Playing the politics of whaling5:23pm on 25 Jun 2009 As I wrote commenting the previous post, I have the impression that scientists, also those of the Scientific Committee of the IWC, make good research, but the politicians then follow their agendas ... and back it with "sound science" only if it suits them. And any "sound science" of the opposing part is not going to convince the, not one bit ... I have a feeling that by now there are "pro-whaling" and "against-whaling" nations and their representatives at the "political" meeting of the IWC are pressured in either side ... At the appropriate time, in effective negotiations, the grandstanding stops and the private words begin - and that, often, is when the real progress is made. I hope so, but as much as I know, the last time this happend was through the (at "home" not very well understood) diplomatic intervention of the Swiss delegation (always criticized for being "to neutral"), which mediated between fronts. But by now ... as you yourself write in the Science News page: some members of this bloc are concerned that successive Canberra governments have made whaling into such an emotive public issue that Australia now has no room for diplomatic manoeuvre. ... just Australia? Hasn't for instance Japan gone exactly the same path, just for the "pro-whaling" stance?
I think the smartest move by Greenpeace was not to chase the Japanese at sea, but to organise an opposition in Japan Why do people catch whales or are in favour of whaling? Because it gives them a profit (meat, money, political, whatever) If, as it is in the Japanese case, an economical-political one (triade politics-science in the form of the Whale Research Institute -commerce), getting people to refuse to eat whale meat, and to oppose the subsidies for the whaling research would bring much more than any scientific proof brought by the opposing side, as sound as it migh be. And even more than attacking whaling ships: this will bring maybe some support (also financial support) from the outside world, but the risk of a coalition of forces inside Japan, against the foreing attacker is great. So: I you want to fight whaling, best to support the locals which are against it. Especially, I suppose, in a "island-nation" like Japan ... The future of the IWC ... I don't know. Right now it's a "stale-mate" ... but which suits all participants (as you mentioned already some years ago ..)