April 20, 2008

Extinction: Salmon or Fishing?

Every time I read in the news lamentations about hardworkingmen who are being victimized by environmental restrictions that will beggar them, I can't help thinking back to the early 1980s when I kept reading about the callous, social-Darwinist, attitude of then-President Reagan and his corporate buddies toward the hordes of blue-collar union workers in the Rust Belt who were being dumped like yesterday's trash.

I still don't understand the difference in these situations. Do you?

At the end of the article a fisherman says "I don't want a handout, I just want to go back to work." Just like a lot of union guys have been saying. Unfortunately, I fear that boycotting farmed salmon won't suffice. The real question is why the kind of work that is healthy and nourishing for people and communities isn't available or doesn't pay enough. What kind of work? How about farming, weaving, sewing, cooking, childcare, teaching apprentices, building eco-villages or manufacturing bicycles?

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