Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Humans Suck At Managing Nature

boon cartoonist for hire draws animals pig dog duck gofer fish bird cat
One of my Facebook friends posted a picture of a group of deer standing in a neighbor's yard.  She commented, "Beautiful sight in the neighborhood this morning."  I would agree and I do enjoy seeing animals; deer, rabbits, squirrels, bear (not seen one but how cool), gophers and beavers (I said beaver heee-heee, god I'm juvenile).  After I appreciated and "LIKED" her picture the thought popped into my head that this is exactly the kind of picture that will prompt some pro-hunter type to justify hunting with some comment to the extent of "hunters provide a valuable service of population control".   That without hunters annually going out and killing deer that we would be over run with deer.

Population control?  Really.  I'm pretty sure Mother Nature has a way of dealing with over population.  It is called starvation.  Allocation of resources, good old supply/demand and survival of the fittest.  These have worked for eons to balance out populations of everything.  I don't see sitting in a tree with a high power scope and sniper rifle, 200 yards down field of a deer as a qualified form of population control.  Face it you just like to kill stuff.

If you want to control the population of certain animals than simply stop manicuring nature. Unfortunately or fortunately, humans have created environments that not only we enjoy and feel comfortable in, but so do a lot of other animals.  We've created more and easier food opportunities.  We've created cover and hiding places that are very conducive to all these animals.    To say humans must kill extra animals to prevent them from starving is ass backwards.  It isn't over population.  The population has just risen to a natural level in line with food and shelter opportunities.

Funny thing about nature is it has a way to fill voids and find its own level.  You push on one side and a bulge appears on the other.  It is a zero sum game.  I heard the other day that the population of rattlesnakes is increasing.  Why?  Because we have successfully hunted rattle snakes.  How could this be?  Well the way rattle snakes are hunted is you walk around and listen for the rattle.  When you hear one you zero in on it and snatch it up.  What this has ultimately created is a perfect opportunity for all the rattle snakes with weak, silent rattles to survive and multiple.  So now we have more rattle snakes but fewer that we can actually hear or receive warning from and hence more people are and will be bitten by one.  Way to go humans.

Humans are notoriously poor managers of nature.  The fact that we've been able to manufacture and sculpt these animal oasis into the natural world is not only a testament to our power within our environment, but an arrogance and stupidity of the limits of our power.  We do all this and expect nature to just yield to our view of how it should be. Nature is not going to leave a void or unexploited resource it is just not its way.  It is just not reasonable to expect our environment to be sterile of other living things.  Even your home, your little safe, sterile space is just an illusion of control.  Open your doors and nature will come in.  Plants, bugs and animals.  Nature will not relent to human management because we suck as managers of nature.

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