Monday, May 2, 2011

"Anything We Set Our Mind To"

"America can do anything it sets its mind to."
Those words from President Obama last night when referring to the tracking down and killing of world terrorist and mass murderer, Osama Bin Laden.
Indeed, a great weight has been lifted from the world's shoulders and though final justice took almost ten years and required a cost of two wars, thousands of lives and a trillion dollars, it has finally come.
A force for evil has been removed from the planet.
Still, it is the words quoted above that most stuck out (to me) last night in President Obama's announcement of the long awaited achievement.
...."anything America puts its mind to."
They, in fact, stand in sharp contrast to an article from the Wall Street Journal of just a few days ago:
 The article, entitled, "Falcons at New York's JFK Airport Join Flock of the Unemployed."  (They lost their contract to chase gulls; USDA guns take over.") describes the replacement of falcons at the airports with shotguns and bullets.
In a normal environment, falcons and other predators would serve as nature's "control" on prey animals.

But, no falcon is going to kill almost 14,886 gulls in one year, like USDA's shooting honchos can and did in 1996 at JFK airport (prior to bringing in falcons).
But, now the cost of maintaining the falcon program has been rejected in favor of bringing in once again, the USDA shooters.
According to Martin Lowney, Director of the USDA wildlife services of New York State, "Falconry is just expensiveCompared to falconry, shooting is more economical and effective." 

But,  herein lies a problem:

Rounding up and gassing 368 geese and goslings from a public park in one day or shooting thousands of birds over a year, is not normal "predator/prey" occurrence nor would these events ever happen in the normal course of nature.  (Nature doesn't normally exterminate entire populations.) 

It is decimation and massacre.

Some species may totter on endangerment or extinction with this kind of unnatural "predator/prey" association or others (perhaps like the geese) may find ways to compensate or adapt by reproducing more. (Although with egg destruction occurring on wide basis now, "compensation" may become impossible even for the smart and wily Canada geese.)

In other words, the shootings are not only barbaric and cruel, but likely counterproductive as they upset and disrupt the normal balance of nature and can cause changes in animal behavior we may not necessarily like or welcome.

The falcons, on the other hand, are normally part of the balance of nature.

Today, we celebrate (finally!) the capture and killing of Bin Laden.

Our President said last night, "America can do anything it sets its mind to."

Thank you, Mr. President.

It is anticipated then, that we may find responsible ways to insure airline safety without declaring "war" on avian life and killing millions of birds.

"We only have to put our minds to it."  -- PCA

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