The Trump Card
My first thought on Donald Trump being elected as
President of the USA was that it would affect the African lion and
Under President Obama, it had become extremely
difficult to get the trophies back to the USA.
Proof that the shooting of the lion had benefited
conservation, had to be produced. Obviously, a lion shot in a canned
lion hunt, does not benefit conservation.
Trump has the power to reinstate trophy hunting,
canned lion hunting with a stroke of a pen.
This is what Paul Watson thinks of Donald Trump
being elected President.
Tread Lightly on the Earth
Why Fighting Donald
Trump on Climate Change is a Waste of Time and Actually Counter
Captain Paul Watson
Before everyone gets
overly upset about Donald Trump and Climate Change consider this
denial of Climate Change is irrelevant.
Climate change is a
scientific reality and the denial of climate change as a problem
does not make the threat go away. The reality cannot be changed
by the personal beliefs of the President of the United States.
This is akin to King Canute demanding that the tide cease to
rise. When he failed to force the Ocean to his will, he
proclaimed, “let all men know how empty and worthless is the
power of kings.”
kings have no authority over nature.
And when you really
think about, just what is the difference between a President
that denies climate change and a Prime Minister who acknowledges
it, yet acts as if he is denying it?
It is of course the
politically correct thing to acknowledge climate change as a
reality but none of these world leaders are actually doing the
ecologically correct thing and doing something about it.
Greenpeace sent me
and thousands of others a message yesterday. They see Trump as
an opportunity to raise funds. This was the Greenpeace message:
[This week, so many
people have reached out about how they can help — and there are
many ways you can get involved, but one of the most direct ways
for us to prepare for the threats to our climate, communities,
and planet is by making a donation to Greenpeace today.
The road ahead will
not be easy. Trump’s upcoming presidency poses a direct and real
danger to our climate, our environment, and our democracy. But,
Greenpeace is not going anywhere. We’re not giving up — and we
are ready for this fight.]
And today I received
this message from the Environmental Defense Fund:
we’ve fought so hard to accomplish in the past eight years is
under attack, and we must not waste any time fighting back.
Join the fight to
protect our environmental legacy by making your first online
gift to EDF this weekend.]
And today a message
from the Sierra Club:
[The next four years
will be decided by how hard we fight right now. We are launching
an emergency campaign to stop Trump's efforts to derail
everything we've achieved. Monthly giving is the best way to
support our fight. Become a Wilderness Guardian today.]
I’m not sure how
making contributions to Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and EDF is
going to stop Trump. Not much was accomplished over the last
eight years outside of promises on paper and some nice speeches
by some politicians.
What will people
receive in return for their donations? Certainly not any
influence over Trump or the Republican Congress.
My question is this.
Just how is President-elect Donald Trump any different than
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?
There is this myth
that Trudeau is doing something to address climate change. He’s
not. His energy policies are not much different than former
Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Trudeau has not stopped
development and extraction in the Tar Sands, he’s pro-pipeline,
pro west coast tanker traffic and pretty much pro anything that
is going to profit the energy corporations. He even denied that
the devastating fires earlier this year in Alberta were linked
to climate change and chastised Canadian Green Party leader
Elizabeth May for suggesting that it was.
But at COP 21 he
said he was going to take real action on climate change…. like
someday----maybe, or maybe not.
What has the U.S.
under Obama done? I mean really! Trump will not diminish the
Obama, Bush and Clinton efforts. He would actually have to try
hard to do less than they did.
I very vividly
remember that it was Al Gore who refused to sign the Kyoto
Accord and I also remember everyone in Canada and Australia
giving the Americans hell for not signing that accord, yet the
Canadians and the Australians were creating more greenhouse gas
emissions per capita than the Americans at the time and
continued to do so.
So it seems that
signing a climate change agreement is more important than
actually doing something about the problem and acknowledging
climate change and doing nothing about it appears to be more
significant than denying it and doing nothing about it.
Many people will now
throw their energies into fighting Trump on this issue and this
will make leaders like Turnbull in Australia and Trudeau in
Canada look relatively good while they do nothing more
substantial than Trump in reality.
We humans do love
Fighting Trump on
this issue will also serve to send a message to all those who
voted for him that he’s their man. Making the Libs, the Greenies
and the Lefties angry is something that will endear him even
more in their minds. They want him to be seen as the climate
changer denying hero. Instead we need to ignore him because
climate change deniers are irrelevant to reality. By challenging
the deniers, we validate them, we engage them and thus they are
taken even more seriously.
Donald Trump is not
really a stupid man, although he plays the role quite well. He
knows damn well that climate change is real but he needs to tell
his base what they want to hear and challenging him on this
helps him to send that message even stronger.
Trump is not a
scientist and therefore does not need to score any points with
science. He is a politician wooing people who he knew wanted to
hear the message that climate change is a hoax and, as is his
way, he embellished it with a silly explanation that the Chinese
created it. Does he really believe that? Of course not, but he
wanted the people who want to hear him deny climate change to
think that he does. It’s called politics, also known as the ‘art
of the possible’.
Confronting Trump on
climate change achieves less traction than ignoring him. Saying
he is a dunce with the science does not hurt him, in fact it
only makes him stronger with his base and his base has
demonstrated that science pulls very little weight when it comes
to their self interested priorities.
What he and his
climate change denying constituents will not be able to ignore
is when mother nature continues to slap them in the face harder
and harder than the year before. They can only ignore
super-storms, floods, drought, rising sea levels, devastating
fires, etc., for so long until the realization that something is
not quite right sinks through their hard skulls into that area
of their brain that can comprehend consequences
Trying to get a
politician, any politician, to actually withdraw from energy
addiction is akin to trying to get a hardcore junkie to lay off
Sierra Club and EDF message state that Trump poses a direct and
real danger to our climate, our environment, and our democracy.
But does he? The
threats to our climate, our environment and our democracy have
been the same threats for decades, well before Trump. He did not
just jump out of the bushes to scare us with these threats. Are
the Native Americans at Standing Rock being pepper sprayed and
beaten because of Trump? Did the Deepwater Horizon disaster
happen because of Trump? And what could be a greater threat to
our environment than BP’s disaster in the Gulf and the fact that
they were never really punished. If I deliberately or even
accidently poured just one barrel of oil into the harbor I would
be in jail. This double standard is not Trump’s creation.
I think the
oligarchs would love nothing better than to scapegoat Donald
Trump for their sins. He is after all a loose cannon in their
eyes. They would much rather replace him and most likely they
will. Pence would be a better fit for them and they know it. Not
as good as Hillary Clinton, but more manageable than Trump.
And these COP
conferences are accomplishing absolutely nothing but talk, talk,
talk and more freaking talk. We’re up to COP 22 now with this
recent meeting in Morocco and without the charisma and energy of
a Nichola Hulot with COP 21, hardly anyone has even heard of COP
How many COP’S will
there be before anything substantial is actually done. COP 33?
COP 57? These charades are simply cop-outs from action.
Not one of these COP
gab-fests has shut down a single coal fired generating plant or
a single pipeline. Not one.
The only thing that
excites any government appears to be the possibility of imposing
a tax. Politicians love taxes and carbon taxes are just another
scam to secure tax dollars. Carbon trading is yet another scam.
There is not a
single nation that is undertaking the effort to realistically
and effectively address climate change.
Is anyone shutting
down fracking, drilling, open pit mining, deep water
exploration? No. Is there a single nation cutting subsidies to
energy companies or to the destructive fishing industries? No.
Will we stop slaughtering 65 billion animals a year to reduce a
carbon footprint that is even greater than that of
transportation? Hell no, “I like my hamburger” is the answer.
Is there a single
world leader ready to make economic sacrifices for the
environment? Absolutely not.
“Oh but….,” say my
critics, “there are great educational programs underway.” How’s
that working? Not that great?
And now some people
want us to waste our energies battling Trump the climate change
denier as if that’s going to accomplish anything. It won’t. When
will we stop reacting to the circuses so we can actually focus
on taking the initiative?
My point is that
Donald Trump simply is no worse and no better than all the rest
of these so called leaders whose agenda is to serve the
corporations and to enrich themselves.
He won’t do much but
he will most likely do just as much meaning very little as
Trudeau, Turnbull and May have done, or will do.
Remember the North
American Free Trade Deal, happened under Clinton. The
Trans-Pacific Trade Deal was an Obama goal. Trump is against it.
Fracking was initiated and supported by Obama and Clinton. The
embarrassment of the Dakota Access Pipeline is happening under
the Obama administration. Would Hillary Clinton have stopped it
if elected, would she actually do a damn thing to address
climate change if she had won? The evidence indicates that she
would have done everything to maintain the status quo which has
brought all these problems to us and will present much greater
problems in the near future.
I did not vote for
Trump but I’m not going to pretend that on this issue i.e.
climate change anyone else would mean anything different.
I can see fighting
Trump on women’s issues, LGBT+ issues, immigration issues and
many more important social issues and I will support any such
efforts with both passion and action BUT I have no intention of
fighting Trump on Climate Change because to do so would simply
be a distraction away from the fact that not one goddamn world
leader is actually doing anything at all to address the problem
and I have no intention of contributing to making them all look
good compared to Trump.
Because when it
comes to climate change Trump is on par with Trudeau, Turnbull,
May, Hollande, Abe, Putin, and the leaders of China, Brazil,
Mexico and everyone else meaning that they all are pursuing
agendas that are contrary to the reality of climate change.
So where do we look
People of passion,
of imagination, courage and commitment. People like Elon Musk,
Gildo Pastor, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron, Ethan Brown,
Cyrill Gutch, John Paul DiJoria, Chief Raoni, Dale Vince, Naomi
Klein, Jasmine Thomas, Wangari Maathai and so many others.
Individual imagination. Individual initiative. Individual
courage. These are the keys to our survival.
Depending on a
politician to solve any of these problems is like depending on
an oil executive to promote solar energy. It is simply not in
their interest or as Bill Clinton once put it, “It’s the economy
And that is a fact.
Politicians serve the economy. They do not serve the
Environment. It’s like asking a high school history teacher to
teach advanced math. They won’t do it because they can’t do it.
We need to look
beyond the limited horizons of elected officials because the
answers are to be found well beyond their restricted and
Matthew in Matthew 22:21 "Render to the Donald the things that
are the Donald’s.”
Climate change is
not one of his things and never will be. It is our thing, those
of us who understand the consequences and thus it is our
responsibility to explore and invent alternatives and to fight
the technologies, not the hired mouthpieces of these destructive
Thank you to all who replied to my
Newsletter: Most Admired People on the Planet. Here are some of
JV, perhaps you should fact check your
stories before publishing them in your newsletters. A case
in point is your declaration of Botswana's president, Ian
Khama, being voted as the world's best president. See
attached. There is no record kin the United Nations Social
and Economic Office documents declaring this a fact.
It also seems that Khama holds the lives
of animals in higher regard than human beings and the rule
of law (of his own country, no less). A case in point is his
treatment of the Bushmen in the Central Kalahari area and
the treatment they have been receiving at the hands of the
government even to the extent of ignoring the judgements by
the courts. See attached.
I can understand your admiration of Khama
in protecting wildlife against poachers as this is truly a
tragedy. (I have heard you speak on this issue at your
presentation to a group of photographers several years ago.)
Nevertheless, I think that humanitarianism should come
before greed as the latter is exemplified by Khama's
actions. Perhaps the rest of the world should heed what
Survival International has to say on the matter as well as
others speaking out on this issue. See attached.
I hope that you are over your illnesses
and feeling better and that Tiger Canyons and your animals
Long long time no chat. I think the last time
we spoke to each other was during ‘Safari Live’ up at Singita
Lebombo. Anyway I enjoy receiving your newsletters from Tiger
Canyons so thank you for sending.
I had to respond to the latest issue when I
read about Tina Turner and the effect she had on your life. She
also made a huge impression on me. The concert you refer to
during the Apartheid years I remember well. It was at the
Colosseum in Joburg and I went along with a couple of friends.
We were huge fans of the Acid Queen (as she was then known), and
we were mesmerised by her performance which was exhilarating. As
you rightly mention there weren’t that many in the audience and
those that were there, sat glum faced clapping politely in
between sets. In contrast my mates and I went wild, standing on
our seats rocking, singing, and clapping. We were asked to sit
down and behave ourselves!
Several years later, I went to Sun City to
film Tina’s dancers for a programme called Front Row. They were
rehearsing for the Wildest Dreams World Tour which was to kick
off in SA and had agreed to give dance workshops to kids from
the townships. We were in the Superbowl in the early afternoon,
the dancers were working with the kids, when Tina suddenly
appeared and watched from a distance. She was amazed at what she
saw – the kids were in full stride rocking away in perfect synch
with her highly accomplished dancers. Immediately she summoned
the entire band, put everyone on the stage, invited me to join
them, and went into a full rehearsal of the show with the kids
in tow. It was electric – Tina Turner unplugged singing “ Never
in your wildest dreams, did you ever get that feeling……” The
look on the faces of the kids was priceless and they performed
with energy and enthusiasm like there was no tomorrow.
Several hours later, they finished the set
and Tina was so bowled over with the kids that she invited
several of them to join her on stage with her dancers for the
opening night! One of them, David, impressed her so much that
she sent him off to dance school in New York for a year, fully
sponsored. He has since become one of SA’s finest
A remarkable person, so down to earth and
compassionate ….. I was humbled and privileged to have been able
to spend a little bit of time in her presence. What an
On a documentary called lions documentary
reality is quite hard. It shows how and why the people kill the
lion. The residents say its because the lion kills their
livestock. Then it shows a man who kills for a living because he
says the head of a lion is worth a lot. ( and he already has
another living taking tourists camel riding) so he does it for
sport for pleasure. It seems like its a ongoing war between the
people who love and appreciate animals and are trying to save
them and those who are the opposite. It makes me so angry and I
wish I could do something to terminate hunting. Animals kill for
the plain reason to live and to feed their young. Whilst humans
who have plenty of food to choose from I.e fruit and veg, carbs
endless array would choose to kill animals and not to just eat
them to sell and make profit out of it. Just plane cruel. Why
can't man just live simply? Man thinks he needs the extra money
to survive so he has to take the life of something else. What
makes man have more of a right to live then the wildlife/animal?
Man does not need all the luxury he thinks he needs. Humans are
spoilt and a selfish species. Animals are not. They don't waste
not a speck of meat of the animal and will risk their lives to
steal so they don't have to make another kill. Humans waste
loads of food and not just food. A world with out wildlife is
like a dead body a body without soul with out passion. When a
human kills a adult big cat then the whole family dies because
they need their mother and protection of their father. If a
human adult dies plenty of people will take care of there
offspring. But animals have a harder life for survival. We have
to look after them. If we lived more modest simple lives eating
when we're hungry living in the space we need making use of what
we have and using things well not killing for the plane reason
to destroy all that we've got its just a few ways of how we can
look after our earth.
I'll send the poem as well this is just how I
Leopards dozing on branches,
Animals feeding their young
The moon lights up the darkness
Until out comes the hot sun
Bears come out the dens
To explore the outdoors
An adventure in the world
That's very different to yours
Some animals live in groups
While others on their own
But each is very special
They all need a home
They all need trees and grass
Plenty of water to drink
Each animal runs fast
And are quick in the way they think
Animals aren't cruel
They don't kill out of hate
They kill for food to eat
And share it with their mate
Animals love to be in the open
In the wild running free
Not trapped in a cage with barbed wire
So people could come and see
Every animal makes a sound
Each one has beautiful skin
So why do people hunt?
They want control and to win
We can learn from every animal
To the world so much they give
So please don't go around killing
They also have a right to live!
Once again many thanks for your always
interesting Newsletters. I appreciate it bigtime...
I sent it on to Irmelin DiCaprio.
Irmelin is Leonardo's mother and as I might
have mentioned in the past, she is my wife's cousin.
Quick note re Gary Player; my mother once
while shopping needed an extra 1 rand for payment and seeing
Gary behind her asked him for it. With his hands full in the
queue said to her: "Just put your hand in my pocket and take
Jaaa hey, a super oke indeed...spent some
time with him shooting a doccie on him many years ago..awesum
All the very best to you and yours an much
peace and tranquility over the holls and into the 'nuwe jaar'...
Thank you for sharing. I love your choices.
Gary is right about embracing adversity
(within or outside of ourselves). This is where the opportunity
for healing abides.
Love Ian Player. It is due to him I could
walk in Imfolozi (walking trail with Anna Breytenbach and
LOVE Paul Watson. Talk about balls. His
strength, integrity, and actions bring me to tears almost
The others are fabulous leaders too of
Thank you and bless you for sharing ideas
with your audience and caring for the big cats.
I hope to visit your place one day.