Thursday, 6 October 2005

Girl v crocodile

ADELAIDE ADVERTIsER: A 14-YEAR-OLD boy helped save his little sister by pummelling a saltwater crocodile as it mauled her in the remote far north of Western Australia... Her ordeal is the latest in a string of crocodile attacks across northern Australia. Two men - a snorkler and a diver - died last month in separate attacks in the Northern Territory. In August, a fisherman was killed when a crocodile pulled him from a canoe in northern Queensland.

Rather than the just repeat the arguments expressed here recently, I'll just point you to what was said before on the subject. Suffice to say that I don't agree with those who felt that the girl is to blame for being attacked. I blame misanthropic environmentalists.
Eaten by absurdity
A new environmentalism: Putting humans first
Protecting a predator

UPDATE: Den MT and Ruth have both blogged in response to this and to my earlier posts on this subject here at Not PC. Unfortunately, they both miss the full context and hence the point of what I've been saying -- God knows why, I thought it was clear enough. Maybe not. Anyway, I summarised what my point was here. I'll do it again. Briefly, the position I've been arguing for is this:
  1. First and most importantly, it is an argument for a change in ethics that recognises that 'environmental harmony' can only begin once it is recognised that humans have a right to exist, and that they exist by using and transforming nature (the clearest argument for this appears in Tibor Machans' book 'Putting Humans First').
  2. There is no such thing as 'intrinsic values' that inhere regardless of context or relationships -- as I argued in this comment, the very concept of 'intrinsic value' is a nonsense, and one often used to smuggle in a person's own 'subjective values.' I argue that 'value' has a context; it implies both a valuer, and a purpose: that is, someone to whom a thing is valuable, and an answer to the question, 'valuable for what?' I argue that real value is objective, not intrinsic. The problem with intrinsic values is outlined briefly here, and illustrated in too much misanthropic environmentalism. :-)
  3. The practical arguments for rational wildlife management is put here in Dr Graham Webb's PDF article, 'Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wildlife - an Evolving Concept.' I sumarise it very briefly in this comment. In essence, Webb argues you have to give local a property right in the animals in order to make the animals' protection a boon to them rather than a disaster, and he explains the means whereby to do that.
So in essence then, to say that my position is either one that worries about "Australia morphing into Jurassic Park," or that my position amounts to saying "kill them all" is, well, just not correct. Sorry. It's a little more nuanced than that.


  1. No one has said the girl is to blame - I wondered how long it would be b4 u mentioned this.

    Are you sure it isn't something Freudian? After all it is the corocodiles mating season, so they are more agressive. Even if the hunting ban was rescinded this would still happen.BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT CROS DO- THEY ARE A WILD ANIMAL. What do you propose to do about it?

    You are one dumb fuck Peter Cresswell.

  2. Whoa Peter, you really know how to push this lady’s (I use this label loosely) button. Obviously someone with a pathological love for ugly animals or maybe a pathological hate for you (ugly or not).

  3. bitch, be cool!

  4. Well, what the fuck good does it do to protect them Ruth? Surely you can see the economic and safety benefits of hunting them? There are many people who would pay big money to bag a 5m croc. Let them. There's no value protecting crocodiles for their own sake.

  5. Might I just say, Well done that young man!

    And piss off under your bridge Ruth and stop i-stalking PC.

  6. MMMM! As someone who has had a "difference of opinion" with PC for a while Ruth, even I must say...Fuck you and your "Eat all you want crocs,.. theres plenty more!'...attiude.If you are so on to it why don't you waddle into the swamps and convince these missunderstood babies to lay off the man kebab for awhile? Offer some Ruth burger up to to these intrinsic bastards and see where it gets you...

  7. i much prefer the outcome i blogged peter.

  8. Clearly Ruth has her panties in a bunch over PC's viewpoint, and while I find her argumentative, ad hominem style a bit weak, I still have the same objections that I raised in every other one of PC's bizarre 'cull dangerous animals' thread.

    I would classify PC's laying the blame at the door of 'misanthropic environmentalists' as equally ill-considered as Ruth's little outburst.

    Do you really, I mean, seriously, believe that wild animal attacks are a direct, logical result of protection measures? Because the extension of this argument is that should protection be rescinded, it would be inconceivable/impossible that further attacks would occur. This obviously assumes some sort of containment or culling taking place. This is indefensibly, outrageously stupid, and would have such far-reaching and severe environmental consequences, that it is unlikely that our ecosystem would recover.

    Sometimes the 'free market will overcome' mentality needs to be tempered with a bit of rational thought and scientific realism.

    Humans are the top of the food chain. Our position DOES NOT mean that we are insulated from the dangers of the natural world, nor should we seek to fully insulate ourselves from them in the incredibly short-sighted way suggested.

    Rant complete.

    (PS Ruth - time for your pills)

  9. PC - this has actually spurred me to actually write something on the dormant blog that I had intended to leave dormant in perpetuity. Maybe not now.

    Respond as you see fit:


  10. Estuarine crocodile management in Kakadu is aimed at minimising the danger of crocodile attack while at the same time ensuring the protection of crocodile populations. Throughout the year park staff carry out crocodile surveys in all the major waterways to obtain data on distribution, numbers and size.

    If a particular crocodile's behaviour is thought to be a potential threat to people, the crocodile is either captured, tagged and released (a process that makes crocodiles wary of people) or given to an Aboriginal community for food.

    Problem crocodiles are defined broadly as those individuals that occur within settled areas or areas of recreational use, where public safety is a prime consideration, and those that attack stock in pastoral areas. In some areas such as Darwin Harbour and the Katherine River near Katherine, any Saltwater Crocodile, regardless of size, constitutes a problem animal. The plan allows for problem crocodiles to be used directly for skin and meat production or as stock in crocodile farms. Because of the homing instincts of crocodiles and the expense of transport and handling, problem crocodiles are not relocated.

    OK, so they are protected, but they are managed closely around settlements. Government intervention seems to work OK in this case...

  11. Ruth, on this thread: "No one has said the girl is to blame."

    Ruth, on a related thread, discussing the death of two human being by crocodiles: "Shit happens. They were in the croc's territory."

    Compare and contrast.

  12. Yeah, PC, I would say they are two different things.

    'They were in the croc's territory' does not assert blame. Thats would be like saying a victim of the latest Bali bombings was at fault - 'They were in Bali - that's the radical bomber's territory'.

  13. That girl's parents need to teach her not to put her arm in a crocodile's mouth. If they had, this never would have happened. It's the fault of the parents, not the girl or the croc.

    Why is that so hard to see?


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