Oh, the irony

Originally uploaded by BGale.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall as the Japanese officials and the crew of the Nisshin Maru try to figure out how to deal with the possibility that they may need to accept Greenpeace’s offer to help. If you hadn’t heard, the Nisshin Maru (a Japanese whaling vessel) had a serious fire on Thursday (one sailor was killed) and it appears that the ship may now be immobile. A Greenpeace ship (the Esper- anza) was in the neighborhood specifically because of the whaling activities of the Nisshin Maru; they are now offering to help (evacuating the crew, and towing the Nisshin Maru to a dock), and may indeed be the closest ship in a position to do so.

Japanese officials (and presumably at least some of the crew) have serious misgivings about accepting aid from sworn enemies, and so the Nisshin Maru sits there while people argue over the next step. Given that the Nisshin Maru is very close to, e.g., a major penguin colony, it would almost certainly be a Bad Thing, however, if something nasty like a major oil leak happened while people debated the matter.

One advantage, I suppose, of very publicly doing something pretty unpleasant (i.e., killing whales) is that there will always be people watching, which means that help is never far off if something goes wrong :-). Now they just need to stop their whining and accept the help that’s there.

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2 Responses to Oh, the irony

  1. Unless one of the sides has really bad spin doctors, I don’t see the downside (for either party) of accepting the help.

  2. Phi says:

    You’d think, wouldn’t you.

    From what I’ve read/heard, the Greenpeace folks seem to be playing this very nicely – It’s a humanitarian issue; the whaling is irrelevant in this context, etc. The fact that the whalers are trying very hard to not accept the help just seems like a bad move all around, and a worse move if there are further injuries/deaths, or the ship does something icky like dump a ton of oil in the Ross.

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