Thursday, April 26, 2012

Killing the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg of Political Points and Expediency

A barrage of unsettling and disturbing articles from yesterday and today:
The only one of the three that makes small attempt to present another side of the issue and not use euphemisms to cover up goose slaughter and gassing is the piece from the Wall Street Journal.
But, it is apparent that one of our New York Senators (Gillibrand) is sending out press releases touting her bill to expedite the "removals" and slaughters of New York City geese (as if they weren't occurring impulsively and insanely enough).  
And as one politician goes, surely will go others -- like lemmings rushing to a banquet.
Ah, "The goose that lays the golden egg" of political opportunity and media points!
But, how desperate does one truly need to be to rush head-long into destruction of nature and wildlife simply because something "sounds good?"
Is this the age of the modern, political "Mad Men" (or women)?
Granted, it is a great sound bite to say, "We cannot and should not wait another day to act while public safety is at risk."
But, simply looking for easy scapegoats is usually no remedy for anything..
And that is exactly what has happened here.
Gillibrand's proposed bill is akin to sending an innocent person to jail for a crime s/he did not commit for the sake of being able to say, "We did something.  We took action!"
The Wall Street Journal article points out that some airline collisions are occurring high in the air, as did flight 1549's collision with two migratory geese from Canada in 2009. 
(The fact is, we could have killed every goose in NY state in 2008 and it would NOT have prevented that incident.)
"Resident" Canada geese loafing in city parks or Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge tend to fly low in the air, if indeed they fly at all.
Those collisions occurring at altitudes of more than 500 feet suggest strikes with migratory birds flying over the Atlantic flyway of which New York City is a part.  .
Thus, even were we to kill every Canada goose residing in New York City, it would do nothing to prevent these kind of bird strikes and thus do nothing to insure "public safety."
But, it is a good sound bite and one which the press is only too happy to pounce on and extol. 
Who cares if its true or not?
Who cares about the painstaking work of seeking and implementing real and effective solution?
Who cares whether we send innocent people to jail or thousands of innocent geese to their deaths as long as we can say, "We did something.  We took action."?
Ah, the "Mad Men" -- and women of 2012.
We have come a long way, baby.
For even women now recognize the value of those geese who lay the golden eggs of political points, opportunity and expediency.  
Who cares if people go down in a plane after hitting any migratory bird -- other than a Canada goose?
And who cares if the geese eventually go extinct -- as they almost did in the last century when we had no official "wars" against them? -- PCA

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