Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Humaniacs and Whackadoodles!

Well well - and I cite.
Let us look at a case in point.
In August a new report was released stating that the worlds’ smallest cetacean (a group that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises), the vaquita, was down to just 97 animals and would likely to go extinct in the next four years. Crucially, all the necessary laws are in place; the solution is better enforcement and retraining of fishermen. And all this needs is money. And probably less than a movie star can make on a single movie.

On an environmental scale this is both tragic and a surprisingly easy fix. 
But, while a reasonable number of news agencies have covered the story, and continue to do so, the level of public outrage since that time can be best described as non-existent...
Increasingly, dealing with the whacktivists on “your” side is almost as important as dealing with those on the other side of a conservation issue.
Whacktivists make issues more polarized, putting off potential allies, reducing the credibility of conservation movements and undermining outreach efforts. Opponents to your issue will quickly point to the most extreme whacktivists and highlight them, saying “look at who our opponents are – crazy, illogical extremists” and try to paint all those that oppose them with the same brush. 

Why are there so many whacktivists?
Perhaps it’s because of the idea – exacerbated by social media and the internet – that everyone’s opinion is valid and that you have a right to say whatever you want (even if threatening and unfactual). Couple that with the greater ease with which you can do this in today’s social media age. Moreover, you can find any opinion online to back up your personal beliefs or prejudices, and the public has an increasing inability to discern “opinion” from “facts”.
You really got to read this and this post on SFS.
I've been lamenting the pervading dolphinization of the Shark movement for a very very long time indeed - and it's good to see that the sentiment is increasingly being shared, all the way to Chris Parsons' obvious distaste of the belief that everybody's opinion is equivalent and must thus be communicated and accepted regardless of its content and author. Of course, being a Whale man, he's very much sitting at the epicenter of all the crazy shit that is pervading the movement and knows exactly what he's talking about!
Make sure you also peek at the Sasquatch link - you just can't make that shit up can you...

Methinks Parsons' suggestions are only partly useful, i.e when dealing with those well-meaning activists. There, respect, dialogue, education and cooperation can truly lead to fantastic and mutually beneficial results, see e.g. our highly productive cooperation with Projects Abroad.

But you can't heal stupid and crazy, sorry.
Those are the folks that are directly harming conservation efforts, and they really need to be stomped out - by public criticism, insults, ridicule, whatever. Obviously, not very PC - but assuming that those folks are not reformable, are we just simply gonna ignore them and patiently shoulder the additional burden they are creating?

Think about it.
With those crazies, meek tolerance is just simply not an option.


jsd said...

Ah yes, Joan 'Ocean': I've run into her idiocy on another (scientific) discussion forum.

Klaus Heinemann Phd (Nasa/Stanford physicist no less) cites her as one of his inspirations when he is photographing dust particles, calling them 'orbs' and claiming they are sentient entities from another dimension. Did I mention he's a PhD physicist?

Somewhere on her execrably nauseating website (life is too short to revisit) Ms 'Ocean' has an UW photo of planktonic crud which she claims are UW orbs. And in this wacky world of wackier-than-wacky wackiness whacking the wacky over their wacky heads, these 'orbs' somehow prove air orbs are real.

...But I digress.

Anonymous said...

Full moon post, brings tears to my eyes!Hope the vaquita gets the attention it deserves.

Get to the Moldy Black Duck Wings already! said...

-Open Rant To The Community-

Meek tolerance?


Push back against Nutbars is a duty in membership of any community - it's leadership.

It was never acceptable to sit on the sidelines and allow those with a big megaphone and some fundamentally, morally, suspect ideas rule the roost.

In the run up to shark conservation (back four years ago) when everyone had a conservation idea and tribal lines had not been drawn yet (in blood), the Erik Brushes of the world were celebrated, included, and added to websites as "one of us".

The few of us who did push back in the early days were labeled as "meddlers," "bloosers," "anti-shark."

There was no room for anyone to disagree with the "Sharks and Oxygen Myth," but we did, boy howdy we did.

Now, just now, the tolerance for nutty folks is coming to a head.

Well, WELCOME, that's all I have to say.

You're exactly four years late to the conversation, and may I ask...where the hell were you for the past four years?

While we're on the topic, maybe you want to read up on these blog archives for the past four years and discover other issues you missed as well. There's the whole sustainable shark fin thing, Moldy Black Duck Wings, and a plethora of good stuff waiting to be put on the front burner - again.

Let's not pretend this is anything new, or shocking.

What's shocking is that it has taken four years to address it.