Saturday, September 26, 2009

Greenly incorrect travel log in the Med

19 September 2009: 15h00, motoring into strong headwinds (22-25 knots, NW), sighted an unusually large 3-mast-vessel on a course to enter the Gulf of Hisarönü. N36, 43' 80. E27, 55' 60: came half a mile directly north of it (photo right) and realised it was the flagship of Greenpeace, the Rainbow Warrior II.

Of course, unlike the rest of us leasure sailors, the green warriors were not in the Turkish Aegean to enjoy this sailing paradise and its natural beauty. The organisation was there to save it. This visit was part of its wider Akdeniz/Mediterranean sea campaign (in English) with planned actions against tuna fishing, for a nuclear free region, to fight climate change, etc.... Green is "in" as French economist Guy Sorman remarked with esprit in a recent post (in French, l'ONU, sauce verte). Leaders are now competing to prove their green-ness - or "vertitude". The UN GA in New York was only further evidence of the green political correctness fever gripping the world these days at the detriment of more worthy topics. Lots of talk of "virtuous" green goals but little mention of democracy, economic development, human rights. Was the word "freedom" spoken even once? At least the carbon foot print of the Libyan leader's tent was low...

Funding must be flowing to Greenpeace. Green crusaders have the weather-political gauge (advantage).... Next thing this region will be turned into a marine reserve, anchoring forbidden because every bled of seaweed will be sacred! All hands on deck! Every action counts to counter the ideology of "ecologisme" so expertly described in Vaclav Klaus' new book "Blue Planet in Green Shackles" (published by the CEI and the Press Universitaire d'Aix-IREF). So in order to protest against the pressure Greenpeace is putting on the government of this developping country not to go nuclear for the production of its energy and inter alia to close the coal power plant of Kemirköy (photo above) in the Gulf of Gökova, a spontaneous plan emerged.... :
A few days later, sailing in 23 knots of wind (NW) on a close haul , shorthanded and outfunded, the freedom warrior headed towards the conspicuous landmark of the tall chimney of the coal power plant on a course to make a point.

A pod of dolphins joined the protest. Below the final sail powered by the wind, the book and ideas Greenpeace must be cursing everyday.

For thousands of years the peoples of the Mediterranean basin have being trading, adapting to changing times and should continue their economic development on their own terms. Not on those dictated by a new religion of environmentalism, its legal norms imposed by the rich and with green warriors to do the preaching.

And if you are wondering, I too care about the sea and do my bit to keep it clean!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The "maddening" arrogance of the EU elite.

In the Japan Times (08 September) an enlightening article by Domique Moisi on how my beloved country sees itself as the centre of Europe, and how it ought to lead the way to a bright new EU future with "the return of Franco-German leadership".

"PARIS — Regardless of who wins September's parliamentary election in Germany, the time has come once again for a major Franco-German initiative. Regardless of their economic conditions or their confidence — or lack of it — in each other, France and Germany are more than ever jointly responsible for the future, if not the very survival, of the European project.... More here.

My belated letter to the editor of the Japan Times (25 September) published on 01 October in the Reader in Council section (electronic here).

Dear Editor,

I could not disagree more with Dominique Moisi's conclusion from his Sept. 8 analysis that the European Union needs the return of Franco-German leadership". Europe, in fact, needs less leadership from its intellectual and political class. It needs to pause and take into account the will of its citizens who, when given a democratic chance — Netherlands, France and Ireland — have said "no" to the Constitution/Lisbon Treaty. But only a "yes" was acceptable! Is that democracy or hypocrisy?

Has the European project sunken so low that its nomenclature needs to invoke the magic wand of a good old post-World War II European construction dynamic — and a "spectacular security initiative" with Russia — to extricate itself from the troubled waters of the 21st century?
Frankly it is doubtful that incantations for more Franco-German leadership will do much to reassure Irish voters (on Friday).

My compatriot (Moisi) believes that, without France, the EU cannot survive the current institutional crisis, not to mention the economic one; in other words, that Europe needs more dirigisme from, well, its "center" — read Paris. Furthermore, like most members of our nomenclature of politicians and intellectuals, he discards legitimate concerns from British citizens as "provincial euro-skepticism." When disagreement is eloquently articulated by Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, it is "stubborn ill will."

Where do we go from here when the EU leadership — and its "enlightened" intellectual elite — go down the road of thinly disguised threats of "consequences," to quote French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whenever peoples or elected politicians happen to stray from the "true path"? So much arrogance is maddening and dangerous. So, consider me one of the growing number of voices no longer prepared to stay silent.