Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Environmentalism awareness has increased in recent years. For better or worse, much of this is based on common Media coverage which focuses more sensationalism than on actual useful information. This tends to encourage emotional responses over reasoned action, even by supposed scientists.


It is true that each of us does contribute to the overall effect that humans have on the environment. It is not so true that individual actions taken by each one of us can have a counter-effect. We act as a force collectively. For us to counter our negative impact on the environment, we must collectively act.


The term "Invasion Species" is use to describe a species that somehow arrives and often thrives in an area where it did not previously exist (non-native). Invasion species can be animals, plants or other types of lifeforms. In the past few decades, scientists and other conservationists have taken upon themselves to somehow magically know that all invasion species must somehow be stopped. Conservationists often feel that every remaining natural environment must be absolutely preserved in the manner in which they believed it originally was prior to human influence. This is pure human arrogance and is not based on factual examination of nature. Who's to say that humans are not playing a natural role by introducing species to new areas or adjusting the environment (intentionally or accidentally) to allow some species to expand into new areas? Who's to say that humans have any role at all in some cases, to protect, prevent or be the cause of such movement of species populations? Why is it that nature must be preserved in the exact way it was when we discovered it? The answer is in nature itself. Survival of the fittest is the only rule applied. Anything else is human emotional response to things we truly shouldn't try to control. I once saw an interview with a local county park ranger. The ranger discussed plans with the news reporter to destroy some trees that had grown on a previously bare hill. What harm did the trees cause? They where supplanting native species. But, as mentioned, the location they grew was previously bare, so which native trees were being displaced? Additionally, this world is about survival of the fittest. Why should humans interfere with that process when humans are negligibly impacted?


What if new species where to suddenly appear? With the current conservationist's mindset, new species would need to be destroyed in favor of the current state of things. Crazy? It's already happening. A newly discovered type of ocean based alga has been growing just off shore in Southern California and in the Mediterranean Sea. Granted, this isn't an actual new species (yet) and it has the potential to become a pest to human interests, but as it stands now, it appears that evolution is taking its course through survival of the fittest. Humans have a two part role in the spread of this species. First, we have been warming Earth's environment for many years, and new species are likely to emerge to adapt to the new environmental realities. Second, we are very effective as transporting species from one ecosystem to another very quickly, giving old species the chance to become something new, as in the case of this alga.


Two humpback whales (presumably a mother and its calf) have recently swum up the Sacramento River in Northern California. There's been a ton of sensational Media coverage. The first thing interested scientists start talking about? "How are we going to rescue these poor lost whales?" What rubbish! Almost everyday the news reported a new reason why the whales must be rescued.

1. "They are lost and need to find their way back to the ocean before they starve!" This is nonsense. Adult humpback whales fast at this time of year, feeding off of their own blubber. The mother feeds the calf with milk sourced from the same.

2. "It appears that one of the whales was catch in a fishing net and needs help getting back to the ocean!" To the best of my knowledge, fishing nets of the size needed to snare a humpback whale aren't even allowed in the Sacramento River as they would likely interfere with industrial shipping, which has the right of way in all waterways. Not only that, both whales have been swimming freely since they arrived.

3. "It appears that the mother has a huge gash caused by a boat propeller and needs help finding her way back to the ocean so the salt water could help naturally heal the injury." Within the same news report, the reporter admits that the injury couldn't be deep enough to adversely impact the whale in any way (didn't even cut through the outer layer of blubber). Not only that, both whales have been filmed over and over in recent days swimming along the surface, and no such gashes are even visible.

All of these were excuses that some interested parties have been trying to propagandize in order to have public support for trying to remove the whales from the river. Some of the efforts have been ill-thought out. The first attempt was to use male humpback whale songs to lure the duo out of the river. Umm, correct me if I'm wrong, but this humpback mother has already mated and is raising a calf. Why would she swim to a male humpback song? Also, each whale comes from particular groups that sing in different dialects. Having a song from a male singing in the wrong dialect is exactly like trying to talk to an English speaking person by showing them a newscast spoken in Japanese. Needless to say, the two humpback swam away from the recorded whale songs that were piped into the river waters.

What if humpbacks are starting their way towards a fresh water river dwelling evolutionary path and we humans are interfering with that natural progression? I hinted at the real reason people wanted to remove the whales above. It's not because they have the whales' interests at heart. They are using Conservation as a cover story to their real intentions.

These are anecdotal tellings of recent events of environmentalism out of control, being used by a select few to support their own hidden agendas. 1. We are all told we can make a difference individually. There's a budding environmentalism technology industry starting up. They are trying to create the need for their existence so they can get support from the government via public funds and investment money. 2. The park ranger needs justification for his job, so claims to have a need to protect native trees against supposed invading trees that aren't actually growing anywhere near the natives. 3. New species can potentially become pests that interfere with human interests, so when they do appear, only the ones that adversely affect us get attention. 4. Conservation is used as a cover story for business related agenda when it suits industry.

I'm for environmentalism tempered by reasoned thought. Human population on Earth is expanding an at ever increasing rate. We have to mold this planet; gearing towards our survival. This involves preserving the environment is some cases, and creating new environments for our habitation in other cases. We need to do what is in our best interests to find a new equilibrium with nature. This is our nature, and it is in the best interests of our survival if we are to be as fit as we believe ourselves to be.

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