One great way to stop species extinction
The other morning, my local CBS radio station (KCBS) ran a story about the drastic decline in the populations of wild animal species over the previous fifty years. It was mostly a rant by a "scientist" from the World Wildlife Fund. The loss, according to her, has mostly occurred in the tropics and has been obviously due to the loss of habitat...as struggling third-world peasants make efforts to better feed themselves.
When asked what should be done to stop the environmental damage, she implored Americans to adopt vegan diets so as not to rely on less efficient animal protein sources. It was never mentioned that the U.S. hardly, if at all, imports any kind of meat, other than fish...especially from tropical countries. But the desire to control personal behavior was obviously a reason for this report. I am also reasonably certain that many guilty middle-class liberals will be thrilled to comply with this nonsense.
It is true that, in order for a nation to have a beneficial environmental ethic, it needs to have a large and prosperous middle class. Hungry peasants are considerably much more inclined to burn down a rainforest in order raise more crops and pasture more livestock. It is also true that we are all dedicated environmentalists. No one wants to live in a sterile and mostly empty world. We just disagree on how this repulsive fate is supposed to be prevented.
Just to reveal my credentials on this matter, I was once an associate editor of a start-up environmental magazine. The other associate editor dealt mainly with consumer-oriented topics such as grocery store issues. One day, I just happened to mention to him that if, instead, he started writing about endangered species, he'd never run out of material. Ultimately, he wound up as editor-in-chief of National Wildlife magazine, with 7.5 million subscribers.
Meanwhile, the morning report also included the obligatory inclusion of climate change as another cause for the perceived depopulation. Hence, I was astonished at the lame, knee-jerk adherence to the crashing woke agenda. But then, it's the Bay Area.
There's something kind of medieval about this rampant promotion of superstitious mythology. Imaginary demons are everywhere, threatening us from out of the shadows...or not. Exploitation of fear has worked before — why not now? In fact, the next day, they ran a story about people dying from climate change — right here in the USA. It seems that ethnic minorities living in metro-Phoenix have to endure higher temperatures than their (ahem) non-minority fellow residents. Climate change isn't just human-caused; it's racist. But couldn't it rather be that there are just fewer shade trees in the lower-rent parts of town? Just asking.
It may just be me, but it sure seems that the corporate media whores are starting to dig a lot deeper in order to poison the well of public perception. I suspect desperation is pushing them to the extreme — and then there are the approaching midterm elections.
What is missing from all of the Green New Deal hyperbole is also the name of a common college chemistry class: Quantitative Analysis. Adding up input and measuring net yield is usually not easy...but it can often prevent the needless squandering of precious resources. My neighbors just had solar panels put on their roof. Most of them are facing north, so, at this latitude, they will be useless for much of the year. They also figured that they wouldn't have to ever again pay for electricity. I doubt that they, like many others, will ever break even. But at least they'll get that warm, fuzzy feeling that they're on the right side of destiny...even if they really aren't.
Image via Public Domain Pictures.