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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Carp and the Oil Spill

No matter how hard I don't try, five or six days always seem to go by before I write another post.  Hmm......

Now guess what's happening, of the utmost importance, as is everything I write about?

Like insidious armies from abroad, several species of Asian carp have been quietly eating their way up various freshwater avenues, until now they are on the verge of breaking into the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie and Lake Michigan.  And a few years after that happens, we are warned, no matter how big your boat and your fishing rods, you won't be able to catch anything there but these carp, which grow to 4 feet long and weigh as much as 100 pounds, with some having the ability to become so shook up by hearing a boat engine that they jump high out of the water with the potential to hit things unacceptably hard.

Needful to say, like other invaders from overseas they weren't here when the Iroquois, the Sioux, and other tribes were in charge.   The Asian carp were imported for use in fish farms but escaped, and because they eat so much, they quickly wiped out the plankton needed by the much more attractive fish that for eons had already been around.

Predictably, strong efforts are being made by a certain number of businessmen to stop all efforts by environmentalists to keep the carp out of the Big Lakes.   One of those efforts involves reversing the flow of the Chicago River.

I always wonder how a place consisting of as much concrete, steel and refuse as Chicago can possibly have anything that could really be called a "river."  The East "River" in New York jumps quickest to mind, and L.A. is already disgraced by a huge and usually empty drainage ditch that they are pleased to call the "Los Angeles River," though it serves principally as a quick and easy location for car chases in action films.

Nevertheless it seems that the Chicago "River" once flowed the other way, from one large body of water to another, before an "engineering feat" in the time of Mark Twain turned that around.   And now it's thought possible to fight the carp by returning its flow to the direction it had when the Apaches, the Comanches, and Mother Nature were in charge.

The businessmen who are happy with the "river's" manmade dispostion are yelling, "what about the loss of  all the jobs that are connected with its current direction?"
But they say nothing about all the jobs, especially to the sporting industry, that would be lost if there's nothing to be caught in Lake Michigan except Asian carp.

Sounds familiar.

The crude still spilling into the Gulf of Mexico is the latest example of people as a whole speaking out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to doing something decent.  Screams about all the jobs that would be lost if a moratorium is placed on off-shore drilling are being made as if matching screams are not also being made by their buddies in the local Louisiana Chambers of Commerce about the jobs that are already being lost by all the oil gushing into the water.

It makes me wonder what the anti-environmentalists say when the catastrophes that the environmentalists fear come true, as they usually do.

Well, I already know what they say.

It's "Oops!"  And that's about all.

The same thing happens in many other areas, too, when people are bent on following the short-minded way of things, even when they know better.



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