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- To: <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
- Subject: Re: reintroduction
- From: "dilvish" <dilvish at pacbell_net>
- Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 00:18:24 -0700
- References: <200304170339.h3H3diGv022906 at otter_actwin.com>
Shireen Gonzaga wrote:
> Or maybe I don't want to accept what they're saying
> because, if they're right, our environment is in much
> much worse shape than I thought. We're losing the
> uniqueness of each little habitat. To quote James
> Carlton, it's a process of "homogenizing the world".
> There are no words to describe the depth of that loss
> of biodiversity.
Few people grasp just how precarious the enviroment is that nourished us for
millions of years. Even the most exploitative and anti-enviromental
governments are acknowledging the severity of the problems. (Except in the
U.S. where Pres. Bush has been waging a most vicious 'shock and awe' attack
on the environment.)
Few people know just how devastated our oceans are from one common household
product - the plastic bag. Plastic never degrades, it just breaks into
smaller and smaller pieces. If you were to swim in the ocean where currents
converge you might initially think it was alive with organisms. But then
you'd notice the organisms were floating, not swimming. If fact, these
entire areas support no life at all anymore. All that you see are just
little pieces of plastic. From plastic bags. They get mistaken for food.
From the smallest organisms up the chain. Plastic eaters eating plastic
eaters eating plastic eaters, ad nauseum. There are at least a thousand
other things killing our oceans, but the plastic bag may be too much for
them, or us, to overcome.
It's a shame this has turned into an argument of sorts. There is not one
aspect of our biosphere that is not under one or more threats. There is not
one unpolluted water source left in the continental U.S. That was confirmed
late last year. Tom and Kyle barely skimmed the surface of what is happening
with our watersheds, wetlands, rivers and streams. The problem is that, as a
people, we aren't born and bred in an environmentally friendly culture.
Usually a person is almost an adult before they become environmentally
conscious. And it has been my experience that, generally, people only learn
one small part of the problem or, more likely than not, get misinformed
somewhere along the way.
This leaves good-intentioned people with the wrong reasons for the wrong
things. I know because I work at an environmental group educating members
on what is happening with California's forests and trying to get money from
them so we can fight it. Rarely a week goes by I don't get an astonishing
viewpoint from someone. And that isn't going to change until we do a better
job at educating people on environmental issues. Note that 99.9% of our
response to environmental problems are all reactive. Very little is being
done proactively. I believe it's something like just over 100 species - from
condors to wolves - that were or are being maintained in the wild from stock
provided by zoos and even commercial businesses. It is not that far-fetched
to imagine a time not too distant when the remaining population of one fish
or another will be totally counted in fish farms and aquariums. The way
we're going, we might be lucky to have even that.