Saturday, September 13, 2008

Crying Wolf

I write plenty about politics on this blog. I have urged you to speak out on the planned evisceration of the Endangered Species Act by President Bush. I've posted on a number of political environmental and foreign policy issues. For months, I've worn my allegiance on my sidebar. But I've never written about a particular candidate.

In part, that is because, I've learned a lot for people with different view points when it comes to tackling environmental issues. I've made blogger friends with people with very diverse backgrounds and, as a result, I believe that I've become more open, more informed and hopefully more understanding.

I've never written about a particular candidate for fear of alienating those from whom I could learn, with whom I could forge relationships and work toward a common goal. I've read time and time again how the left (that would be me) doesn't understand the red states. Those of us on the left don't get the culture, the values or the morality. And so I wanted to learn. I wanted to understand. I know that most of us ultimately care about the same things.

Yesterday, I read that many women support Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin because she "shares their values." On the same day, I saw this disturbing new video regarding Sarah Palin's values. I must warn you that it is tough to watch but I think it must be seen.

Yes, it is a government sanctioned hunt. One she sanctioned and broadened with unprecedented speed and violence. One in which private citizens may participate for a price. One that systematically eliminates the alpha males leaving the younger males, who are the ones that enter neighborhoods. One that removes the predators from the top of the ecosystem - something which scientists agree over and over again destroys ecosystems. One that even targets newborn wolf pups.

Under Ms. Palin's watch and with her permission, this year "the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game will exterminate 1,400 bears out of a population of 2,000 in an area west of Anchorage. The Alaskan Board of Game even approved the hunting of black bear mothers and cubs with the goal of killing 60 percent of the black bear population." Ms. Palin was also behind the lawsuit to block listing the polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

I know people hunt. When hunting is done for food, in a more humane and fair manner, such as on the ground, and in numbers that ecosystems can sustain, I can accept it. The aerial hunting of wolves and bears, chasing them to the point of exhaustion by airplanes over the snow, where there is nowhere to hide, the slaughter of wolf pups and black bear cubs . . .

This I cannot accept.

I likewise cannot accept that these are the values that the majority of American women embrace. That those who inhabit the "red states" approve of such brutality or consider this to be fair, much less morally correct. My time blogging has taught me that people all over this country care about the environment- regardless of location, skin color, income level, religion. I cannot accept that we will all look the other way on this one. That Ms. Palin's gender or views of other issues can some how negate this.

We must cry wolf.


Rejin/Urban Botany said...

This policy seems to link many of Palin's interests: it is anti-wildlife, pro-guns, and it contributes to the oil industry's profits by promoting the wasteful use of fuel. Using airplanes to chase animals around? The planes would have to land to get the forelegs, then take off again to go look for more wolves. Isn't it during lift-off that airplanes use the most fuel?
Who could afford this sport but people who are rich to begin with? And for their trouble the hunters would be rewarded with a prize for each kill.
Clearly Sarah Palin doesn't blink when it comes to coming up with reprehensible policies.

ib mommy said...

I wholeheartedly agree. I have tried very hard to listen to the arguments from both the left and right so I'm informed of the issues both parties represent. I've heard women saying "she's one of us". She is NOT one of us. She shares none of my morals or values. I am sickened than anyone, no matter their gender, would vote for this ticket based on the disgusting media coverage I've witnessed in this election. It is unbelievable that people are voting without doing their homework. If it helps any read a few letters here
Women Against Sarah Palin

It's not a Sarah bashing site. Their blog has received over 120,000 letters from women who share their views on why they cannot support Sarah Palin.

Abbie said...

My husband hunts, and we also raise animals to eat. This is NOT hunting that we approve of.

What I don't understand is how she can be so anti-abortion that she had a child with Down Syndrome and is having her 17-year-old daughter have a child and get married, but encourage mothers and cubs to be killed. (Not that I'm particularly opposed to the first decision, but I just don't think anyone should be forced to get married at 17.)

Maybe it's because I don't believe in creationism and I teach evolution, but I know WE are ALL animals. How can someone who values human life so much have such little value for animal life?

In addition, the fact that she promotes creationism is utterly terrifying for us science teachers. Nothing against anyone who believes in creationism, but science class is not the place to teach it.

As I've said many times, I would love to vote for a woman, I really would. Not this one.

Electronic Goose said...

Excellent, though frightening, post. I agree wholeheartedly.

Anonymous said...

My heart is broken. I saw that video and i could not believe that such an atrocity was taking place in our very own Nation. A Nation that is supposed to be civilized. I cannot get the sight of that beautiful perfect creature running for his life with no place to hide and facing a certain violent death. Being no match for the high powered rifle pointing down on him. I like yourself also give things time and try to see both sides. There is no other side to this. This is a crime against all of us. it must be stopped. If you can, show this video again all over the world. The rest of the world must see and cringe like i did,. Thank you so much.


katecontinued said...

I am so terribly proud you cried wolf, Green Bean. We all must do this. This isn't even about this pathetic woman. She has been groomed, shaped and packaged by a powerful interest. It is about power and greed and the destruction of our country. It is egregious misuse of public trust (in the media, in religion, in political party and the rule of law). Blue states, red states - we all lose.

Marguerite Manteau-Rao said...

Sarah Palin has crossed over the line of what's tolerable on many fronts, including the environment. This is why I am now devoting much of my time to political blogging, in addition to my regular green blog. The truth about her needs to be spread into the mainstream, using whatever tools to do the job. One way is through political satire, as here:

Tameson said...

I don't know the whole story. I don't live in Alaska, and I don't know what the predator population density is in the targeted areas. Also I do not like Palin, and I'm not trying to defend her, nor am I a hunter. But, I do feel that hunting predators is necessary when population densities become evironmentally destructive, either because the prey densities get to low or the predators move too close to humans and threaten livestock and children, and adults and even themselves sometimes too. If we don't keep the populations in check nature will, and nature won't do it as swifty as we will. Nature will wait until it's too late and it will starve the predators. Nature will send wild animals to our dumpsters and too close to our streets allowing more vehicular deaths. Nautre will wait until the forests are stressed from imbalance before it acts and it will take a long time for the environment to recover.

Mama said...

I too have grave reservations over who Sarah Palin is. I like her from first glance because I can imagine what she's like. But that doesn't mean I like her policies! Some of my dearest friends wouldn't get my vote into office, even though I like 'em!
That being said, there is a real crisis in West Virginia over renewable energy and mountaintop removal, that is going unnoticed! I hope you'll do a post on it soon, as time is running out. Coal River Wind project is being threatened, and could potentially be a great sustainable model for the rest of the country. Check out their website for more info and to sign the petition.
Thanks for listening to my rant! We all need to cry out for justice!

Green Bean said...

Rejin: I agree that many of her interests seem to be anti-wildlife and anti-the environment. They are frustratingly short-signted to me.

IB Mommy: Women Against Sarah Palin is not a bashing site but an eloquent outpouring from women across the country regarding their hopes and fears for the next four years. It is tastefully done and, frankly, moved me to tears. But what doesn't these days. ;-)

Abbie: There seems to be no place for science in Ms. Palin's world. From what I've read, she has disregarded science completely both for this wolf and bear extermination program and for the decision to fight the listing of polar bears as threatened.

Electronic Goose: Thank you. Please spread the word.

Bonnie: I could not get the image out of my mind after I saw this. I try to stay away from stuff that is overtly political but this, I felt, needed to be seen. And you are right.

Katecontinued: There is tremendous mistrust and a saddening destruction of our country and what it once stood for. I feel that I can be silent no more.

Marguerite: Very entertaining blog. Thanks for sharing.

Tameson: I do agree that there are times when predators need to be kept in check. Certainly we can find a more humane way to do it. Moreover, it is my understanding that this is not one of those times. From what I have read, the interest in eliminating wolves and bears is to increase the population of moose and caribou - for hunting. Also, this type of hunting tends to take out the dominant males who know how to survive in the wild. It leaves the younger males behind and because they lack the skills of the alpha males (e.g., how to build a den, where to find food), these younger males tend to go into towns, attacking dogs and such. It is also my understanding that there has never been a documented case of a wolf attacking a human in the United States. After seeing this video, I read up quite a bit on the subject. I'm sure I may have missed something here or there but, from what I've gleaned after several hours pounding the Internet, there is no excuse or reason for aerial hunting of wolves. That should only be used for rogue or sick animals.

Mama: Continue speaking up on this issue. Mountain removal is a crime! It really and truly is. I plan to post on it this week after finishing Lost Mountain, a must read for every American citizen. Thank you for bringing mountain top removal, coal and renewable energy on our radar screens.

Chile said...

Abbie - she can be anti-abortion yet sanction killing mother and baby wildlife because she cares only about humans. (And not even all humans when you get down to the nitty-gritty.) This is, unfortunately, not an uncommon view amongst folks who think humans are separate from the animal kingdom (creationism) and above it.

We are not lord and master of the earth; we are simply one species that happened to prove very, very the detriment of every other species on this planet. Okay, maybe it's not such a bad gig for the microscopic organisms that live on and in humans, but for everything else, it sucks.

President Palin is a phrase that scares me to my core. Think I'm being alarmist? Look at McCain's age and health. Look at the shift in focus to her. If they get elected, she'll likely be Prez at some point. Maybe it's time to revisit the requirements to emigrate to Canada...

Abbie said...

Chile- I agree with you 100%. I understand that folks who don't think of us as animals often don't respect animals. I still don't understand that viewpoint, and honestly, I don't want to.

eco 'burban mom said...

Oh. That is heartwrenching. She should be ashamed. I agree with Chile, how can you be against abortion and yet for this ruthless slaughter of wildlife? She has her sight set on the presidency and her rifle is locked and loaded, someone better tackle her to the ground before she gets enough power to pull the trigger.

Green Bean said...

Chile: Is that how the cruelty against animals is considered okay? I've always wondered at that disparity.

Abbie: Me too.

Eco Burbs: Yup! Wonder how this thing will shake out.

CindyW said...

GB: I saw your post yesterday, but could not bring myself to watch the video. A couple of weeks ago, I read an article on her aerial wolf killing program and I was so disgusted and heart broken. From what I collected, aerial shooting was NOT hunting, since most self-respecting hunters condemned the program. In fact Alaskan people voted against the program. Palin and other state officials vetoed the desire of Alaskan people.

Additionally the excuse of balance moose population was totally debunked by the local scientists.

"Last year, 172 scientists signed a letter to Palin, expressing concern about the lack of science behind the state's wolf-killing operation. According to the scientists, state officials set population objectives for moose and caribou based on "unattainable, unsustainable historically high populations." As a result, the "inadequately designed predator control programs" threatened the long-term health of both the ungulate and wolf populations. The scientists concluded with a plea to Palin to consider the conservation of wolves and bears "on an equal basis with the goal of producing more ungulates for hunters."

Apparently Palin wasn't fazed.

Anyway, so today, I finally got enough nerve to watch the video. Wow, I was a mess.

Whatever other values Palin has, the brutality and utter disregard of wildlives have turned me so decidedly againgst her. There is no way that a person with such unblinking cruelty towrd the lives on this planet shares any of my values.

I hope everyone sees this video and judge for him/herself.

Finally GB, I admire your decision to write such a post. Really. I am very very impressed.


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