Friday, May 16, 2008
Rambling Along - More Questions than Answers
The wave of frog extinctions due to a fungus is due not to man-made climate change, but the trade/import of exotic animals and aquatic plants that carry the fungus according to this study. In the end, mankind is causing the extinction of many animals and plants. We are the problem. Whether it's introduction of pathogens from the exotic animal trade to continents where those pathogens have never existed, the introduction of marine species to harbors and bodies of water via ship ballast tank flushings, habitat destruction, fishery declines, or climate change, we only have to look in a mirror to see the primary cause. The question now is, what to do about our homogenization of the global biodiversity? Do we ignore it and let it happen, do we fix what we can, such as this microwave device for ships, or do we create a new economics that doesn't treat habitat, animals and plants as commons to be exploited and destroyed. By the way, the cost of salmon will likely go up this year since the fishery collapsed.
Gasoline will likely hit $4.00 per gallon really soon. It seems Alaska already has $4.00/gal gasoline. I'm sure the Davis Mountains where my father lives will see $4.00/gallon gas next. That's rather ironic since one of the biggest oil fields in North America is about 100 miles away. However, high gas prices are good for both Alaska and Texas. What's bad for the individual is actually good for the society as a whole if that society's economy is based on that commodity. It is said that if Texas joined OPEC, we'd be the fifth largest producer. I'm not sure what to make of all of this. I've never seen oil prices rise so rapidly in my lifetime and I lived through the oil embargo of the 70's and that was a nasty time for the U.S. The aerospace industry had huge layoffs, we retreated from space exploration, Vietnam fell, we had inflation all over the place, women had to enter the job market to keep the Middle Class afloat. American society changed in many ways. It seems like we have to change again, but can we change our ways to keep up with the rapid changes we are undergoing? If a nation or state doesn't adapt to abrupt change, it tends to die just like an organism does in a similar situation. The U.S. will likely not die, but will it have a mild heart attack? Where's the inflection point between successful adaptation and decline of superpower status?
True, most misfortune is relative. I suppose we'll know where we stand when the Iraq war and other bills come due.
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