Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Philo lives!

Yes, there is a counterpart to the Yabba-Dabba-Doo, although she isn't a submarine. This just in from the New York Times: "environmentally minded pirates" have captured the Svizter Korsakov, a Russian tugboat with a shady past.
While environmentally minded pirates might make a nice complement to the bishops who today urged followers to cut their carbon footprint for Lent, there was no way to verify the spokesman’s identity or what he said.

At the very least, though, there was a lucky coincidence between one of his claims and the record of the hijacked tugboat, the Svitzer Korsakov. The caller’s charge that the boat was “part of the environmental destruction” would not be the first levelled against the vessel. But that controversy is located thousands of nautical miles away at Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East, where oil companies are trying to build a hub for gas and oil production.
The news story from Garoweonline has more on this delightful development:
He claimed that the Russia-registered ship, Svitzer Korsakov, is "part of the environmental destruction" being committed by various foreign ships off of Somali shores.

"We are the gentlemen who work in the ocean…since the [Somali] civil war began the ocean has been our Mother," the man said…,[the] "group's name is the Ocean Salvation Corps, and they are a group of Somali nationalists who took it upon themselves to protect the country’s shores."

"The ships we now control have the equipment which destroyed the Indian Ocean," the man said, adding: "More than 70,000 tons of fish species is on abroad."

The group's spokesman said, "it is their promise to protect any reporter willing to verify his claims first-hand".
Now THAT would be an interesting assignment. Any takers out there (willing to work for peanuts, of course, as we're poor) on behalf of the Republic?

In related news, two activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society were held hostage last month by Japanese whalers on board the Yushin Maru No. 2 for -- gads -- protesting whaling and attempting to deliver a letter of protest to the crew of the whaler. Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd are calling each other names over this. Greenpeace:
"He [Watson] revels in being a pirate. He says he is prepared to defy the laws," says Greenpeace Australia's chief Steve Shallhorn.
Sea Shepherd:
"Greenpeace are the ocean poseurs ... I really have to question just what is Greenpeace's motivation in coming down here year after year," says anti-whaling activist Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
My suspicion is that as the situation in the environment grows more dire, we're going to see many more acts of ecopiracy, and many many more peaceable protests labeled "eco-terrorism" because the activism goes against somebody's corporate bottom line. YouTube has a movie commenting about that, and posits who the REAL pirates might be.

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