Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Influence of Discovery Channel

Here's the kind of thinking that comes from watching Discovery's Shark Week. Note: the author's attitude to sharks comes from Discovery Channel, and his resulting terror of sharks makes him strongly resist, and write about, how outrageous it is to try to save them from extinction.

Government to spend money on sharks?
by Justin Clarke

June 29, 3:00 PM

http://www.examiner.com/x-7564-SF-Libertarian-Examiner~y2009m6d29-Government-to-spend-money-on-sharks

The house voted on a climate bill this weekend, so I thought I’d ramble o about conserving nature, and wasting money to do it as ineffectively as possible.

I went to ocean beach (OB) on Saturday, hoping to sneak in a quick surf before my bartending shift started. Let me tell you friend, the sea looked angry; I opted to stay dry. Anyone who surfs at OB will tell you that it can get plenty creepy out there on the darker days. The six-mile stretch of beach means that it’s easy to find an uninhabited peak or two, and even easier to wet yourself when you realize that you are the only person dumb enough to have paddled out into the blackness on that particular day. It’s just you and the local marine life – up here that means sharks.

Sharks scare the hell out of me. I’ve watched enough Discovery Channel to know that sharks are pure killing machines that never sleep and have eyesight poor enough to equate a human with a sealion. They discriminate between the two by ‘test-biting’ which sounds ridiculously like ‘nibbling,’ instead of the far more accurate ‘biting to death.’

Why am I writing about sharks? I recently read a report entitled ‘Sharks threatened with extinction,’ which bemoans the current plight of sharks and suggests that we take government action to mitigate the loss:

"The vulnerability and lengthy migrations of most open ocean sharks calls for co-ordinated, international conservation plans," she urged.

Excuse me? A conservation plan? Shouldn’t that read ‘extermination plan'? Let me be clear: I don’t know where these people are getting their numbers, but I think the desirable number of great white sharks is zero. Sharks are the ocean’s Nazis, indiscriminate murderers with black eyes and no souls. In a time of global recession, should we be worrying about sharks and setting money aside to make sure that sharks get a fair shake?

I read the rest of the article, which terrified me even more. Apparently shark fin soup is a delicacy in Asia:

To supply the market the wasteful process of "finning" often takes place, in which the fins are cut off the shark and the rest of the body is thrown back into the sea.

Oh, great. We’re just maiming the sharks and dumping them back in the ocean. Now I’m worried about super-pissed-off amputee sharks with no dorsal fin to signal an approach.

Don’t think we’re above the kind of useless spending that would protect Great White Sharks? Recently the government approved over 3 million dollars to create a tunnel under I-27 in Florida. The tunnel is for turtles, who apparently don’t like using the already-existing culvert to cross under the highway. I’m amazed the turtles are settling for a lousy 3 million dollar tunnel; if they held out I’m sure they could upgrade to some kind of miniaturized reptilian gondola system. Or, if you don’t care about sharks or turtles or nature, we could just set that pile of money on fire.

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