Friday, April 20, 2012

How Dare Birds Fly!

The news could not be worse for geese and many other birds in New York City today.
Yesterday, a bird strike occurred at JFK airport:
Although the Delta plane was able to return safely back to airport without injury to passengers (as usually occurs in bird strikes), the story was highlighted in the national media.
Moreover, while no identification has officially been made of the bird species, cell phone video taken on the plane suggests that it might have been a flock of geese the airliner collided with.
Should that turn out to be the case, then no geese in NYC can be considered safe from sharpshooters or "expanded" roundups over the upcoming summer.
As is typical in most media stories covering geese or bird strikes, reports are misleading and seemingly slanted to cause undue fear and paranoia in the public.  
For example, the above report from ABC news mentions that bird strikes have increased over the past 20 years.   It doesn't mention the vast increases in airline traffic over that same time.   It also states that 219 people have died worldwide due to bird strikes since 1988.  It doesn't state how many billions of people have flown safely since 1988.  It is likely more people have died from lightening strikes or falling tree branches over the past 24 years.
But, this is a way to generate public fear and in some cases, loathing for birds -- (especially geese) and to build support for bird "culls."
In addition to being shown the old news clips of "miracle" flight 1549 in the Hudson every January to make a case for killing geese in New York City, we will presumably be shown the latest footage as well if the doomed bird indeed turns out to be a goose.
Anyone concerned about geese need be quite worried due to latest incident and its wide and distortive media coverage.
One can only imagine most of the fearful public cheering when Mayor Bloomberg announces an "expanded war" on geese while at the same time the media runs the video footage to repeatedly remind us of the "terror" that geese represent.
How dare birds fly in the air!
For that, they should all die. -- Rather than we return to building four-engine planes or better utilizing and perfecting avian radar. -- PCA 

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