The new regulations from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service are, of course, intended to wreck the demand for new ivory and thereby protect the elephants. The NYT has an op-ed titled "The Wrong Way to Protect Elephants," which doesn't really offer much hope of finding a right way:
We should encourage China, where much of the poached ivory ends up, to start a detailed public education campaign that underscores the damage done to elephant populations by the illegal trade in ivory. We also need more aggressive enforcement of anti-poaching efforts in Africa. And we should figure out a way to manage the trade in raw ivory to protect elephants. For instance, several years ago, ivory stockpiles owned by several African countries were sold in a series of United Nations-approved auctions in an effort to undercut illegal ivory trafficking. The proceeds went to elephant conservation efforts. This is a better approach than destroying these stockpiles, as the United States did last fall to six tons of ivory.Here's a comment at the second link:
First, that some folks, who own ivory objects, can't import them, export them or sell them, because they can't prove they were legally taken, and that this is a sad thing for them because they have sentimental attachments to them. My response? Too bad. Those objects have the stench of death. This is why I had all those ivory keys on MY piano removed and destroyed. I did not want to touch those objects, once I was made aware of what they meant.It's extreme and hysterical to hate the existing objects, but I don't see how good liberals can object to policymaking that takes aim at affluent Americans and their cherished property. I don't see how good liberals can say: Why don't they go educate the ignorant Chinese and imprison more of those brutal Africans? There's some absurdly blind snobbery in stroking NYT readers about the beautiful pianos and violin bows and elderly art objects. Where's the usual assumption that it's the rich who must pay? Is there some high-culture exception to the usual empathy with Third Worlders?