Soapboxing: Lately there has been a tendency for people to use this group as a soapbox for American political issues that aren't directly related to boycotts. I want this group to be a useful information source for people interested in boycotts and comparing companies. Please do not bring up other unrelated issues.
Also, please do not start multiple threads on the same topic - reactivate the old threads instead. Any new threads about the seal slaughter will be closed, unless they are about a new company to be boycotted.
Human rights boycotts (Caterpillar, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Dyncorp/CSC, Ford Motor Company, KBR (Kellogg, Brown, AND Root): a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., Lockheed Martin, Monsanto, Nestle USA, Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris Iintl (a.k.a. the Altria Group Inc.), Pfizer, Suez-Lyonnaise Des Eaux (SLDE), Wal-Mart, Mitsubishi?)
A Green Tax Shift is a way to address global warming, create jobs, save the environment, strengthen our economy and reduce our dependence on middle eastern oil, all at the same time. For greenhouse emissions, it could involve reducing income tax for low income earners and increasing the tax on coal (=electricity), oil, gas, beef, milk and cement. The increase in tax on each product would depend on the amount of greenhouse emissions from it. The decrease in income tax would be set so that government revenue was unchanged. Income tax at the low end would be the best option for the decrease because it would result in the least change in the distribution of wealth and would create more jobs. Petrol will not bear the brunt of the price increases because it causes only a small fraction of our greenhouse emissions.
This method of reducing greenhouse emissions is preferred by economists. If you consider the negative impacts of global warming to have real economic value (ie, would people pay to get rid of them?) then it will actually strengthen the economy. This is because not charging companies for the right to pollute is effectively subsidising pollution.
A green tax shift is better than carbon trading because society is effectively renting out the right to pollute, rather than giving the rights away for free. It allows you to reduce other taxes to offset the increase in the price of petrol etc, rather than just having an increase in price with the extra money going to oil companies. It is also the more moral choice, because the right to clean air should rest first and foremost with the public, rather than the right to pollute resting with companies.
A Green Tax Shift is more flexible, as the taxes can be adjusted as is necessary or as more information about global warming becomes available. Overtaxing slightly will not harm the economy as it will just be an alternative form of revenue raising. Carbon trading may require governments to buy back emissions rights at hugely inflated prices (= profits for greenhouse emitters). Or, as is currently the case, the emissions rights may become worthless due to minor adjustments made by industry that have a big impact on effiency, or other changes that limit industrial activity in participating countries.
A Green Tax Shift does not require international agreements because it does not place a country at a competitive disadvantage.
The American electoral system is flawed because of the vote counting system used. Under the current 'first past the post' vote counting system:
1) A candidate can lose an election even if he is the majority favourite (the spoiler effect)
2) People do not feel they can vote for who they really want (strategic voting). In order to avoid the spoiler effect they feel they should instead vote for one of the two major parties.
Strategic voting destroys the chances of 'third parties,' which leaves the two major parties without adequate competition. Rather than competing on a level playing field they are only competing against each other. It is then easy for both major parties to accpet bribes from the same interest groups. The artificially reinforced two party duopoly is the main reason why American political leaders are so slow to respond to the will of the people.
There are simple ways to eliminate these problems, such as instant runoff voting, that do not fundamentally change the system of representation, that do not involve computerised voting and do not introduce any other problems.
Many hosts expect active participation from group members and desire constant activity on their groups. I don't. Many people I invite to my groups express concern that they don't have the time to devote to more groups. My groups are their for the benefit of members and I am happy for them to get something from the group in their own time and return nothing, even if they ask lots of questions. In many of my groups I would rather have a small amount of information that is of timeless value rather than a constant stream of chatter (though I don't mind if you just want to chat). I welcome debates as they help to ensure that the information provided is sound. I often rewrite my posts after lengthy debates as I find that I can express my views much more clearly and concisely and back them up more rigourously.
But don't be afraid to contribute if you have something!
Membership is restricted to Atlantic Canadians, but people in other parts of Canada and across the world are encouraged to sign on as Supporters and leave their thoughts and words of support in the Comment section.
Thanks to everyone for fighting to end this annual atrocitiy!
Bridget W. Curran Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition"
The harp seal pups will be born in the next week or two in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. They will have no idea of the fate that awaits them. Please help us end this horrible slaughter. Please be a part of the International Day of Action, March 15th. Step up to the plate now and lead an event in your city! In Los Angeles and Miami, Harpseals.org will put on mock funerals. In Seattle, Sea Shepherd will organize another event for the seals. It's easy to organize an event in your town. We will help publicize it and help you get the materials you need. Please let harpseals.org know if you will be a leader for the seals.
Note: if you don't think you can get a good turnout on March 15th, you can organize an event on any day from the 10th to the 18th. Also, you can have your event at a Canadian consulate/embassy, a store or restaurant that sells Canadian seafood, or any other location where you can get a good turnout of activists and media.
Outreach - They continue to do direct outreach at festivals around the country. Please join this effort! Look for festivals (including Earth Day, Seafood Festivals, and Pet Fairs) in your area. You can search the internet, scan the newspaper, or call the chamber of commerce. Let them know when you find appropriate venues, and they'll help you get your booth together.
Teaching Kids - They also are speaking in classrooms, teaching kids about the plight of the seals and the actions they can take to stop the slaughter. If you can help by presenting their lessons in a school in your area, or providing their Lesson Kit to local teachers, please request a kit today! Note: these kits come with a CD and a DVD, so they will need a mailing address.
More for the Kids - They are creating a colouring book on the plight of the seals to reach the really young kids. They already have a great illustrator, but they need a writer. If this is one of your skills, please let them know. By the way, have you seen their sister website for kids, yet: Kids 4 Seals?
Seafood Boycott - Please help them recruit stores, distributors, and restaurants to the Canadian seafood boycott. This is the best way to put pressure on the industry behind the slaughter of the seals. They have new Action Cards that make it easy to encourage seafood vendors to ditch Canadian seafood. Order them today! Please check their website regularly. Soon they'll have more tools to recruit seafood vendors as well as new auto-emails to send to major vendors.
Global Warming & the Seals
Dr. David Lavigne of IFAW and his team have produced a new report on the effects of global warming on the seals. The DFO's own scientists have said that the high rate of slaughter of the seals in the past few years, combined with high mortality rates (due in large part to the effects of global warming on the sea ice), have taken a toll on the population. Read more here. The DFO political leader, Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn is not expected to take heed. Now is a good time to give him and his friends a piece of your mind.
If you live in Canada, find your MP here and make sure they also knows about your opposition to the seal slaughter. Help make this a campaign issue this year! Tell them there is no such thing as "humane" slaughter. You can help by canvassing your neighborhood and talking to your neighbors about the seal slaughter. Please reach out to people in your town who care about the effects of global warming on animal populations.
European Efforts to End the Slaughter:
The European Commission will not act now to ban all seal imports into Europe. Nevertheless, European activists can continue to make strides for the seals by pursuing a total ban on seal product imports into their own nations.
Several European countries have already either banned imports or placed a moratorium on imports. These include Belgium and Croatia. If you live in Europe, please write to your leaders and ask them to act now to effect a ban on ALL seal imports. (Don't forget forget about the tragic Cape Fur Seal massacres going on in Namibia, see my post at:
We are only 5 months away from another harp seal massacre...unless we can stop it first. We all need to act together to put an end to these annual atrocities in Canada. Everyone can help. No matter how much time you have available, no matter what your skills, there is something you can do to save the seals.
"The killing continues for political positioning, fur coats for the rich and aphrodisiacs for frustrated Asian men. It continues for the "lifestyle and cultural heritage rights" (BS!) of a small minority of white, evil, ignorant men.
It continues because of the greed of a select few FISHING companies and processing plant owners and it also continues because of an arrogant government bureaucracy that simply doesn't care what the majority of its people say year after year: Stop the seal hunt.
Lastly, it continues because the rest of the seafood industry remains silent, complicit in the massacre that companies like the Barry Group lobby for year after year, demanding ever-increasing quotas."