Patrick and the Prince…

This was the headline in the Vancouver Sun newspaper article that reprinted my correspondence with Prince Philip in his capacity as head of the World Wildlife Fund (known as the World Wide Fund for Nature in Europe). It all began with this Associated Press wire story that was filed in Geneva, Switzerland on March 11, 1996 and printed in thousands of newpapers around the world the next day. Here is part of the story that appeared in the Vancouver Province on March 12.

(If you don’t have a fast connection, get a cup of coffee. The image files in this section take awhile to load.)

   

Patrick and the Prince…

This was the headline in the Vancouver Sun newspaper article that reprinted my correspondence with Prince Philip in his capacity as head of the World Wildlife Fund (known as the World Wide Fund for Nature in Europe). It all began with this Associated Press wire story that was filed in Geneva, Switzerland on March 11, 1996 and printed in thousands of newpapers around the world the next day. Here is part of the story that appeared in the Vancouver Province on March 12.

(If you don’t have a fast connection, get a cup of coffee. The image files in this section take awhile to load.)

   

Patrick and the Prince…

I don’t believe that 50,000 species are going extinct every year and most certainly don’t believe that the main cause of species extinction, however many there are, is commercial logging. I wrote the following letter to Prince Philip, challenging WWF on the subject of extinction.

   

   

   

Patrick and the Prince…

Somewhat to my surprise a response to my letter came within two weeks. Prince Philip agreed with most of my points, in particular the point that commercial logging is in no way the main cause of species extinction. Here is his letter to me.

   

   

Since this exchange took place, I have challenged WWF to give me the Latin name of a single species that has become extinct due to forestry. To date I have not been provided with one, never mind the thousands they suggest. Why does WWF want the public to believe that logging is the main cause of species extinction? To get an idea, ask the question in a different way. If logging is not a major cause of species extinction, what other compelling reason is there to be against it? Just because it looks ugly for a few years as it begins to grow back? This is hardly sufficient cause to shut down one of the world’s most important industries, the industry that supplies the most renewable material resource used in human civilization.

Chicken Jokes…

So, you say, what’s chicken jokes got to do with serious stuff like ecology, biodiversity, environmental collapse, and ultimate death? Not a lot. Except I found that this particular set of chicken jokes shows how we all use words so differently, and how we all see the world so differently. Besides, they’re funny!

Plato:

  • For the greater good.

Karl Marx:

  • It was a historical inevitability.

Thomas de Torquemada:

  • Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I’ll find out.

Timothy Leary:

  • Because that’s the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.

Nietzsche:

  • Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.

Oliver North

  • National Security was at stake.

Carl Jung:

  • The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Jean-Paul Sartre:

  • In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Ludwig Wittgenstein:

  • The possibility of “crossing” was encoded into the objects “chicken” and “road,” and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.

Buddha

  • If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.

Salvador Dali:

  • The Fish.

Darwin:

  • It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

Emily Dickinson:

  • Because it could not stop for death.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

  • It didn’t cross the road; it transcended it.

Johann Friedrich von Goethe:

  • The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway:

  • To die. In the rain.

David Hume:

  • Out of custom and habit.

Saddam Hussein:

  • This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

Jack Nicholson:

  • ’cause it (censored) wanted to. That’s the (censored) reason.

John Sununu:

  • The Air Force was only too happy to provide the transportation, so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of the opportunity.

Sappho:

  • Due to the loveliness of the hen on the other side, more fair than all of Hellas’ fine armies.

Henry David Thoreau:

  • To live deliberately … and suck all the marrow out of life.

Mark Twain:

  • The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Stephen Jay Gould:

  • It is possible that there is a sociobiological explanation for it, but we have been deluged in recent years with sociobiological stories despite the fact that we have little direct evidence about the genetics of behavior, and we do not know how to obtain it for the specific behaviors that figure most prominently in sociobiological speculation.

Captain James T. Kirk:

  • To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

Machiavelli:

  • So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken’s dominion maintained.

Hippocrates:

  • Because of an excess of pleghm in its pancreas.

Andersen Consultant:

  • Deregulation of the chicken’s side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM) Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge capital and experiences to align the chicken’s people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework. Andersen Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and best chickens along with Andersen consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park like setting enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken’s mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. Andersen Consulting helped the chicken change to become more successful.

Chicken Jokes…

So, you say, what’s chicken jokes got to do with serious stuff like ecology, biodiversity, environmental collapse, and ultimate death? Not a lot. Except I found that this particular set of chicken jokes shows how we all use words so differently, and how we all see the world so differently. Besides, they’re funny!

Plato:

  • For the greater good.

Karl Marx:

  • It was a historical inevitability.

Thomas de Torquemada:

  • Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I’ll find out.

Timothy Leary:

  • Because that’s the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.

Nietzsche:

  • Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.

Oliver North

  • National Security was at stake.

Carl Jung:

  • The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Jean-Paul Sartre:

  • In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Ludwig Wittgenstein:

  • The possibility of “crossing” was encoded into the objects “chicken” and “road,” and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.

Buddha

  • If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.

Salvador Dali:

  • The Fish.

Darwin:

  • It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

Emily Dickinson:

  • Because it could not stop for death.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

  • It didn’t cross the road; it transcended it.

Johann Friedrich von Goethe:

  • The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway:

  • To die. In the rain.

David Hume:

  • Out of custom and habit.

Saddam Hussein:

  • This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

Jack Nicholson:

  • ’cause it (censored) wanted to. That’s the (censored) reason.

John Sununu:

  • The Air Force was only too happy to provide the transportation, so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of the opportunity.

Sappho:

  • Due to the loveliness of the hen on the other side, more fair than all of Hellas’ fine armies.

Henry David Thoreau:

  • To live deliberately … and suck all the marrow out of life.

Mark Twain:

  • The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Stephen Jay Gould:

  • It is possible that there is a sociobiological explanation for it, but we have been deluged in recent years with sociobiological stories despite the fact that we have little direct evidence about the genetics of behavior, and we do not know how to obtain it for the specific behaviors that figure most prominently in sociobiological speculation.

Captain James T. Kirk:

  • To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

Machiavelli:

  • So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken’s dominion maintained.

Hippocrates:

  • Because of an excess of pleghm in its pancreas.

Andersen Consultant:

  • Deregulation of the chicken’s side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM) Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge capital and experiences to align the chicken’s people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework. Andersen Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and best chickens along with Andersen consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park like setting enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken’s mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. Andersen Consulting helped the chicken change to become more successful.

Wilderness Protection…

With good reason, there is a lot of emphasis these days on wilderness protection. As usual, a lot of the attention in the media is on the controversial areas. I wrote this article for the International Journal of Wilderness, Volume 1(2), December, 1995. It provides an overview of the Protected Areas Strategy in British Columbia. I don’t believe there is a more aggresive, representative program to set aside new areas of wilderness in any other jurisdiction.

British Columbia’s Quiet Wilderness Revolution

Amidst the public clamor over logging practices in the Clayoquot Sound rainforest on Vancouver Island a quiet revolution is occurring in British Columbia’s vast remaining wilderness. Simply put, British Columbians are moving to establish new protected areas faster than any other jurisdiction on earth.

Historical Background

Until recent times the rich forest lands of British Columbia’s mountainous terrain were valued mainly for their timber and wildlife. Following World War II the forest industry grew rapidly and was the engine that fueled the post-war boom in material affluence for workers and owners alike. Little regard was paid to environmental impacts other than along salmon streams and even they were often damaged. The timber resource seemed inexhaustible as valleys of big trees stretched from horizon to horizon across the land.
Earlier in the history of the province a system of national and provincial parks had been established. In time-honored fashion these protected areas were generally located where there was little conflict with competing uses such as forestry and mining. The emphasis was on mountains and the surrounding high country, what has become known as “rocks and ice” to environmentalists who seek to include more productive lowlands in the park system.

At the turn of the century less than half of one per cent of the land base of British Columbia was officially protected as parks. In the 1920s this was increased to about two per cent and by 1950 a little more than four per cent of the province was designated as parkland. During the 1950s and 1960s the expansion was reversed as a number of parks were reduced in size or eliminated altogether. At the beginning of the 1970s only three and one half per cent of the province’s land was officially protected from development (Harding and McCullum, 1994).

The shrinking parklands and the growing emphasis on resource extraction came into headlong conflict with the emergence of the modern environmental movement in the early 1970’s. By 1980 there were well organized campaigns by groups such as the Sierra Club, the Valhalla Wilderness Society and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee to increase wilderness protection. In most cases these proposals were opposed by industrial interests. The result was two decades of confrontation and political debate over the future of scores of wilderness areas that had been allocated for resource extraction but were now targeted for preservation by the wilderness lobby. During those twenty years from 1970 to 1990 the protected area was gradually doubled from about three and one half per cent to seven per cent, indicating the strength of the environmental movement in the face of increasingly stiff opposition from forestry and mining interests. This set the stage for the revolution in land use planning and conservation that is now underway across the province.

Wilderness Protection…

With good reason, there is a lot of emphasis these days on wilderness protection. As usual, a lot of the attention in the media is on the controversial areas. I wrote this article for the International Journal of Wilderness, Volume 1(2), December, 1995. It provides an overview of the Protected Areas Strategy in British Columbia. I don’t believe there is a more aggresive, representative program to set aside new areas of wilderness in any other jurisdiction.

British Columbia’s Quiet Wilderness Revolution

Amidst the public clamor over logging practices in the Clayoquot Sound rainforest on Vancouver Island a quiet revolution is occurring in British Columbia’s vast remaining wilderness. Simply put, British Columbians are moving to establish new protected areas faster than any other jurisdiction on earth.

Historical Background

Until recent times the rich forest lands of British Columbia’s mountainous terrain were valued mainly for their timber and wildlife. Following World War II the forest industry grew rapidly and was the engine that fueled the post-war boom in material affluence for workers and owners alike. Little regard was paid to environmental impacts other than along salmon streams and even they were often damaged. The timber resource seemed inexhaustible as valleys of big trees stretched from horizon to horizon across the land.
Earlier in the history of the province a system of national and provincial parks had been established. In time-honored fashion these protected areas were generally located where there was little conflict with competing uses such as forestry and mining. The emphasis was on mountains and the surrounding high country, what has become known as “rocks and ice” to environmentalists who seek to include more productive lowlands in the park system.

At the turn of the century less than half of one per cent of the land base of British Columbia was officially protected as parks. In the 1920s this was increased to about two per cent and by 1950 a little more than four per cent of the province was designated as parkland. During the 1950s and 1960s the expansion was reversed as a number of parks were reduced in size or eliminated altogether. At the beginning of the 1970s only three and one half per cent of the province’s land was officially protected from development (Harding and McCullum, 1994).

The shrinking parklands and the growing emphasis on resource extraction came into headlong conflict with the emergence of the modern environmental movement in the early 1970’s. By 1980 there were well organized campaigns by groups such as the Sierra Club, the Valhalla Wilderness Society and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee to increase wilderness protection. In most cases these proposals were opposed by industrial interests. The result was two decades of confrontation and political debate over the future of scores of wilderness areas that had been allocated for resource extraction but were now targeted for preservation by the wilderness lobby. During those twenty years from 1970 to 1990 the protected area was gradually doubled from about three and one half per cent to seven per cent, indicating the strength of the environmental movement in the face of increasingly stiff opposition from forestry and mining interests. This set the stage for the revolution in land use planning and conservation that is now underway across the province.

Wilderness Protection…

The Past Decade

In 1986 the UN Commission on Environment and Development published its landmark report on sustainable development, “Our Common Future” (Brundtland, 1986). They suggested adopting a goal of protecting twelve per cent of the global land base from development, triple the amount protected at the time. This was taken up by environmentalists around the world, nowhere more than in Canada and its western-most province, British Columbia. In 1989 the World Wildlife Fund Canada officially announced its Endangered Spaces program calling for twelve per cent of Canada to be set aside as protected wilderness (Hummel, 1989). In 1990 the Canadian Parliament agreed in principle with a unanimous vote calling for the twelve per cent target to be achieved by the year 2000. While the vote itself didn’t result in immediate action it provided government agencies with a goal and set the wheels in motion to achieve it.

   

The movement to achieve the twelve per cent target is most advanced in the province of British Columbia. When the New Democratic Party (NDP) won the provincial elections in 1991 they came in with a platform to nearly double the area of protected lands to twelve per cent and to do so by the year 2000. They also promised a wide range of legislation to improve forestry practices and settle the land use debate. During the past three and one half years they have delivered on many of these promises. There is now almost no question that the target for wilderness protection will be met.

Since 1992 the government of British Columbia has been legislating an average of about 800,000 hectares (2 million acres) of new protected areas per year. This is four times the area of land that is logged each year. All logged lands are either naturally regenerated or planted with native species, mostly from seeds collected in the wild. During the decade of the ninety’s, at least, the rate of protection is far greater than the rate of development. At this writing 103 new protected areas have been proclaimed in BC bringing the total to 8,663,800 hectares (21,400,000 acres) or 9.14 per cent of the provincial land base of 94,780,000 hectares (234,200,000 acres). These range in size from the tiny two hectare (five acre) Haro Woods municipal park on Vancouver Island to the vast 958,000 hectare (2,367,000 acre) Tatshenshini-Alsek provincial park in north-west BC adjacent to Alaska and the Yukon. It includes the world’s largest undeveloped coastal rainforest watershed with the creation of the 317,291 hectare (784,000 acre) Kitlope provincial park on the central coast of the BC mainland. Fully 34 per cent or 48,492 hectares (120,000 acres) of the controversial Clayoquot Sound rainforest on the west coast of Vancouver Island are now fully protected including three entire undeveloped watersheds. Each of the 103 new parks has its own unique features and add up to a tremendous increase in biodiversity protection and potential wilderness experience for hikers, naturalists and scientists.

Wilderness Protection…

Put in another context the additions that have been made to BC’s protected areas in the last three years are greater than the combined State and National Parks in all of California. The total park area for BC is more than two and one-half times that of California, Oregon and Washington put together and are now equivalent in area to all protected land in the US states west of the Mississippi with the exception of Texas (US Government, 1994). When the twelve per cent goal has been reached British Columbia will have as much protected land as the entire lower 48 states with the exception of Florida. If, as is widely expected, the total ends up closer to 13 per cent, even Florida could be included in the comparison. This is the province that has been labeled “Brazil of the North” by some environmental activists for its forest policy (McCrory, 1992), an epithet that many believe is an unfair slur on both jurisdictions.

Ecoscience-Driven Wilderness Protection

Perhaps even more significant than the size of the area protected is the fact that the wilderness system is now based on representative ecosystems. Prior to the introduction of the Protected Area Strategy there had been no systematic plan to ensure that all ecosystem types were included in the protected area system. Parks had been created on their own merits for various reasons ranging from recreation to scenic beauty to unique biological features. In particular, though, there was a lot more rocks and ice than commercially valuable forest lands in the mix. Redressing this imbalance is an integral part of the Protected Area Strategy. A detailed “gap analysis” of existing protected areas compared to ecosystem types was done to determine what was missing from the system. This is a complex task as British Columbia has the most diverse range of climates and ecosystem types of any jurisdiction in North America. Fortunately, the ecology of BC has been well documented through the Biogeoclimatic Zone Classification System developed by the late Dr. Vladimir Krajina (Meidinger and Pojar, 1991). This ecologically-based and highly refined system is now the foundation for both wilderness protection and forest management in the province.
Many of the new parks are specifically intended to fill the gaps and this has resulted in a greater emphasis on the protection of commercially valuable forest lands than was previously the case. Because of this it has been doubly difficult for the forest industry to accept the new reality of increased protection. This leads into the most fascinating part of the story; how did the Protected Area Strategy succeed in the face of such strongly polarized interests?

Implementing “Common Future” Round Tables

Another of the recommendations in Our Common Future was that all national, state or provincial, and local levels of government should establish “round tables” in order to bring people from all interests together to fashion sustainable development strategies for their jurisdictions. Canadian governments were particularly enthusiastic about this approach and by 1991 formal Round Tables on the Environment and Economy had been established by the federal, all ten provincial and the two territorial governments. Although they were constituted somewhat differently they were all variations on the theme of multi-stakeholder citizens groups with a mandate to find consensus on matters of sustainability. In addition, they provided working models of consensus decision-making process. As a group the Canadian Round Tables prepared the definitive document on the structure and process for reaching agreements (Canadian Round Tables, 1993).