Saturday, April 21, 2012

Of Rabbits, Geese and Icebergs -- The Needs for Change

(Photo:  A visiting gaggle of juvenile geese at the Boat Lake early this morning.  Papa goose honked at them from a distance and laid out a boundary, but otherwise left them alone) 
The media still in a buzz over the bird strike of a couple of days ago near Kennedy Airport..
Today, there is this piece from the New York Post:
The short article states that Kennedy planes "smacked" into birds, rabbits and other wildlife 257 times in 2011 according to FAA data.   This represents an increase of 17% over 2010 and 55% increase from 2009.
Of course what this article (nor any media report) doesn't provide is any data on how many more airliners are flying in the air, including privately owned planes.
Rather, the implication is that wildlife is wildly increasing and either deliberately running into planes or flying into them -- like suicide terrorists.
One wonders, with this kind of reporting, when we will declare a war on rabbits (as well as geese) for airline safety?
The article further states that the USDA has been "working on a plan for the past two years to protect planes from geese and other birds in Jamaica Bay."
It doesn't explain that the "plan" has been to round up thousands of geese and either gas or send them to slaughter -- nor that the plan doesn't just apply to Jamaica Bay, but in fact any area of New York City within 7 miles of any airport.
Birds of all kinds are routinely shot by sharpshooters near airports and of course the geese are quite literally "targeted" all over the country by gun, by gas chamber, by unending harassment and even destruction of their eggs.
It makes one fear for the few geese still managing to survive in parks and other areas around New York City,  as well as appreciate them for the short time we actually may have them.
I for one, say a silent "thanks" to God every time I see Mama and Papa goose at the Boat Lake or the few other geese honking and flying over Central Park and settling down for brief periods at Harlem Meer or the Boat Lake.
I honestly don't know how long the geese will be allowed to exist in New York City -- especially with what now seems a resurgence in the media and political campaigns against, not just geese, but apparently all wildlife capable of walking, flying or swimming near an airport.
Who would think that a rabbit is some kind of "threat" to a 60-ton airliner?
Then again, a so-called "unsinkable" and powerful ship liner was taken down by an iceberg 100 years ago -- and icebergs neither fly, swim nor walk.
Perhaps this all says something about our arrogance and inabilities to appreciate the real powers of nature no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential .
Our real challenges seem to be the necessity to change ourselves and the transportation vehicles we rely on, rather than to "change" and attempt to wipe out and overpower nature.
(In the case of the Titanic disaster 100 years ago, we insure now that every ship has sufficient lifeboats and better map out potential dangers on sea -- We didn't set out to blow up all the icebergs.) 
The prospect or "plan" to destroy nature, animals or any perceived "threats"  seems an impossibility as long as any 5 lb animal can take down a 60 ton jet airliner or an ice berg can take down a ship.
We would quite literally need to obliterate nearly 95% of nature, including the non-viable.
Perhaps we wouldn't need ships or airliners then because there would be nothing of beauty or nature to see and enjoy.
We could simply stare at ourselves in mirrors or look at old photos and videos on You Tube.   -- PCA

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