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[GreenYes] Vignette
    It IS Friday, and with the break in the heat wave, the summer of 2001 is
about to slowly wind itself down into fall.

    What better time for a lovely story like this lifted from today's Wall
Street Journal ("Gentle Leviathan's") in a review of Dick Russell's new
book, "Eye of the Whale," about gray whales.

    After a century of being slaughtered to near extinction by man, grays
had responded in the 19th century with a reputation for ferocity, never
giving up without a fight, and even attacking any boat that approached them,
especially if calves were present.

    Until suddenly in recent years in this era of leviathan conservation
efforts, grays have had a change of heart and now let themselves be petted,
kissed and even let tourists climb on their backs.  "Mother [grays] with
calves swim up to greet whale-watching boats, seeming to nudge their babies
closer to the intruders' outstretched hands."

    Ironically, though, the grays' population  resurgence under global
protection efforts has led to renewed indifference and antagonism to the
species all over again.

    In Mexico, Mitsubishi Corp. -- the manufacturer, I would note, of MXD-6,
the nylon-like barrier used in plastic beer bottles which is the only reason
I mention all this -- proposed to build a salt recovery plant in the San
Ignacio Lagoon, an area designated by the UN as a World Heritage Site, where
the whales breed.

    The project would have gone forward in that development starved country
like greased lightning had it not been for the 11th hour intervention of
then Presidnet Ernesto Zedillo in the winter of 2000 cancelling it.
Apparently, the story heard by Russell goes, Zedillo "paid a quiet visit to
the lagoon with his family -- a visit during which the whales flocked to his
boat, with one calf even lifting its head from the water for Mr. Zedillo's
wife to kiss it."

    Now that is one crafty calf, and it would seem that there's more than
one way to skin a very large corporation.


Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 231-1100
Fax (608) 233-0011

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