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Happy Hump Day! [Jul. 17th, 2013|12:51 pm]
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My inner twelve year old still thinks of camels or moles when I hear that. A local radio station makes that a juvenile joke every Wednesday, using the other meaning. I'm wondering how many more Wednesdays will I waste seconds wondering why they're sniggering at camels. Or moles -- before we played croquet, we always had to even out the mole humps in the yard. There are mole crickets, which don't have or make humps, which remind me of camel crickets which don't make humps but do have them.

Speaking of bugs, this story made me cry a little:

the perserverance of life, the cuddling of the pair bonded insects, watching the new born hatch out of that tiny egg, like a clown car but with a single GINORMOUS clown. You think your day is hard? Watch the video.

Plus all these people working so hard to rescue this giant insect and now they have to rely on an island community to make up their minds whether or not to let them back to their original home. I dunno, New Zealanders, for some reason I feel as if it might be possible - yeah, mate, exterminate the rats, bring the giant bugs back.

As opposed to say, Anacapa Island in California where it's a huge firestorm of opposing forces. And a perfect example, really, of ANY environmental issue: people who say screw it, don't care, don't spend ANY of my tax dollars on saving some damn animal; people who say save this animal at any cost; people who say OMG, you can't poison rats, they deserve to live too, don't kill anything, ever, even if we lose a species or eco-system; and people who say hmm, this is a complex issue and maybe we need to study it a bit because history gives us many examples of unintended consequences. Although those people tend to get drowned out in all of the rhetoric from the louder, more fanatical, more black and white, simplistic solution people.

Case in point -- The Don't poison the rats to save the murrelets, or whatever bird it is, Faction claims that it's actually boaters and tourists that disturb the birds and keep them from nesting/breeding successfully. (Could be true, could be exaggerated. Certainly it's not HELPING, so maybe we should restrict that.) That there's no proof that the rats are eating the bird eggs/nestlings. (This also could be technically true...but only on the lack of proof part...we know rats, and we know that they will eat ANYTHING. And if they are not kept in check by predators, of course they will eat the eggs and nestlings. Hellooooo, they're rats! It's why they're so successful and like us, as a group, they will eat anything that tastes good and a lot that won't. And in a closed loop eco-system, island, has the potential to eat everything unchecked until the whole system's crashed.) You're accidentally poisoning other things on the island's eco-system they also claim. (This is probably true. Poison, while the easiest and most effective, most cost efficient, doesn't really discriminate. And I think they're air-dropping pellets, which is just dumb, albeit cheap. Bait boxes, if you must. But if the other populations aren't endangered...you can lose of lot of them, and then without the pressures of rats, they'll probably bounce back quickly.) But the dead animals!

Pick any environmental issue you want that involves something endangered and the only thing I can guarantee you is: the whole situation is way more complex than ANYONE who's grabbing media attention will reveal; none of the decisions are easy; and of course there will be unintended consquences, so you have to do the best risk assessment you can, and be prepared to be wrong...but it's probably better than doing nothing, and even if you fail, you take away learnings.

So, my children, beware of anyone who proposes a simple solution, because the simpler it is, the more facts they're burying/ignoring. You know who you want fixing things? The person who reluctantly agrees that something has to be done, they're not sure if this is the right thing, but it seems to be the best possible solution, and then they sort of look like they're going to throw up just thinking about it, will definitely loose sleep during the project. Give him or her a package of Zantac and Sominex, because that's the person who will make the best decisions, even if they're not right.

Not it! Not on this one. Because I'm already thinking about building a vivarium and seeing if I can lay my hands on those insects, just in case Lord Howe Island doesn't come through.