Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:
Problem solving: let’s be practical and pragmatic
It would seem that the fear of a shark attack is becoming well grounded in recent weeks. If one is concerned about the attacks of a 30kg pit bull terrier, then a 1200kg shark three to four metres long deserves very special attention.
It is terribly traumatic to the family of a victim when these attacks lead, as they often do, to the brutal death of a loving and well-loved person. A very small section ofavery vast ocean is responsible for the interaction between sharks arid humans.
Preventative management is not environmental vandalism. Now I hear people are very reticent to state the obvious, which is where sharks and humans swim in the same water, and human lives are in danger, the sharks should be culled. Of course this idea has the glittering environmental illuminati, in some sections, in apoplectic uproar. Their argument goes like this; we are just another animal and if sharks want to eat us because we look like seals then that is their right.
I am not suggesting that we should patrol the entire coast and shoot every shark on sight, but in areas of dense population there is a hierarchy of needs and human life rates higher than the shark’s.
It is not just sharks that have usurped the greater cognisant dignity of homo sapiens. Bats in Queensland have also lately evolved to a higher level. In Charters Towers it goes like this, man builds park, bats infest park, bats stay, man goes.
In a children’s school in NSW an infestation of bats produced this bullet of logic from the local member Janelle Saffin. She suggested that “a long-term solution” was to move the school rather than the bats. Bats are also part of a process that spreads Hendra virus for which there is no cure, although millions are being spent on research. Janelle, they are bats not angels hanging upside down in trees defecating on all below.
Man is not just subservient to animals, we now have a movement to make man subservient to vegetable matter as well. In many areas. when bushfire season approaches you are allowed to sweep up the leaves but you are uot allowed to remove the trees. Houses must be iuciuerated for the right of trees to buru uuimpeded during a bushfire.
When you fly over many farms these days you see trees stuck right in the middle of cultivation like a cultural totem pole that dare not be touched. The Greens appear to have borrowed the logic from some Pythonesque version of Catholicism where every tree is sacred.
Maybe my opinions have been brutalised by the fact that I grew up in a family where my father was a vet.
It was all care and kindliness but to a limit that did not intrude on the greater dignity of people. Excessive heroic efforts to preserve an animal’s life, through expensive drugs, had to be seen in the opportunity costs of a human’s life somewhere else in the world, which we generally have scant regard for. In our family, a strong moral string was pulled when people started to treat animals with anthropomorphic virtues that reflected an inspired storybook fantasy rather than physiological reality.
These views also intrude into policy where the correct concern for the brutalisation of animals in the live cattle trade became extended so that no form of live cattle trade could take place. The advocates utilised the sensation to extend their cause to their ultimate goal, which was to end the trade at the expense of diplomatic relations or the protein requirements of Indonesians.
Sharks do not read Shakespeare nor have a continued endearing affection to their sons or daughters and if they weigh over a tonne it would be best if they are not swimming in the same surf as your mother aud father.
Bats cau reside iu their millions across national parks and farmland.
They do not need to live at your school or at the Royal Botanical gardens above your picnic blanket.
If there is an overarching requirement that the world needs at the moment it is the absolute necessity for both our actions and our discussions to be pragmatic.
Meetings in Europe about repaying debt do not repay debt; repaying debt repays debt, the alternative is default and calamity.
The triumph of theory over practicality is a multi-faceted, self indulgent mirage.