Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jihad on Avian Life?

We are fast going from merely "strange days" to downright crazy days.
Out of Chicago today comes this ridiculous story of a man suing his employer, Mitsubishi for $50,000 because he was knocked over by a goose:
Not sure what the guy was doing to incite a "goose attack" but this frivolous lawsuit is right up there in the insanity and greed department with the lady who tried to sue McDonalds because she spilled hot coffee on herself.  This man needs to "sue" Mother Nature -- or lock himself inside of a plastic bubble.
But, that is not the only "crazy" media piece today.
More significant and troubling is this "Investigative" news report which aired on ABC TV last night:
One is compelled to question exactly what Investigative Reporter, Jim Hoffa's point was in doing this story?
That we are not killing enough birds in NYC?  That the "war" on Canada geese needs to be extended to Laughing Gulls?   That Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge should be packed up in a suitcase and "relocated" to Disneyworld?
Referring to the latest USDA "Bird Hazard" document (USDA - APHIS - Regulations and Assessments - Wildlife Damage Management)  Hoffa references back to bird/plane strikes occurring "40 year ago" to somehow make the case that such strikes are "increasing" now and the government has failed to do anything about them.
The ""Investigative Reporter" failed to provide any data indicating the actual increase in airline traffic over the same 40 years.
One can be quite sure that the number of planes flying in NYC airspace over the past 40 years has at least, quadrupled to put matters conservatively.
One might reason, more planes in the air, more bird strikes?
When one actually puts matters into that perspective then the so-called "increase" in bird strikes is actually extremely low compared to the increase of planes in the skies.
But, apparently actual facts and data comparisons don't make good "investigative" news stories.
It is far more dramatic to insinuate that every bird flying in NYC skies is a potential "threat" to bring down an airliner and cause massive human casualty, as well as to send up that old hue and cry, "The government isn't doing enough to protect us!"
Well, guess what?
Bad things happen in life -- especially with the advancement of technology.
People die in car crashes everyday.  People have stepped into manholes or crashed cars while texting on a cell phone. People have been killed by falling tree branches in parks.  
And occasionally any one of the billions of planes that fly will collide with a bird.
In virtually all cases of bird and plane collisions, planes either continue on the journey or return to airports without human causality.
But, that is not acceptable to the media and to many politicians who believe they have to present the image of protecting the public from every imaginable ill or "bad thing" that could ever happen in life.
For the media to suggest that the "government isn't doing enough" to prevent bird strikes when, according to this report, "The Port Authority has eliminated 36,000 birds over the last five years" compels one to question, what exactly is "enough" to satisfy an ambitious "Investigative Reporter" or the media in general?
A jihad on all avian life?
According to the ABC report, the "elimination" of 36,000 birds over the past five years did not make airline travel over NYC any "safer."
So, then, what was exactly accomplished by these eliminations?
The suggested "removals of" (or really, "war" on) Laughing Gulls, The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and of course, Canada geese (that very favorite of scapegoats due to being easy targets for roundup during the summer molt) makes as much sense as the $50,000 lawsuit against Mitsubishi for one person being knocked over by a goose.
Occasional bad things happen in life. We can either learn to adapt, accept and work through those bad things -- or surrender ourselves to the alternative.
Hopefully, one day the FAA, the airline industry, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs  and our so-called "Widlife Services" can figure out a way to install modern and technically advanced gadgets or special lights on planes that sufficiently warn any wildlife in the area of oncoming danger.
We can seemingly come up with solutions for nearly everything else in life, why not that?
Or, is it simply easier to target, scapegoat, destroy and threaten to sue anytime something in life might go wrong? 
One would like to think that we as humans are more "advanced" than the latter ethically, intellectually, scientifically, spiritually and technologically. 
If not, then more "crazy" and ultimately self-defeating and futile days ahead -- and more lawsuits. -- PCA

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