6 October 2010

Cohabitation

What have we done? What are we doing? What will we do? We share this planet with others. Thousands of different creatures - of the earth, the sea and the sky. In 2004 it was calculated that there were 9717 different bird species, 5416 different mammals, 28,500 types of fish and 950,000 different insects. But these were only known species. There are many as yet undiscovered creatures as has been demonstrated by the work of the worldwide Census of Marine Life. This organisation's vital work has identified 6000 new species, including this unusual crab in the Pacific Ocean south of Easter Island. Understandably, it has been named the Hirsuta Crab:-
Some scientists involved with the project have suggested rather ominously that countless marine species will become extinct before we have even discovered them. Why? Because of what man is doing to the oceans - overfishing them, using them as a giant cesspit for our waste, "accidentally" polluting them. I sincerely doubt that our race of billions will ever find the resolve, the vision or the practical means to halt our onslaught on the very planet that bore us.

And we will never appreciate the true significance of the saying "As dead as a dodo". Within a hundred years - from 1581 to 1681, this unfortunate, flightless bird was discovered and then persecuted to extinction on the island of Mauritius. Even now, the dodo is more likely to figure as a laughable animated figure in a TV commercial than as a symbol of the stupidity of our species - we so-called "homo sapiens".

5 comments:

  1. That crab is one beautiful animal!

    These questions and realities always beg the question, "What can I - just one person - do?" One never knows until one tries. I always told anthropology students about the nine year old girl who was brave enough and un-calloused enough to take on McDonalds and make them change their packaging on some products in order to make them biodegradable. That was years ago.

    One little girl!

    I picked up a copy of last month's Smithsonian Magazine at the library when I returned from my trip and it is full of the discoveries of the last years....lots of bugs and birds and frogs and sea creatures. The same issue also makes predictions about the next 40 years.

    Remember those solar panels and wind farms I wrote about in my blog that are in Spain? Scientists predict that within 20 years, those solar panels will produce enough energy to power Madrid and Barcelona! Go Spain!

    Now, maybe you think that has nothing to do at all with that beautiful crab, but I believe that we have to nurture a mindset that encompasses all of nature at the same time.

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  2. MS THYME Precisely. Yet, though I want to, I cannot share your optimism. The brakes are being applied far too slowly.

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  3. It does seem an impossible task thanks to the greed of the few and the appetites of the many. For every thousand who want to preserve what we have, it just takes one callous sod who chops down a tree anyway, just because he can.

    I was fearful for the future, now I'm just depressed.

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