Yesterday, I told you about my college math class. Today, I feel equally compelled to tell you about what I learned in my Ecology and Environmental Science class (Yes, it is riveting, just hold on a second).
Honestly, I felt the class was watered down. We only did about half of the field labs we were scheduled to complete because of some unknown force (the Professor had a lack of want to’s) that kept interfering. Instead, we spent our time learning about basic cell development and functioning, mutations, adaptations, and so on and so forth.
The later part of the class was spent reviewing peer review environmental articles. A few of the research topics I found absolutely disturbing. For example: I learned exactly why blackbirds are so darn mean.
Apparently, black birds are harmful to sunflower crops in the north. Sunflower crops generate capital. Farmers and environmentalists have tried numerous techniques to rid themselves of these “pesky” birds. One of the techniques includes feeding the birds psychedelic drugs, which basically makes the black bird freak out. What in the double “ll” hell? We can argue all day about birds vs. economic wealth. In fact, that was the point of this particular assignment. I get it. I’m a full-blown, proud, sound the war drums, capitalist. But seriously, people, psychedelic drugs? And, by the way, after they’ve tormented the pesky birds and pumped them full of drugs, they try to divert them back to southerly regions. Gee, thanks!
Equally disturbing is the use of biological warfare on feral cats. The argument is these cats are a problem on oceanic islands. The cats (and mice) hitch rides on boats, they’ve invaded the islands, and are now interfering with the ecological systems in place. Hmmm…. I thought change, development, and adaptation was the point. Apparently not. We, big brain humans, like to keep things just as they are. We decide who stays and who goes. In all our infinite wisdom, humans decided those pesky cats gotta go! But, catching and releasing cats is to labor intensive so they schemed up a bigger, better plan (cue the sinister laughter here). Scientists created a virus that can be transmitted from cat to cat. This virus causes the cats immune system to attack its reproductive system causing the cat to be sterile. Humans are sterilizing a species via an air-borne virus because they perceive their presence is causing ecological damage.
I don’t mind the concept of ecological preservation so much, but at some point we cross the line from preservation to manipulation. Do we, humans, really value our intelligence that much? Never mind the glaring obvious concern that viruses mutate. What? Oh, yes! This air-borne, easily transmitted, virus isn’t supposed to cross-species, but then again, nothing is full proof. Do you think those cats had a one-way ticket to those pristine oceanic islands? Uh, no!
What in the double “ll” hell? The smartest people I know are the ones who have full capacity to understand what they do not know. Biological warfare… that is some scary stuff, folks. What happens when the big brain human decides you need to go?