As is the case with all natural resources there is a strong connection between consumer demand and natural resource protection. As the world’s population continues to grow at an alarming rate, it is becoming the case that both organic and inorganic natural resources are being depleted. Forests are being cleared to make flooring, furniture and to grow food. Coal, oil and gas deposits are being drained to sustain growing modern economies. At the same time things like oil spills are killing marine and other wild life resources. Carbon emissions are changing weather patterns that are threatening to flood coastal land areas and turn many areas into deserts.

The decline in numbers of whales is all part of this process. Capitalism demands consumer consumption. For economies to grow, people to have jobs to go to and cars to drive we must all consume more. Mass media indoctrinates us into believing this philosophy.

In Japan they have successfully removed political debate about the legality and morality of whale hunting by turning the issue into a case of foreigners attacking Japan. The hysteria of nationalism masks the hypocrisy of a country that says it kills whales for scientific experiments and then puts the whale meat on supermarket shelves.

It is the duty of the consumer to think for him or herself, and to consume in a way that will help conserve natural resources. It is vital that people reduce electricity consumption at home by installing suitable programmable thermostats; that they use CFLs; that they conserve water. We don’t have to radically reduce our living standards, but we do have to radically re-think our consumer choices and urge our political representatives to propose sustainable economic policies that will allow us to conserve our natural environment and such endangered species such as whales.

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