Worldlog Week 16 – 2009

17 april 2009

We have had a lot of press exposure this week. We also talked to a number of international (energy) organisations about the fact that the sale of energy company Essent depends entirely on the Party for the Animals. The province of North Brabant wants to sell its shares in Essent to the German energy company RWE. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) explains on its website that “According to independent research, this company is one of Europe's most polluting companies. RWE still uses conventional brown coal and coal energy stations, which results in the company releasing huge amounts of the greenhouse gas called carbon dioxide. The company also plans to build new conventional coal-powered energy stations without carbon dioxide capture and storage facilities. RWE also wants to invest in the construction of a nuclear power station in Belene, Bulgaria, at a location the authorities deem unsafe due to the risk of earthquakes.”

Our representative in the province of North Brabant, Birgit Verstappen, has indicated that our party is against the privatisation of utility companies and will go all out to ensure that criteria are placed on the sale of Essent to RWE to produce clean and sustainable energy. RWE has indicated in the negotiations that it will not adopt Essent’s sustainability package. It’s therefore understandable that the World Wide Fund for Nature cut ties to Essent with immediate effect as soon as the take-over plans were announced.

In other news, a number of dairy farmers protested with their cows in The Hague on 14 April to call attention to sinking milk prices. They dragged a number of cows, some of which, according to witnesses, were pregnant, from Friesland to the heart of The Hague. The cows stood there until the next day! I therefore asked some pertinent questions regarding this atrocious action during question time.

Speaking of cows: We held our own promotion to do with cows on Wednesday, but of course oriented towards animal welfare. We opened the stable doors at an organic dairy farm so the cows could graze in the fields after being shut away over a long winter. The cows wore a protest covering that read "Europe, there are limits”. With this action we denounced European agricultural policy that has led to further intensification, an increase of scale and constant confinement of the animals in cattle breeding. The Party for the Animals wants Europe to scrap billions of Euros worth of subsidies and focus on sustainable and animal-friendly agriculture.

On Thursday, Minister of Agriculture Verburg promised the Lower House that she would speak to her French colleague, at the request of the Dutch Labour Party (Social democrats), about the trapping of the protected lapwing in France, because it endangers the lapwing population. The CDA (Christian democrats) and Labour Party ministers also have their role to play in this, as they both allow the collection of lapwing eggs on a massive scale to continue unchallenged. The province of Friesland and the Cabinet are doing nothing to stop it. A PvdA representative in Friesland is working hard to promote the cause against collecting lapwing eggs.

This strange and particularly irresponsible hobby is encouraged by the Frisians who have the gall to call themselves bird lovers. Even from a purely legal point of view, collecting eggs cannot be allowed. Egg collections means that lapwing populations in Friesland will plummet – which is indeed happening: between 1996 and 2008, the population fell by as much as 50%! This is an irrefutable scientific fact.

Wading birds such as the lapwing are struggling due to climate change, mechanised agriculture, natural predators, hunting and drilling in the name of ground water management. This has no impact on those who collect their eggs. They wail and gnash their teeth – but only if they can’t go and collect the eggs. This tradition must be stopped now to protect the lapwing’s interests.

See you next week!