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U.S. Crushes 6 Tons of Ivory to "Send Message" to Poachers
Townhall.com ^ | November 17, 2013 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 11/17/2013 5:53:08 AM PST by Kaslin

Here's an interesting video of the US taking 6 tons of confiscated ivory to Africa to crush it. The purpose was to "send a message" to poachers.

The entire worldwide elephant population is 500,000. They are vanishing at a rate of 50,000 per year, just for their ivory.

A couple of people sent me this video, Reader Michael was first.

Link if video does not play: U.S. crushes 6 tons of confiscated ivory to send message to poachers

Africa's elephants are being slaughtered at a record pace by poachers who hope to get rich by selling their ivory tusks.

The U.S. has been trying to stop it. And today the feds sent a powerful message -- by gathering all the ivory they have seized in the past quarter-century and bringing it to a wildlife refuge in Colorado.

Where millions once roamed free across Africa, the numbers of elephants have plummeted because of poaching to about 500,000.

Poaching was the source of six tons of illegal ivory confiscated by U.S. officials, from raw tusks to exquisitely carved statues.

Robert Ruggiero, who runs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's anti-poaching effort in Africa, says the poachers will stop at nothing to get the ivory tusks. "Even poachers who are killed are readily replaced. There's an endless supply of people willing to take those risks," Ruggiero said.

The soaring demand comes mostly from newly rich Chinese, who see ivory as a status symbol. A pound of ivory now sells for more than $1,000 on the streets of Beijing.


The Math

1 ton = 2,000 pounds
6 tons destroyed
Street price = $1,000 pound
6 * 2,000 * $1,000 = $12,000,000

$12 million dollars is not a lot to the U.S. But it is a lot to Kenya.

Carved Ivory



Carved ivory is surely worth a lot more than raw ivory. 10 times more? I don't know.

Unfortunately there was no breakdown of how much carved ivory was crushed, but the video showed rooms of it being boxed for destruction. For the sake of argument, let's just assume the entire lot could have fetched $50 million at auction.

I have a simple question: What if instead of crushing that ivory, the US auctioned the ivory with all proceeds going to African nations for anti-poaching efforts?

How many people could Kenya have hired for $50 million? Wouldn't that have done more for the elephants than crushing it?



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: elephants; imports; ivory; poaching
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1 posted on 11/17/2013 5:53:08 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Insane waste.


2 posted on 11/17/2013 5:56:00 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Kaslin

When the supply is dramatically diminished, what is likely to happen to the value of the remaining product? I wonder if the poachers have done the math.


3 posted on 11/17/2013 5:56:31 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: Kaslin

Ivory is NOW 10,000 dollars a pound..


4 posted on 11/17/2013 6:00:30 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Kaslin

Ivory is NOW 10,000 dollars a pound..


5 posted on 11/17/2013 6:00:49 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: BenLurkin
Magnificent beasts.

I couldn't help but wonder if there isn't some practical use for crushed ivory..

6 posted on 11/17/2013 6:01:15 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: Kaslin

Auction off the ivory. Then use the money to hire armed guards to protect the elephant herds. That would make more sense.


7 posted on 11/17/2013 6:01:18 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: ClearCase_guy
"When the supply is dramatically diminished, what is likely to happen to the value of the remaining product? I wonder if the poachers have done the math."

Maybe not, but I think the US has some capitalistic fingers in this "Damn those poachers to hell" pie.

8 posted on 11/17/2013 6:02:56 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: vladimir998

Auction off the ivory.

This would reduce the demand, lower the prices and make raw ivory less valuable.


9 posted on 11/17/2013 6:05:20 AM PST by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Kaslin

The left fails at math again. Perhaps, spending the money to flood the market with good fake ivory would be a real message.

What part of rarity of commodity do these socialists fail to understand?


10 posted on 11/17/2013 6:05:47 AM PST by Steamburg (Other people's money is the only language a politician respects)
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To: knarf

The poaching problem could be solved with industrious husbandry.

Use of the entire elephant could provide a wide variety of products.


11 posted on 11/17/2013 6:06:50 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Kaslin

I would prefer they put the ivory back on the elephants.


12 posted on 11/17/2013 6:07:22 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: knarf
I couldn't help but wonder if there isn't some practical use for crushed ivory.

Soap.

13 posted on 11/17/2013 6:08:04 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: knarf

It’s the same satanic-minded spirituality that led Obama to destroy perfectly good cars because their fuel mileage was not good enough (disregarding how the cars might be used).

Why not give the ivory back to Africa and let them decide what to do with it.


14 posted on 11/17/2013 6:08:29 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
More proof that these government bureaucrats do not understand basic economics. They have just made poaching more lucrative. Why has the government, from time to time, paid farmers to destroy crops? To send a message to them to stop producing? Of course not, it is meant to drive the price up.
15 posted on 11/17/2013 6:09:05 AM PST by fhayek
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To: Kaslin

How about a market solution allowing private individuals to outright own elephants and attendant ivory products?

Among other things, instead of finding dead elephants one would be finding dead poachers.


16 posted on 11/17/2013 6:09:40 AM PST by Arm_Bears (Refuse; Resist; Rebel; Revolt!)
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To: mountainlion

This would have been more normal anyhow. Usually when something that violates customs is confiscated, they don’t destroy it; in fact usually the customs official who caught it gets to keep it.


17 posted on 11/17/2013 6:10:39 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: Arm_Bears

Elephant farming?

Also, naturally deceased elephants could have ivory taken; RF tag live elephants and just wait till they aren’t moving any more.


18 posted on 11/17/2013 6:12:20 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: Kaslin

And just made the ivory NOT in the governments possession more valuable.


19 posted on 11/17/2013 6:13:04 AM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms....."e)
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To: Kaslin
Here is the message:

The USA Is Now Governed By Clueless Idiots.


20 posted on 11/17/2013 6:16:05 AM PST by Iron Munro (When a killer screams 'Allahu Akbar' you don't need to be mystified about a motive.)
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To: Kaslin

I hate this. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Talibanish.


21 posted on 11/17/2013 6:17:18 AM PST by Jedidah
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To: Kaslin

In a supply/demand economy these jerks just reduced the supply and did nothing to reduce demand.

The end result of destroying “old” ivory is to increase pressure to harvest more “new” ivory, not less.


22 posted on 11/17/2013 6:19:17 AM PST by Iron Munro (When a killer screams 'Allahu Akbar' you don't need to be mystified about a motive.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Well, it sent a message to poachers: The price of ivory will be going through the roof, so you need to do more of the sorry trade you are doing.


23 posted on 11/17/2013 6:19:49 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Kaslin
The U.S. has been trying to stop it

There are always unintended consequences in the world of central planning. Perhaps that thought could be best expressed thusly, "unrevealed consequences”.

A consequence, unrevealed or unintended, is that the U.S. creates employment for people whose continued employment is dependent on continued ivory poaching.

24 posted on 11/17/2013 6:23:57 AM PST by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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To: Vigilanteman

(Chuckling) That so!


25 posted on 11/17/2013 6:24:58 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: BenLurkin

One of the most stupid messages ever sent.

The message sent to poachers was we destroyed the Ivory you already sent here and got paid for, so go out and get some more.


26 posted on 11/17/2013 6:25:01 AM PST by Venturer (Keep Obama and you aint seen nothing yet.)
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To: Kaslin

The poachers already got their money. How stupid and wastfull.


27 posted on 11/17/2013 6:25:31 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (On the evening of 10/16/13, the ailing republican party breathed its last breath.)
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To: Kaslin
The entire worldwide elephant population is 500,000. They are vanishing at a rate of 50,000 per year, just for their ivory.

That phrase reminds me of the number of square miles of rain forest being cleared in Brazil. It's very measurable but will likely not reflect reality. Just like Brazil deforestation, the calculated rate of demise will reach 0 long before the reality.

28 posted on 11/17/2013 6:26:53 AM PST by Dutch Boy
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To: MosesKnows

Making it easy to multiply legitimate ivory sources would be a better approach. How many elephants die naturally and their tusks never get used?


29 posted on 11/17/2013 6:27:02 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: Venturer

And it’s worth more, now!


30 posted on 11/17/2013 6:27:46 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: Kaslin

Another moment when the word government means something a bit less complimentary.


31 posted on 11/17/2013 6:28:44 AM PST by lurk
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To: Lazamataz
PHHT !!

Y'owe me a keyboard Laz ... go to church and confess the stumbling block you put in front of your brother.

32 posted on 11/17/2013 6:29:50 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: Kaslin

The poachers already made their money, they don’t care what they do with the ivory.

The middle man might be PO’d, but not the poachers.


33 posted on 11/17/2013 6:29:56 AM PST by IMR 4350
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To: Dutch Boy

50,000 elephants’ worth of ivory is how much ivory? Where is it going? I know it sure isn’t becoming piano keys.

I wonder if our scientists can come out of their, er, “ivory towers” and figure out how to get the world more ivory without reducing the world population of elephants.


34 posted on 11/17/2013 6:30:12 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: knarf

:)


35 posted on 11/17/2013 6:32:13 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: Kaslin
"What if instead of crushing that ivory, the US auctioned the ivory with all proceeds going to African nations for anti-poaching efforts?

Some of the reports coming out of Africa indicate that much of this ivory poaching is done by the same agents the government hired to protect these elephants.

36 posted on 11/17/2013 6:34:44 AM PST by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war, and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: Kaslin
How is destruction of valuable materials supposed to fix anything?
Here's what they could have done:
Make Old Ivory legal. New Ivory is already illegal.
Spread some harmless but easily identified isotope across elephant territory, that from then on will be detectable in all new ivory.

37 posted on 11/17/2013 6:36:39 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: Kaslin

A smarter thing to do would be to dump it all on the market at once, which would depress prices and make ivory hunting less profitable


38 posted on 11/17/2013 6:37:23 AM PST by rdcbn
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To: Kaslin

The Regime has made up its mind, don’t confuse them with logic.


39 posted on 11/17/2013 6:38:51 AM PST by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of 0bama’s America)
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To: Kaslin

By the way, did you know that you can legally purchase a chess set made out of mammoth ivory? (http://www.houseofstaunton.com/chess-pieces/luxury-wooden-chess-pieces.html?src=left). I guess that now that the species is extinct, what’s the difference? It will only set you back thirteen grand.


40 posted on 11/17/2013 6:39:56 AM PST by fhayek
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To: Kaslin

Woolly Mammoth ivory is unearthed all the time in Alaska and Siberia. It is legal to sell and trade since the woolly mammoth is not an endangered species. Though the tusks look different, it’s very hard to tell if a carved object was made from elephant ivory or wooly mammoth ivory.


41 posted on 11/17/2013 6:39:57 AM PST by SeeSharp
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To: vladimir998
Auction off the ivory. Then use the money to hire armed guards to protect the elephant herds. That would make more sense.

Extending your idea, have elephant ranches. Every so often, tranquilize an elephant, trim off the end of his tusks, sell the ivory, use the money to pay for guards.

Have the local government declare the elephant preserves to be free-fire zones, wherein any trespassers may be shot on sight. I'm sure they could even sell tickets to some people to be "poacher hunters", with the right to hunt down and kill poachers for sport.

42 posted on 11/17/2013 6:41:37 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Kaslin

All this does is make the next batch of ivory of greater value. I just read the long CNN article on Ted Turner. The man has a lot to answer for but he did bring the bison back from extinction. He made them profitable. I’ve long believed that the way to save the elephant is to harvest the ivory and try to somewhat domesticate the beast. The day of massive herbivores roaming the romanic plains is over. Instead, encourage them to live in certain areas and market their ivory to pay the cost. I haven’t worked out how you convince the huge bull elephants to let us cut off their tusks but I’m sure that there’s some way to do that. LOL


43 posted on 11/17/2013 6:44:55 AM PST by Mercat
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To: Kaslin
The entire worldwide elephant population is 500,000. They are vanishing at a rate of 50,000 per year, just for their ivory.

Elephants managed on private ground with the owners allowed to raise them for ivory would get adequate protection from poachers.

44 posted on 11/17/2013 6:49:48 AM PST by Carry_Okie ("Single payer" is Medicaid for all; they'll pull the sheet over your head when you're done.)
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To: Kaslin
from raw tusks to exquisitely carved statues.

Sounds like the actions of some 7th century cult. You know, the ones who couldn't build the Trade Towers, so in anger they destroyed them.

45 posted on 11/17/2013 6:53:15 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Damn ObamaCare, full speed ahead!)
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To: Kaslin

Lemmie see, now................

Destroying “product”............

Decreases demand??? Reduces supply??? Mr. Friedman, call your office.


46 posted on 11/17/2013 6:55:07 AM PST by Flintlock ("The redcoats are coming" -- TO SEIZE OUR GUNS!!--Paul Revere)
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To: Kaslin

The US Federal Government is a hammer and everything and everyone in the world looks like a nail. This government does nothing with finesse.


47 posted on 11/17/2013 6:55:27 AM PST by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: ClearCase_guy; All

“When the supply is dramatically diminished, what is likely to happen to the value of the remaining product? I wonder if the poachers have done the math.”

Exactly. This is startlingly similar to the gun destruction of gun “buy backs”.

Insane waste to make nonsensical political statements.


48 posted on 11/17/2013 7:01:19 AM PST by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: fhayek
The govt has just made a VERY high priced commodity into a PRICELESS commodity and given the poachers every incentive to increase their kill rate enormously higher.

Friggin morons!

49 posted on 11/17/2013 7:03:16 AM PST by HeartlandOfAmerica (OCare: 500 million lines of code (it took just 500 thousand lines of code to send a rover to Mars))
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To: Kaslin

As stupid as the car crushing...Sell the damn stuff on a one time basis. You can be certain that this as all been pilfered over the years...and those wonderful museum people and archeologists have Swiss bank accounts.


50 posted on 11/17/2013 7:05:00 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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