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Old 03-22-2014, 10:04 PM   #31
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So I actually just went and looked at the EIA report (it's online and easy to find) and then actually looked up the hankos they point out are the cause of concerns about illegal ivory poaching. On the Japanese site. And learned a few things.

1. Hankos are traditionally made out of ivory, as one of their normal materials, so there's a demand for ivory ones in Japan.

2. The report admits it cannot tell which are illegally poached, and which are legally poached, but they assume each hanko is probably not legal, or at least a large number of them, but they don't explain how they get to this assumption.

3. The closely correlate the number of hanko on sale on Rakuten.jp.co last year with the same number of illegally poached elephants in Africa, never mind the fact you can make a lot of hanko from the tusks of one elephant -- a hanko or name seal is about the size of a finger. At its largest.

4. Most of the hankos? All? Seem to be sold through third-party sellers, just like Amazon -- it's not Rakuten harvesting and selling them. It's other buyers who are listing them on a large e-marketplace, i.e. Rakuten.

I'm actually a big environmental advocate -- but I do get tired of half-truths being passed off as righteous indignation in the internet. And this seems like it could be more refined into a stronger argument than the actual report makes.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:55 AM   #32
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Governments have large stockpiles of confiscated illegal ivory. Some of these stockpiles have been destroyed and to protect the elephants they want it all destroyed reducing demand. I think this is backwards making ivory harder to get, increasing value and demand.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:13 AM   #33
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The more I find out about this the more I think it is a bit of weak and hamfisted marketing for Kindle.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:31 AM   #34
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The more I find out about this the more I think it is a bit of weak and hamfisted marketing for Kindle.
Now that is taking conspiracy to a whole new level!

If you believe it, then yes, Amazon are out to get you, quick run for your life.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:41 AM   #35
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In a way, I have to agree with this.

Let's look at the facts: whales live underwater, sound travels far underwater, whales have good hearing, whales generate sound (and presumably understand these sounds), whales are allegedly intelligent, whales aren't on Twitter or Facebook.

How much intelligence does it take to get from 'hear boat' to 'swim away'? Or even from 'hear boat' to 'dive, swim behind boat, surface, moon boat'? Cockroaches have it down: 'see light' leads immediately to 'run and hide'. And they're smaller than the barnacles on a whale.
How much intelligence does it take for a species not to destroy its own ecosystem. More than we have, it seems. By that token, whales are brighter than humans. Maybe they should eat us.

But yeah, this puts me off of Kobo. But then how many ethical companies are there? Certainly not Amazon or Apple, who treat their temp staff like slave labor.

The sad thing is, many people don't give a damn.

Last edited by Rizla; 03-23-2014 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:53 PM   #36
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The fact is those in control most often value money and power in the immediate sense more than they care to be bothered by longer term problems. Some of it may be related to the generally short life of a human being influencing our ideas of long term importance and of course we rationalize everything from "What can I do?" to "I'll be dead and gone by then..." or the ever popular, "Relax, somebody will come up with a solution to that in the future, fusion is just around the corner..."

I've wondered more than a few times just how it would effect the decisions of those who really run things if they knew they were going to be around for a few hundred years longer... or were all compelled to leave progeny behind. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, most at the top of the pyramid have very little care beyond themselves and their immediate circles or continuing to do what they did to get there. I suspect most are as caught up in their immediate worlds as we are in ours. Pity we can't all be caught up in the real world, or figure out how to work together to have greater impact. Maybe the simple fact is most do not embody the drive to do more than we must, or feel we truly need.

Or maybe it's that they have no idea what to do more than most of the rest of us do... It's easy to jump on the soap box and say we should stop doing this and start doing that, but a lot more complex to implement methods to accomplish those goals.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:34 PM   #37
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First, I dislike imperialism, political or cultural, so I was stopped there: Kobo are good people.

Second, if I refused to do business with any company having a business relationship with a business in a country with cultural practices I dislike, I wouldn't be able to do business with anyone: the world economy is interdependent. So of course I'd buy a Kobo, they sell a good product.

Third, the people poaching and trading in elephant ivory are criminals. I don't know how to make crime stop in my own country much less around the world, but I'm sure that punishing an innocent third party for someone else's crime is not going to help the problem. It's just as wrong to put blame on someone for what someone else did as it is to give credit to someone for someone else's accomplishment. So, again, since I can see no rational connection between buying a Kobo and ecological crimes done by criminals continents away, I will certainly continue to use Kobo products. They're good people with a good product.

Last edited by 6charlong; 03-27-2014 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:18 AM   #38
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I've read through this thread, and seen the wide range of opinions. Here is something completely different: a URL for a petition which ask Rakuten to help stop killing whales and rhinos.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/693/7...?z00m=20912921
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:09 AM   #39
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a petition which ask Rakuten to help stop killing whales and rhinos.
Rakuten isn't killing anything.

They are providing an e-commerce site were anyone in Japan can sell pretty much anything.

And Ivory comes from Elephants, not Rhinos.

And, beware, we've had an outbreak of Rhinos here in Sydney, but everyone keeps thinking they're Hippos!

Last edited by murg; 03-30-2014 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:46 AM   #40
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I'm gonna be the douchebag here...

What the heck does this whole conversation/topic has anything to do with Kobo? Like seriously...

I'm just glad that Kobo is a good reader and I love my Glo to bits. So unless Kobo produces a limited edition reader made of ivory we can leave Kobo out of this.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:26 AM   #41
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I'm gonna be the douchebag here...

What the heck does this whole conversation/topic has anything to do with Kobo? Like seriously...
Ratuken own Kobo so it's a simple connection - is question was should do you support a company which makes money lrgally but arguably immorally i.e. which enables the underlying activities by providing an e-commerce platform where people profit from killing endangered species.

It's like: would you have invested in a shipping company in the 1800s if you knew that their profits mostly came from slavery, even though slavery was legal at the time

Or for milder examples: if I shop at Asda I need to accept that I enriching the owners of WalMart : some of the most greedy, selfish & unethical people on the planet.- & when I shop at Amazon I am supporting the use of "zero hours" contracts that the guys who pack my parcel are forced to sign....

PS it's good to see that Ratuken recently blocked selliing whale stuff, after the UN found that there was nothing remotely "scentific" about Japan's "scientific" whale slaughtering

Last edited by cybmole; 04-13-2014 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:22 AM   #42
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Ahem. The point of research whaling is not to perform science on the whale cadavers, but to gather data on populations and how they respond to whaling. And seems like a waste, not to mention disrespectful to let the meat go to waste after the catch.

Now I will grant you that japanese fishery authorities are probably a little too lenient in granting whale quotas and much of it _is_ probably driven by commercial interests and not scientific. But to say there's "nothing scientific" about it is just hyperbolic.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:03 AM   #43
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Ahem. The point of research whaling is not to perform science on the whale cadavers, but to gather data on populations .
somewhat off topic, but our own government regularly gathers data on populations - its called a census. there's not a lot of mass slaughter involved.

it's normally quite easy to count things without killing them

& why do the Japanese want to know how many whales they hve not already killed , except for calculating how many more cat food tins they could turn them into...

THE, HAGUE – The U.N.’s top court on Monday ordered Japan to end its annual Antarctic whale hunt, saying in a landmark ruling that the program was a commercial activity disguised as science.

The judgment by the International Court of Justice in The Hague is binding, final and ineligible for appeal, forcing Japan to drastically change the whaling program it long claimed was for “scientific research.”

.....

In a March 31 ruling, the ICJ, the United Nation's highest court, ordered Japan to stop granting permits for whale hunts in the Antarctic. Japan has a long history of hunting whales and had been taking advantage of a loophole in a worldwide ban on whaling established in 1986; Japan chalked up its annual hunts for what it said were scientific and research purposes.
Whaling for profit is banned internationally,
.....

Last edited by cybmole; 04-13-2014 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:41 AM   #44
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... but you don't hunt your human constituents for food, do you? :-)
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