A cat on the environment, EU and other matters
It has been several months since Marine Café Blog last had a chat with Frankie the Philosopher Cat. Although he didn’t have his favourite smoked oysters for lunch today, he was not, thankfully, more grumpy than usual. He was lounging about in the garden, looking a bit contemplative. Here’s how our conversation went:
Marine Café Blog: You seem to be enjoying yourself out here in the garden.
Frankie: It’s hot and humid inside the house. Darn this global warming.
MCB: You heard about the ‘March for Science’ on Earth Day, 22nd of April. What do you think of that event?
Frankie: Crazy environmental activitists. Respect for Mother Earth is not a question of science. It’s a question of the spirit, of values.
MCB: Aren’t you in favour of promoting science?
Frankie: Of course I am. But I’m against deifying science or scientists. Science is not infallible! There has been some bad science, as you very well know from history.
MCB: I think the Earth Day march was meant to call out the climate change deniers.
Frankie: Crazy climate change deniers.
MCB: Why do you say that?
Frankie: You have to be crazy not to feel climate change. Tell me, is the month of April this year as hot as when you were a teenager?
MCB: No. It’s much hotter now.
Frankie: There you go.
MCB: Well, despite the heat and humidity, inspectors from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) visited the country last March to conduct another inspection. Don’t you just admire them?
Frankie: Why should I? Those folks apparently love to travel, and they get paid for doing it. Nothing heroic about that.
MCB: But you’ll have to agree that the latest EMSA inspection was important.
Frankie: Yeah, right. EMSA has conducted five inspections since the first one in 2006. Five! Each time, they find additional deficiencies.
MCB: So where do you think it’s all going?
Frankie: EU derecognition of Filipino ship officers’ certificates is no longer on the table. Of course, they won’t say so. They want to keep the country on its toes. So you can expect more inspection visits from EMSA — unless Marine Le Pen wins the second round of the French presidential election on 7th May.
MCB: What has the French election got to do with the EMSA visits?
Frankie: Marine Le Pen has promised to get France out of the EU if she wins. Since France can be described as the heart of Europe, Frexit would mean the collapse of the EU — and no more EMSA.
MCB: Are you willing to bet on a Le Pen victory?
Frankie: Come on, you know that gambling is against my religion. Let me just say that almost all the pundits never imagined that Donald J. Trump would become the 45th US president.
MCB: Forget about the French election. Do you foresee the EU ever collapsing?
Frankie: What difference will it make if the EU remains intact or falls apart? As you have said yourself, Filipinos are obsessed with manning other nations’ fleets. Filipinos will continue to work their butts off as seamen and seawomen, and European shipowners will continue hiring them. It’s all about economics.
MCB: Aren’t you glad that the country is the world’s no. 1 supplier of seamen?
Frankie: To paraphrase a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your manning business.
Frankie: Can I have some smoked oysters for dinner tonight?
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Read Marine Café Blog’s previous interview with Frankie: A cat talks US politics, world shipping