Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"We Are Worse Than Climate Change," Study Shows!

                “Human footprint on extinct animals” read the bold face headline of the syndicated Los Angeles Times article I read Sunday, making me immediately wonder if the deceased animals in question had hominid-like soles on their feet. That would be weird. Or perhaps various early homo sapiens kicked these species in the ass, leaving permanent imprints that proceeded to fossilize with the animals demise?
                Fortunately there was a reasoned, clear subheading reading, “We are worse than climate change, new study says.” Wow, I thought nothing was worse than climate change. Plus, aren’t “we” responsible for climate change, anyway? So are we just stating the obvious here, or are we doubly, unspeakably bad? Maybe the article will tell us! Let’s dive in, shall we?
                Scientists have long wondered what caused the mass extinctions of various species of animals in different regions of the world 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. Some argued that the dramatic climate changes occurring at the time were to blame. Others believed it was simply the incursion of humans, with their hunting and their land-altering ways that was the culprit. Now, thanks to a flooded sinkhole on the Bahamian island of Abaco, and its rich collection of fossils, scientists believe they have a definitive answer. The fossils “gave us an unparalleled snapshot at what the ice age life would have been like on a Caribbean isle,” said lead author David Steadman, curator of ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Ice age life on a Caribbean isle?
                Islands are ideal ecological laboratories as their isolation makes it easier to figure out what factors are contributing to the development or demise of a species. Researchers have found that human encroachment appears to have been more devastating than even severe climate change, said a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Yes, as soon as we show up, “whether its 10,000 years ago or 2,000 years ago” (wonder why they picked that number?), everything goes to hell in a hand-basket and species vanish into thin air. Scientists found that of the 39 species that went extinct, 17 of those disappearances were due to climate change, while the other 22 species disappeared after humans arrived.  The article made sure to point out that there was massive climate change at this time, the point being that just us being around is even worse than that! My God, even when we aren’t to blame for one crisis, we’re still bent on destroying our planet by just trying to survive!
                (And, when coyotes show up in an area, the mice and rabbit populations tend to go down dramatically. When there are more bats around there are fewer mosquitoes, but nobody seems to blame the coyotes or bats).
                As the glaciers melted and sea level rose, the experts lectured, Abaco’s real estate shrunk more than ten-fold, from about 17,000 square kilometers to 1,214 (but who’s counting) square kilometers, as the climate became warmer and wetter.
                Hmmm. We didn’t have anything to do with the rapid global warming at that time, so who or what was to blame for this massive non-man-caused climate change? Evolution? Mother Nature? God? Those who believe strongly in evolution, mother nature’s infallibility and climate change tend not to believe in God, so He’s out. Mother Nature always knows what she’s doing, so she wouldn’t be so cruel. And evolution…well that doesn’t make any sense. It’s not evil.

                We now know that only we can be bad. Yet, if, as progressives believe, there is no God, Mother Nature and/or evolution had to create us. We didn’t create ourselves. But, if Mother Nature is good and evolution is simply a neutral process leading to better and more advanced organisms, how can this be?

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