Going Viral

According to Sierra magazine: In early December, the sea-ice cover at the North and South Poles is smaller than recent averages by an area the size of India.

Thousands of snow geese die after landing in the toxic waters of the Berkeley Pit mine, near Butte, Montana. Witnesses describe the scene as 700 acres of white birds.

2016 is the hottest year on record.

Utah’s Great Salt Lake is drying up. Its water level is now 11 feet below historic levels.

However, some voices in government and the media adamantly claim that climate change’s causes are still inconclusive. 

According to National Wildlife magazine: hammered by habitat loss, pesticides and vehicle collisions, Nighthawks have declined in numbers by 61% nationwide between 1966 and 2014. Nighthawks are hardly alone. the magazine reports that one-third of the North American continent’s 1,154 avian species are in trouble.

National Wildlife also reports that freshwater fish are in serious decline, caused by sediment runoff, water pollution, stream fragmentation, dredging and dams. Most notably, the pallid sturgeon, having been around since the age of dinosaurs are on the brink of extinction, with only a few hundred now remaining, all of them hemmed in by those dams that make it difficult to spawn and find food.

Bumble Bees, Butterflies are also in trouble, if one wants to believe National Wildlife.

Or, if one is to believe Nature Conservancy magazine, the “reticulated giraffe” a species found across Africa, has had its population plunge from about 36,000 in 1998 to 8,600 today. The magazine also reports that the hawksbill turtles are now listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as critically endangered. The primary reason being poaching.

That is, if one is inclined to believe the reports in these wildlife/nature/environmental magazines. After all, they could simply be alternative facts. Just a bunch of tree hugging hokum and hogwash.  Preservationists’ propaganda. Anti-business bullshit spewed by a rabble-rousing gaggle of asinine anarchists. C’mon! – else-wise, why would the Tweeter-in-Chief not show some concern and appoint a cabinet consisting of at least a few pragmatic practitioners of impartial, objective decision making, benefitting creatures feathered, furry, finned, fluttering, shelled, or buzzing about?

Fake news! Wake up! Here’s reality:

President Strangelove’s confirmed or pending cabinet nominees is compiled of billionaires beholden to everything from Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, four alone from Goldman Sachs, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Amway, Devon Energy and Pfizer.

Seeing is believing for some. For others, believing is seeing. That is, one is objective, verifiable reality; the other delusional and possibly dangerous.

Worried? Is Planet Earth doomed? If one wants to use critical thinking and verify what’s a fact and what’s a fiction, it hard not to come to the conclusion that Mother Nature and all her creatures are in great peril. There’s a virus that’s slowly killing the natural world, a virus that is sadly ever-spreading,  metastasized, controlling its host organism and condemning it to a horrible fate. It’s a virus that cannot directly infect nature’s wonders but nonetheless is nefariously snaring those giraffes, turtles, pallid sturgeons, bees, nighthawks and hawksbills too. What is this so unkind virus?

None other than humankind.  Not all 7.3 billion of us humans. But like I said, it’s spreading, inexorably and hard to know whom among the masses is sick. It’s not immediately detectable. It may not be seen or felt, especially by those who obviously have been infected, even some who know they are sick but are deluded into thinking that they are actually well,  or simply do. not. care.

We now live in a surreal version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Yeah, climate change, fear-mongering, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, profit-mongering. This isn’t the work of Mother Nature and all those incredible landscapes or countless species, competing by instinct for their place in the sun. No, this is US doing the damage. Speaking with a focus on the U.S., but actually spanning the globe, humans are an unstable species, with some prone to living as a friend of the earth, but many more inclined to violence upon one another, and certainly dispassionate about this one planet available for us to occupy. We are a virus. The antidote, too, is US.


Beware the virus! It infects the brain. Destroys critical thinking potential. Makes for terrible choices. It’s been around for a long, long loooong time. Nothing new. As one notable writer is famously quoted: history is a nightmare from which I need to awake.

That virus, though. Its main side-effect is to dehumanize the humane part of our wiring. Look around. Listen and watch. Don’t let it snatch your brain. We have met the enemy and it is US. Mother Nature has known this for a long time. In a way, she’s getting back at us with those alarming climate events. It’s quite a natural reaction since…

…hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…







About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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