Ivory and Rhinos

I think desperation, and thus loss of reason, is starting to descend upon humanity as I will show with following two recent examples.

Ivory

Recently, the world celebrated that China destroyed 6.2 tons of illegal ivory, the result of about 700 slaughtered elephants while months before the US destroyed 6 tons. Even nature conservative groups such as the African Wildlife Foundation and International Fund for Animal Welfare were celebrating the destruction (although some environmentalists were not) because indeed it can show the Chinese people that very large amounts of animals need to be killed for some ivory. But, although I may be wrong, to me, the celebration by these organisations of the destruction of illegal ivory shows their desperation while these animals were killed for nothing.

I don't celebrate when an ivory-hungry country destroys tons of illegal ivory so it gets praise from the international community. Indeed, this will result in fewer ivory on the markets, certainly when more and more animals become endangered and thus rare and as a consequence ivory prices may continue to rise. As a result, poachers and smugglers may be even more encouraged to kill animals illegally for their ivory as long as some countries, amongst them China, allows legal ivory. If a country wants ivory, I think it is better it uses the illegal ivory it seized although the country should punish very severely the poachers, smugglers and those buying the illegal ivory. By selling large amounts of illegal ivory on the markets instead of destroying it, the markets will be flooded and thus prices may go down, making the risk/benefit balance less good (maybe even negative) for those involved in the illegal trade (severe punishment when caught versus less profits if prices are down). Of course, destroying ivory may lead to buyers no longer buying ivory because it may be destroyed and the buyers punished while prices may become so expensive only the richest people can afford it (and thus maybe the destruction may work although it may also stimulate certain wealthy to buy ivory so they are able to demonstrate their wealth).

I think that when a country allows ivory, using illegal ivory that was seized results in not having to kill animals legally to replace the destroyed illegal ivory. If for instance a country destroys 6 ton of illegal ivory but allows 10 ton (of legal) ivory, then animals for as much as 16 tons of ivory are killed (and probably even more animals need to die as first those with the largest trunks are killed), 6 tons that is destroyed and 10 tons that is used because it is legal while if the 6 ton illegal ivory are used only an extra 4 tons of ivory are needed and thus fewer animals need to die. Better still is that the country convinces its citizens that plastic or stone can be as beautiful while it is cheaper (of course, I forgot people like expensive things so they can show off). Still, artists can carve something beautiful out of a bloc of plastic or stone and thus it remains art.
On the left, ivory or somethings else? On the right, beautiful not made from ivory, and even larger things can be made.

Rhinos

 
But desperation is also shown when an organisation such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) argues it is better to auction the life of one endangered animal such as that of a black rhino to raise funds it can then spend on the conservation of other animals than to do nothing, even when 2013seems to have been one of the worst years for rhinos, killed for their ivory. The person who bought the license-to-kill already received death threats (hunter will know what it is to be hunted) while he claims that because he will shoot an infertile old male (do male rhinos really become infertile in old age????), his money can be used to save many other animals and thus he is a conservationist. This is simply pure nonsense as conservationists donate money (part of their own wealth) to save lives without claiming one for fun. Although sometimes when there is overpopulation one need to kill to prevent more deaths due to food shortages. At the same time, people who lived for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years in harmony withnature are now forced to move out of nature reserves because governments claim this will prevent animals are killed and thus nature can recover.

I wonder what point humanity has reached when we start praising those who donate money to kill in the name of saving species while we condemn those who are fed up with those who continue to destroy our planet, even when we know the situation is bad. Will climate change be our blessing, reducing the numbers of people to a level where animal and plant species can recover again while it will save us from our total self-destruction? Will climate change really save life on our planet? But maybe it may be too late for many animals and future generations may inherit a planet without beautiful (large) animals such as elephants, rhinos, lions and tigers because, although many people and organisations try to save these animals, often they fail. And this will certainly be when more and more hunters may start buying licences to kill one animal to save its species because it may be considered as a noble thing to do, certainly when they get approval of certain conservation organisations. And certainly when animals start defending themselves by attacking villages, then hunters will claim they have to shoot the animals to protect the people. Either these organisations have become so desperate they stop thinking or hunters have infiltrated them.

I hope the hunter will point his camera and shoot some beautiful pictures of a mighty animal in its natural environment instead of pictures showing the end of a life.

Wise countries

And thus, I think illegal ivory seized can be sold by African and other countries so they can invest the money in hunting the poachers (while this is differently from denying local people food although I admit the difference is not always easy to make). Then, the auction to kill an endangered animal legally to raise money for conservationism doesn't need to happen.

But it is not only the hunting. It seems at this moment roads are upgraded in the Serengeti and thus life will become even more difficult, not only for many animals but also for (what people who have forgotten what it is to live call) "primitive" people who have to start knowing the value of money and forget the value of lives. While these countries should by now know that the animal and plant kingdoms are their biggest wealth although streets need to be present to some extend for tourists but not too much as otherwise it is no longer an adventure.

And in many countries people still kill each other for diamonds, gold, whatever because they think people in the West still want those things. But, apart from the old generation, the dying ones, younger people prefer things that are colourful but limited in time and thus they buy (cheap) bracelets of plastic and wood and glass at shops such as H&M, Zara, C&A and others, and thus people kill each other for nothing (I predict even gold will no longer be used as a standard for money ones digital money becomes the norm). And thus, people are killing each other for a lost future, a future that doesn't need wood for paper, diamonds for jewels, even oil and gas for energy although we still need some metals for our tablets and other progress, but even here we start to replace them with other material. But we will need nature that we can visit to relax while at this moment large parts of nature are being destroyed and may have disappeared such as the gorillas in the region of Congo and Rwanda where war after war is fought for minerals so that tourists who can spend billions stay away.

In conclusion, I think mankind has become desperate because we start to understand there may be no way back and as a result, panic may descend upon us and we start behaving illogical, claiming that killing endangered animals can save the species. We may have become so desperate we do everything in the hope it will save at least a few leftovers.

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