"The Committee also noted that while JARPA results were not required for management under the Revised Management Procedure (RMP), they had the potential to improve it ... "
http://www.iwcoffice.org/conservation/permits.htm#jarpa
This was the review of the JARPA programme at it's half way point. This December a review of the full programme will be held, so we'll hear more about it then.

> and yet your line of defence irritates me. Why is that?

If I hazard a guess, I think it's because "I know something you didn't know" offends many people. No one likes to be ignorant. People want to believe that they have not been deceived by "nice guys" like Greenpeace. I know the feeling because I was there once. I grew up listening to the biased NZ media myself. Besides this factor, I probably have to take some of the blame :-) I try to avoid insults though, but perhaps my talksy style of writing does not help.

> And then you say that the last Minke estimate was in 1990 despite also telling us that Japan catches about 850 each year. Meaning for all that slaughter Japan still can't figure out how many there are although you think it may be slightly less? Well it's at least 850 less than it would have otherwise been obviously - is that science?

Well, the IWC estimated that there were 760,000 for 1990. Japan has killed maybe 10,000 or so for scientific purposes since 1987? I don't know the exact figure, but it's very small comared to the abundance estimate. Natural mortality is a far bigger killer.

The IWC Scientific Committee calculates it's estimates by "sightings surveys". They sail research vessels through the Antarctic on pre-set courses, count the whales that they see along the way, and from how many whales they spotted, extrapolate out for the whole area in which the whales are known to exist, of course taking into consideration a range of things when doing so. There is more about such methods here:
http://luna.pos.to/whale/icr_rw_kasa.html

But Japan isn't killing whales in order to count them. Japan does it's own sightings surveys as well, but the lethal research is of a different nature. At a basic level, the thinking behind the lethal research is that we can do better than setting catch limits based on catch histories and abundance estimates alone (which has uncertainty attached). This is currently how the IWC would set catch limits, were it to do so.

Japan believes that through it's research, scientific uncertainty can be reduced, which would potentially make for either higher catch limits, or safer catch limits. What they are doing (amongst other things) is study biological parameters - they want to know what is the shape of the population of whales, and how is it changing over time. I.e., is the population an ageing one (like the human population in Japan), or a younger healthy one (like the one in New Zealand). Depending on such characteristics, for two populations of the same size today, you would want to set different catch limits because of the different characteristics of each. You might have two populations of 100,000 whales, but the aging population may be decreasing at 2% each year, while your young growing population might be increasing at 2% each year. You can obviously set higher catch limits for the latter. This is the sort of thing that Japan is aiming for. Age is an obvious factor to determine, so, using a random technique of sampling whales, they select a sample of the minke population, kill them (this is the problem for anti-whalers), then examine the earplugs, which have information about whale age in them:
http://www.iwcoffice.org/conservation/lives.htm
"The earplug has a layered structure which is visible when the plug is bisected. It has been discovered that one growth layer is formed each year (rather like the rings in a tree-trunk), so that the age of the whale can be found by counting the number of layers. These counts show that fin whales may live for up to 90 years, so that they can have a life-span very similar to man."
Besides this, they also look at various other biological features as indicators of the health of the population.
And finally, the reason for the continued research is that the ecosystem in the Antarctic is dynamic. The humpback population has increased, and the Japanese believe that this has impacted the minke population.
They believe that in terms of biomass the humpback population is now double the size of the minke population (minkes are very small compared to humpbacks), and also the fin whales, although listed as "endangered", have actually increased to the point where they rival the minke population in terms of biomass.
The Blue whale on the other hand is acknowledged to be very depleted at only around 1,500 animals or so, but at least it too is increasing at a rate of 7% each year these days, apparently. Japan isn't interested in hunting this species yet for that reason.

> Tell me - where does the whale meat come from that you say is available in Japan?

Take a look at the convention that I posted a link to above - check Article VIII, and the second paragraph, IIRC. Japan is quite entitled to sell the by-products of the research, and is actually obliged by the terms of the convention to make the best use of the by-products as is possible. They'd be breaching the agreement if they just biffed all that good meat back into the ocean.
For the Japanese, this is quite a natural thing. Eating whale meat is not weird. They are not undertaking these scientific endeavours just for the sake of science. The direct purpose of the science is to provide knowledge that will allow for good commercial catch limits to be set in future. That means catch limits that are as high as possible without threatening the conservation of the whale stocks. The by-products today are nothing compared to what Japan hopes to make possible. At it's peak Japan consumed 230,000 tonnes of whalemeat in a single year. Today the research programmes provide around only 5,000 tonnes of whale meat each year (I have a press release showing 3,400 tonnes from the Antarctic went on sale the other day).
As I state on the FAQ, Japan makes no secret of the fact that it wants to resume commercial whaling. If people really think that scientific whaling is commercial whaling in disguise, why do they think Japan cares whether it gets commercial whaling officially recognised or not?

> And then:" "I'd be surprised if Japan would accept even that though, after spending millions on research in the Antarctic.": Spending millions to subsidise the whaling industry you mean.

Well, again, I point to what the Scientific Committee has said. And I don't know if the single fleet of vessels that operates in the Antarctic could rightly be described as an "industry".

> Spending millions on bribing third world countries for IWC votes you mean, surely.

I believe that the ODA money is not linked to IWC votes. The thing with ODA is, Japan gives aid to a lot of countries. Some of them vote with Japan at the IWC, some of them don't, and most of them are not even IWC members. All of those nations aren't just taking the money. The ODA programmes do work out to be a means of Japan to build normal relations with other countries. If you are friends with another nation, and they have helped you out, and you share common interests and beliefs, you will generally support your friends where you can.

This is precisely why Israel joined the IWC the other day - the USA asked it to. There is no difference between this and various nations supporting Japan at the IWC.

As I note on my blog, some of the nations accused of taking bribes actually kill cetaceans themselves, including humpback whales in one instance. Another interesting recent episode was Belize - a small central american nation. They were abused prior to the meeting as having taken bribes from Japan. But, at the meeting they voted against Japan on every measure. In previous years, they had supported Japan. I was watching the meeting live on the Internet, and the Belize rep didn't seek to speak to explain their (change in) position a single time. Some bribe from Japan huh?

Ultimately though, this vote buying thing is a side issue. We can talk about how anti-whaling NGO groups paid for membership of some Caribbean nations and appointed phony commissioners to represent them in the early 1980's too if you like (I have some links on that), but it's not really as interesting to me as the argument over whether sustainable whaling should be permitted or not.

> it makes you sound as though you are part of the Foreign Ministry typing away at Head Office in Tokyo.

Even on a Saturday morning? Oh I wish I had a nice air-conditioned office to do this from!!

> What you say implies that NZ isn't grown up and that Japan is. That's an odd attitude.

On this particular issue, NZ is not grown up. Don't worry though, it's not just New Zealand. Australia is probably worse, and Brazil is also shocking (despite receiving huge amounts of ODA from Japan!!). The US is far better, but they have the interesting position of having to look out for their own whalers while they vote at the IWC against whaling of other people.

 
At 1/7/06 12:59 pm, Blogger David said...

> your an idiot dave.

It's "you're", you dimwit. If you are going to mindlessly insult me, do it properly or you'll embarrass yourself.

> that is why a ban was imposed.

I heard a ban was imposed because certain whale stocks were depleted, and then later a moratorium was imposed because the politicians were too scared to trust the scientists.

> it is an un needed practice in this day and age

Killing animals for food is not needed, no, but then everyone does it.

> to be hunting such a fragile and slow spawning species.

Oh! You are that anonymous poster from my blog. Didn't you read my response to you over there?

> you just dont under stand that.

What you don't seem to understand is that whales are reproductive animals as well. Whales have their own rates of increase. We can set catch limits that don't outstrip the rate of whale stocks to sustain themselves. Science has shown this to be true. Look up "Revised Management Procedure".

> yeah theres say 50 kiwis left, does that make it alright to hunt say 2 per year?

No, that's because they are endangered.
There are only 1,500 blue whales in the Antarctic, and likewise, no one is hunting them. But there are hundreds of thousands of minke whales, and why you think that not even one of them can be hunted is beyond rational thinking.

> the maori used to hunt them. so does that make it alright?

If the kiwi populations were conserved properly and reestablished to their former glory, then there would be no problem with hunting.

The same goes for elephants. In Southern parts of Africa they have conserved their elephants so well that now they have too many for their local ecosystem to support. Killing them and utilising these resources, and utilising the proceeds of this for the benefit of conservation is a good thing to do.

> a gestation period for a whale is over 12 months. while a fish such as a salmon takes maybe a month to hatch and spawn. slight difference?

No one is suggesting that we kill whales at the same rate as we kill fish. People at suggesting that we kill whales at a rate that is appropriate for whales.

This is *simple*.

> There is NO need to hunt whales at ALL.

There is no need to kill cows and sheep at all. Go vegan already.

> when will you understand that.

It doesn't make sense, so it's insanity to expect people to believe it.

> oh, and whale meat is very easily obtainable, i was in japan 2 years ago, and walking down one of the main markets in kobe i was presented with numerous whale meat to purchase.

Good for you!

 
At 1/7/06 5:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim

I am the "other (blogless) David" who recently questioned David @ Tokyo on his blog regarding his motives. I don't suppose that we will ever really know, but I suspect you may be barking up the wrong tree here. It never even occured to me that he might have an official connection to pro-whaling PR interests. He looks far more like "an investment banker with a mission!" (with plenty of time on his hands).

I visited his site as I have an interest in balanced debate, ecologically sustainable development and science based policy. I stopped commenting on his blog, however, when it became clear that it is more a feel-good blog for "misunderstood" pro-whalers. He also appears to enjoy the chance to annoy the occasional passing greenie, and seems to go out of his way to lure them in. In fact, I first heard of him through his comments to the following Australian sites:

mark lawrence:
http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8196881&postID=115015778147249556

mike bogle dot net:
http://www.haloscan.com/comments/acousticdad/115016436195689815/

I notice that some of the comments have been getting a bit heated lately, so let's be careful. The whaling industry has recently had great difficulty selling its product in Japan, even with the assistance of nanny-state measures such as whale-meat school lunches. They will never admit it, but they know that they stand to benefit from the nationalist card - "eat it because people overseas are trying to stop you". Let's not play into their hands.

(another) David.
PS: Tim, it may be easier if we just call you David. Or perhaps I should sign off as "Bruce" :)

 
At 1/7/06 6:14 pm, Blogger David said...

(another) David,

Wow - that's a long comment for someone who has nothing to say. I'm sorry that you couldn't find much to support your point of view (whatever it may be) at my blog. Seeing as you found it lacking somewhat, perhaps if you'd posed a question about sustainability or the conservation of whale stocks, you might have enjoyed your stay better? Just a thought. Maybe you'll have more fun at the Greenpeace blog.

 
At 2/7/06 3:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there david, yes i did read your comments on your blog, basically your attempt at sidetracking from the main issue, you still dont list a reply to my comment that whales spawn alot slower. if you had any biological background (or mathematical even) youd know that the ability for whales to reproduce to replace lost whales due to hunting would decrease at a much faster rate if whaling were to occur. as i noted before, 12 month gestation period. fish take little more than a month and lay thousands of eggs at one time, slight difference mate. you just dont get the whole overal sentiment that whaling is not something we want, whales are endangered (yes i have seen the stats, 750,000 is still endangered compared to other aquatic stocks). do the japanese have a viable plan for sustainable hunting? not as far as i have seen. all they want is unrestricted access as far as i can see. perhaps if they would like to conduct their "scientific" research in their own territorial waters rather than south pacific and antarctic nations then we wouldnt have so much of a problem. then again the japanese are well known for their excessive exploitation. oh and dont drag up old history, the moa is centuries old. whaling is here and now, deal with it. also deal with the fact that it is a known fact that japan has been pumping money into poorer countries for influence at the whaling commission. they will deny it profusely, but we all know it through and through, theres no denying it. its so sad you feel that a species can be bought and sold just because you feel it is "there". just because a species is in existance doesnt mean it has to be hunted at all. why not stick to beef? no that would be too simple.

 
At 2/7/06 2:45 pm, Blogger David said...

anonymous,

I have most certainly replied to the comment about whales spawning slower - shall I try again?
What it means is that you have to take whales at a slower rate than you take faster spawning animals.

The fact is that some whale stocks are growing at rates of 10% each year. In the case of the Antarctic humpback, 10% increases currently amounts to thousands of new whales each year.

You seem to be suggesting that taking even one of these humpbacks would not be sustainable. I don't think I need to explain why I respectfully have to disagree with that.

> you just dont get the whole overal sentiment that whaling is not something we want

"you can't, always get, what you wa-a-ant".
Do you think you live in a world where you and your country is always "right"? You should be content that your country is wrong on this issue of minor significance rather than something more important.
New Zealand has it's signature on the ICRW convention. The honourable thing to do is to accept it. The world would be a disaster area if countries refused to abide by the rules they agreed to everytime they found that the rules did not suit them.

> do the japanese have a viable plan for sustainable hunting? not as far as i have seen.

Then it sounds like we can make some progress. I'll tell you what I have seen, and maybe then you'll understand why we disagree:

In response to the commercial whaling moratorium, the IWC Scientific Committee has developed just such a plan for sustainable hunting. It is known as the "Revised Management Procedure". The IWC Scientific Committee is a group more than a hundred marine mammal/cetacean scientists/biologists from around the globe.
http://www.iwcoffice.org/commission/iwcmain.htm#committee

The Scientific Committee developed this RMP, and *unanimously* recommended it to the IWC. The IWC itself (the politicians) later agreed that the RMP should be adopted as well, and it was, way back in 1994. The scientific aspects of a commercial whaling regime are already complete, and have been for 14 years. What remains is the regulatory structure under which commercial whaling would operate - ensuring that whaling operations stay within the catch limits set by the RMP. You can read about the RMP here:
http://www.iwcoffice.org/conservation/rmp.htm

Norway is already using this RMP for it's own commercial whaling. Any commercial whaling carried out by IWC signatories in the future will also be conducted under this RMP, or an enhanced version of it, which would also need to be accepted by the IWC (the politicians).

At this point, you are either with me, or you aren't. On my side, I have the RMP, which was unanimously recommended by the IWC Scientific Committee, and the IWC itself adopted it. On your side, you have your own opinion that "whales are endangered" and that no level of whaling is sustainable. If this information can not convince you to reconsider your position, then we simply have to agree to disagree.

> all they want is unrestricted access as far as i can see

The governments of whaling nations have never said that they want unrestricted access for their whalers. Indeed, they have stated repeatedly that they want to allow only limited, regulated whaling for those stocks which it is scientifically agreed sustainable commercial whaling with extremely low risk is possible.

> perhaps if they would like to conduct their "scientific" research in their own territorial waters rather than south pacific and antarctic nations then we wouldnt have so much of a problem.

All research whaling today is conducted in accordance with the Convention to which New Zealand and other nations have put their signature. It's tiresome to hear people complaining about what these nations are doing when New Zealand officially agrees with the rules by remaining party to the Convention. New Zealand itself in the past issued scientific permits.

> why not stick to beef?

You are more than welcome to stick to beef. That is your choice. But you'll need a better argument if you want to convince people who eat whale meat that they should kneel down before you and follow your instructions. If you just want the Southern Hemisphere whales left alone, then why not write to the minister of conservation, and suggest that he tries to compromise with the northern hemisphere nations along these lines: "we'll agree to let you catch whales in your waters if you agree not to catch any in the southern hemisphere". You never know. Maybe it'll work.

 
At 3/7/06 12:27 am, Blogger Charlie Tan said...

"all they want is unrestricted access as far as i can see"

Aside from Dave's comment, you might also try going to the source:

http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/q_a/faq6.html

 
At 3/7/06 12:29 am, Blogger Charlie Tan said...

...particularly this bit:

"If the protest is along the lines of "protect the endangered whale species," we are on the same ground. Japan strongly supports the international protection of endangered whale species such as blue whales."

 
At 3/7/06 9:47 am, Blogger David said...

Right Charlie. It seems that no matter how much they repeat themselves, the Japanese Govt. can't get anyone to take them for their word.

Here's Joji Morishita on this as well recently:

"It's not going back to the commercial whaling, it should be the beginning of sustainable whaling, plus protection of depleted and endangered species"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5093350.stm

Also, if I remember correctly I think Morishita makes the same kind of statement in the press release recorded here:
http://www.e-kujira.or.jp/iwc/2006stkitts/ram/lec_06_0616_1.ram

Of course, the Norwegians are saying the same thing really, and people in anti-whaling nations don't want to believe them either. It's all just a big conspiracy of people who secretly want to exterminate the pesky whales it seems. Eat them? Don't be silly - extinction is what this killing is all about!! (for any one who doesn't realise - that is gross amounts of sarcasm there)

 
At 3/7/06 12:53 pm, Blogger Charlie Tan said...

Hey Dave,

I'll be in Tokyo towards the end of the year. You wanna grab a coffee? and maybe a hunk of Minke?

CT

 
At 4/7/06 1:05 am, Blogger David said...

Sure thing :-)
It's always nice to buy a bit of whale meat (from the Antarctic hopefully), and contribute financially to true conservation efforts, rather than silly greenpeace propaganda showpieces.
Drop me a note on my blog when the time comes, and we can figure out how to get in touch :-)

 
At 5/7/06 3:19 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

Well I never ended up sifting through the data - because that isn't the point. The point is why someone who keeps saying they are flattered by being thought of as PR for the whaling industry is on the digital high seas running interference on behalf of the Japanese Govt./whalers. Is this just the intellectual manifestation of the contempt in which the Japanese are said to hold outsiders? The under-estimation of intelligence, the arrogance?

What does it boil down to, what does it render into, this dialogue of the whale whisperers?

To exploit un-owned resources through a regulated system is sensible. To exploit resources simply because they are there - regardless of consumer demand and commercial reasoning - suggests another agenda altogether. The same colour and character of agenda that will lead to the renunciation of a pacifist constitution? When the language that our whaler uses is both legalistic and draped in the cloak of science but turns at every crucial point on nationalist considerations and critiques of the opposing parties then I do wonder.

 
At 5/7/06 3:55 pm, Anonymous david@tokyo said...

> because that isn't the point.

This is why the argument never goes anywhere.

Sustainability - yes or no - is the point.

As for me - again, I'm just at the opposite end of the spectrum to the donation gatherers running obstruction in the Antarctic. You don't seem to question their motives despite the whaling going on there having anything at all to do with "environmentalism". It isn't environmentalism to oppose the limited utilization of abundant resources.

> Is this just the intellectual manifestation of the contempt in which the Japanese are said to hold outsiders? The under-estimation of intelligence, the arrogance?

I think your imagination is in overdrive, but that's up for you to decide.

> To exploit un-owned resources through a regulated system is sensible.

Agreed :-)

> To exploit resources simply because they are there - regardless of consumer demand and commercial reasoning - suggests another agenda altogether.

That's how anti-whaling groups have started to characterise whaling in recent years. This is despite harping on about how whale meat is an expensive luxury that only the wealthy can consume, in previous years. Apparently research whaling in quotes is just a disguised commercial operation - but apparently it's not commercial after all since there is "no demand"?

And what would I know. Living here in Tokyo doesn't give me any perspective at all.

> lead to the renunciation of a pacifist constitution?

That's the imagination in overdrive again... again - this isn't a "Japan" issue. Talking about Japan's motives like this is pointless because we have Iceland and Norway doing similar things, plus a range of other nations eating smaller cetaceans. The "anti" argument needs some work. It seems that any old excuse will do as a reason to oppose.

> nationalist considerations

???

My arguments can be used generically to justify the whaling of all nations - sustainability is all that matters. Why does any one give a crap about minke whales getting killed, even if they weren't going to be eaten, provided that numbers killed were low and sustainable? You admit yourself that you are basically tolerant of whaling (like me) but for some reason you have an underlying desire to oppose it any way - does your opposition apply equally to Japanese and Norwegian and Icelandic whaling, plus all other forms of cetacean utilisation? If Norway decided to start hunting minkes again in the south Atlantic, how would you feel?

Whatever it is that makes you feel the way you do, and whoever is responsible for permeating your thoughts in such a awy, deserves a lot of respect. Such ability is powerful indeed. Maybe there is something to these whales after all...

 
At 5/7/06 11:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim

This is the "other (blogless) David" again.

I seem to have upset David @ Tokyo with my earlier comment that he appeares to be less the "paid lobby type" and more the "investment banker with a cause". It is only fair to comment again then that I am less and less confident of my theory. I spent some time last night googling around blogs with whales, and it was quite spooky to see how many had a comment from him. In the end I just googled "David @ Tokyo". Try it - he never seems to stop. It seems hard to credit this as no more than a "hobby".

I note that he has refused to deny connections with the whale lobby on his own site, and I agree with you that his comments above seem to appeal more to nationalist prejudice than to science.

As for my point of view, I have not (yet) formed a "die in the ditch" position. I have found the loose debate around "sustainability" (above) rather slippery. "Sustainable yield" is of course a tricky science, but it is just the beginning of a discussion on ecologically sustainable development. A clear discussion on these principles would, I think, be quite influential. I am tempted to start a blog on the issue, but just don't have the time (it is school holidays and I have my three boys to entertain).

For the record, I too consider myself a conservationist, but am not a member of Greenpeace or any environment group. In fact, one of my objections to Greenpeace is that it only has 100 members in Australia, and their web-site does not explain how this exclusive group of voting members is chosen. So to clarify, I am neither a member nor a "supporter" of Greenpeace - except for a one off donation of $20 or so about eight years back (when the French Government was blowing up the Pacific).

I had no idea that they ran a whale blog either, until David pointed that out. It is not particularly interesting, and I was not inclined to leave a comment as they at least make it clear that it is just a blog for the converted - you don't click on "ocean defender" and expect a balanced debate. Perhaps David could provide a similar disclaimer.

David - I really am very happy for you and Charlie, but take care. I hear that internet introductions too often end in tears.

"Other" David

 
At 6/7/06 1:56 pm, Blogger David said...

> nationalist prejudice than to science

Good grief!!
:-)

I really can't understand where you get that from. I riddle my comments on the internet with links to the IWC homepage, but ah well.

> "Sustainable yield" is of course a tricky science

Which is why it's best left over to the scientists, not the lay people on the street to figure out. That's why I refer to the IWC's RMP and it's Scientific Committee all the time.

> you don't click on "ocean defender" and expect a balanced debate.

They do sometimes publish comments from those critical of them, including my first to them - which eventually got a response from John Frizell who is basically Greenpeace's top man. You can read about that back at my blog (in January). After that they've not posted many of them, so I stopped bothering. It seems I know too much for them.

> Perhaps David could provide a similar disclaimer.

Like I said - if you want to get a balanced view, you have no choice but to read widely on the Internet. How do you think I broke free of the NZ media propaganda death grip?

As Tim mentioned comments at my blog are unregulated. If you think I'm skipping a certain point of view, by all means - raise it. I'm more than happy to give you a response. This is better than what you get at the OD blog, but I *can not* guarantee to provide a "balanced" forum - who is capable of being such a judge?

 
At 6/7/06 1:57 pm, Blogger David said...

I'm not an investment banker by the way. That's my industry, not my profession.

 
At 6/7/06 2:04 pm, Blogger David said...

If you want to read another forum that I participate in:
http://www.crisscross.com/jp/news/374188

Some kind words, I received, too:

"I must say, it's refreshing to see someone post with style like yours instead of the rabble-on rants that frequent this site. Granted that I am generally buying your argument; some may still contend your views, but at least you take time to logically address every issue brought up.

Please keep it up."

aww, shucks :-)

 

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