Friday, September 19, 2008

Whale:  It's Our Choice

It's free-range, organic and tastes like an exceptionally tender eye fillet, but it's unlikely to find its way onto the supermarket shelves in Australia.

I'm referring to whale steaks.

I was in Tokyo last week and I had the opportunity to try whale heart, tail, tongue and belly.

Before you condemn me for being so insensitive as to eat whale, consider the basis of your aversion.

Some people worry about whether a particular food tastes good, others whether it is healthy and those with an aversion to whaling, whether it is ethical.

I was in Japan for the 60th Anniversary Meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society -- an organisation which champions the idea of freedom.

The President of the Czech Republic is a member of the Society and spoke on global warming.

He said the problem of global warming is much more about the social sciences than about natural ones, more about economics than climatology, and more about a human being and his or her freedom than about an increase in the global mean temperatures by tenths of degrees Fahrenheit.

Which brings me back to the issue of whaling.  In the 1970s saving whales was the focus of global environmental campaigning.

According to my Japanese friends the campaign established a new social norm based on a myth, that all whales are endangered and that all whaling is evil, while not providing any effective solution to the many real environmental problems confronting the world.

Now environmentalists want to save the world from climate change and again they are seeking to create new social norms based on myth -- this time including the false logic that if Australians pay more for their petrol they can somehow make it rain in the Murray-Darling Basin.

More worrying for me is that these environmental campaigners want to take away our freedom to question these widely ingrained ideas.

Indeed anyone who now dares to doubt global warming in polite society risks being labelled a denier.

I respect the right of the really virtuous amongst us to refrain from eating whale and driving cars, but I don't want them to deny me the freedom to eat whale, drive my car or question the basis of their new found beliefs.


No comments: