Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fishy Politics about Fish

Recently there has been considerable debate about the role of open net fish farms being possibly responsible for the propagation of disease in our wild salmon stocks. There has been a lengthily legal wrangle under the umbrella of the "Cohen Commission" which has pitted reputable scientists against The Fish farming industry and Government organisations including the Department of fisheries and Oceans.
It seems that discovery of Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISAv) in BC wild or farmed salmon is feared to be a potential economic disaster that could even end trade in fish products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) didn't want to find ISAv, and the evidence suggests it took active measures to confiscate fish samples that may have indicated ISAv was here.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) - which supported the salmon farming industry - didn't want to find ISAv either, and took active measures to hide findings and suppress research that may have exposed it. And the salmon farming industry certainly didn't want to discover ISAv in its brood stock or net-pens - such a discovery would have had devastating environmental, market and public relations ramifications.
Don't blindly expect honesty in Politics. And more specifically don't always expect integrity from Politicians. Many are in it for the short term and often follow a short-term vision. Oh, and yes, part of this vision includes an expectation of a fat pension at the end of those few years. I see our Federal Government now wants to tinker with OUR pensions anyway.
Is this cynical?...Maybe!..Or just a little reflection of reality.

And now a 2013 Update:

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has decided that ISA virus contaminated feedlot salmon can be grown-out in the ocean and sold to Canadians.  The U.S. has reportedly rejected the product.  This has become an national incident, Canada is stepping away from international protocol for this reportable influenza virus.  One of the producers of these fish is apparently in a serious financial situation and perhaps the CFIA is simply unable to continue paying up to $30/fish in compensation for culling ISA infected fish.  Instead the fish are going to be disposed of down the throats of Canadians, who will support this practice by paying for the product.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's in a Word

What's in (a word)?
Some scientists now claim to have created mini-universes or something very similar to them.To do this they have been working with super-cooled helium, 0.0003 degrees above absolute zero (-273 degrees celsius). This state of helium is, apparently, close to what it was at the beginning of our Universe...Very strange things happen at this point regarding space and time. They have not yet reached the all important threshhold of the creation of a new "Big-Bang". But.....!

Naturally some are concerned about this direction of scientific research. This has recently been highlighted regarding the super particle accelerator in Europe. There is a fear of the possibility of the creation of all-consuming black holes and the like.

Stephen Hawking has made a recent statement implying that God need not figure in the creation of universes if Man can do it alone.This poses a bit of a dilemma: Did God create and now control the Universe or is the latter God anyway?

The irony here is that "God" as a word or concept was created by Man. Does it really matter whether we use "God" or "Universe" separately or as synonyms? One wonders why Hawking has got involved with such semantics.

Most of the organized religions in the world will condemn the present direction quantum physics is taking because they do seem to separate the concept of "God" from "Universe".

Man is often accused of "Playing God". Hmmmm...If The "Universe" is "God" then Man is, in part, God; so surely Man has every right to play his part!
Until all this is resolved, which is unlikely, we are in real danger of destroying ourselves as a species by judging, arguing and fighting over this issue.