Tag Archives: Great

200,000 lb. Carp & Poisoned River vs. $7 Billion

Crew member searching for Asian carp

Fish may seem like emotionless creatures, but they are living things. However, humans sometimes fail to take this into consideration, blinded by their self-interest. I recently found an article about Illinois officials dumping poison into the Chicago River to kill the Asian carp. And what for? So that maintenance could be performed on an electrical barrier that keeps the fish out of the Great Lakes. Around 200,000 pounds of dead fish are estimated to be collected. This action raises a lot of questions mainly between morality and human lifestyle. You see, if the carp were to get into the Great Lakes, they would destroy the lakes’ lucrative fishing industry ($7 billion) by depleting the bottom of the food chain. It is ironic how authorities say they hope to prevent an “ecological disaster” when they are killing so many fish. In reality, they are not trying to prevent an “ecological disaster”, but instead a “human disaster”. Apparently, the fish are just sacrifices for the interests of humans. But what bothers me more is the officials’ audacity to pour poison into what is considered to be not just the fish’s water but also our water. Okay we always talk about saving the environment and not polluting, yet the officials who hope to prevent a disaster in nature are polluting the water with 2000 pounds of poison. The poison is meant to only kill fish, but how can these myopic people not see that there are greater effects of poisoning our own water? Can they not see what it can do to us? In my opinion, I would not compromise the carp and the river’s ecosystem just for the $7 billion industry. It just doesn’t seem worth it. We’re dealing with an alteration in not one variable in the ecosystem but multiple. The short run goal of saving our industry cannot even come close to the potentially dangerous long run consequences.


The Distant Past: A Shroud of Disregard

The Great Wall of China

After reading Lindsay’s “China’s Three Gorges Dam,” I could not refrain myself from writing about one of the most important monuments in China’s history, The Great Wall of China. Because the Great Wall is not nearly as new as the Three Gorges Dam, it poses subtler questions about its effects on nature. It in fact is so old that it seems like a part of nature itself, much like how we consider the Stonehenge to be a part of nature. But in actuality, it is the product of the human hand, literally.

I cannot help to wonder how such a huge structure, over five thousand miles long, would have affected nature and its animals. How many habitats were destroyed with the construction of this unthinkably massive wall? Such questions inundate my mind, for I would never have thought that this revered structure, built to prevent destruction of humanity from war, ironically, could have caused major damage to nature. I am very surprised that I had never thought of this topic before, but then again, the Great Wall successfully shrouded itself with its blanket of grass and trees in order to blend into nature.

I wonder why there is always controversy about recent technological structures that could harm nature such as the Three Gorges Dam but not about things of the past such as the Great Wall. Is destroying nature with human technology a concept strictly limited to the present and the future? Why do we not talk about things of the distant past and their effects? Is it because humans were not harmful before, but are becoming increasingly so as we progress through time? And if this is true, how are we evolving so quickly? What are our outlooks for the future? I don’t know about you, but my mind is sufficiently blown.