Worldlog Week 11 – 2013

11 March 2013

Yesterday we and a few hundred volunteers planted a fantastic forest of trees! We did it to highlight our Growing Resistance promotion against nature cuts. The current cabinet wants to save 400 million on a budget of 800 million for nature management and conservation. This is a fatal blow for nature in the Netherlands. The Growing Resistance promotion is against oppression and economic gloom and we use it to show just how important nature is to both people and animals. We planted a total of 5,000 trees and bushes in an area that will form a green corridor between two nature reserves in the Netherlands.

I asked parliamentary questions about European subsidies that keep bullfighting alive. It appears that the EU subsidy is used to breed bulls for bullfighting and to maintain the arenas where bullfighting takes place. I think it is scandalous that European subsidies are being used to encourage the worst kinds of animal suffering and I hope the State Secretary of Economic Affairs and Minister of Culture will stand up to Europe and put an end to this!

This week was a busy one, full of debates. It included a debate on international Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Here is a small excerpt from my contribution:

Many businesses lead consumers down the garden path with CSR green washing. Shell, for example. A business that talks of nothing else than Corporate Social Responsibility – even as it seriously pollutes large areas of Africa and perhaps even the North Pole too, in the future. It also refuses to clean up the damage or compensate the victims. My party wants to see changes in the regulations so victims have easier access to evidence held by the relevant business. I would very much like to hear the Minister’s reaction to this proposal.

It is naive to believe that we can continue to grow. That we can say ‘if we produce more now, everyone will end up just as prosperous as we are in the West’. That we will all be richer and better off if we do more business. We are now bumping up against the earth’s physical limits. We cannot produce more than we already do. In fact, we are far exceeding the earth’s limits.

If we truly want a sustainable, fair world, consumption in the rich North must decrease – it doesn’t matter how sustainable we make it. We cannot continue to consume like we have four earths at our disposal. That means that we need to stop exporting our lifestyle to other countries – and in terms of agricultural development – we also need to stop exporting factory farming technology and techniques too.

Wonderful news! Slovenia is banning fur farming and is giving animal breeders a maximum of three years to transition. The Netherlands gave mink farmers 11 years. I hope more countries follow this example!

If you’re a polar bear, don’t expect the EU to do you any favours. Last week, the EU voted at the CITES conference AGAINST a ban on trading polar bear skins. There are still 25,000 polar bears left, and 800 are killed each year, so polar bears will be extinct in the wild in 30 years’ time. I cannot believe the EU has not acted to protect this gorgeous animal.

A little attention please for this baby elephant, because this cute little clip will light up your day!

And finally, a gorgeous story in the French edition of the Huffington Post: The French are also discovering they can, and should, eat less meat.

Greetings, Marianne