Tag Archives: industry

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.


Close to home, a debate on what, exactly, are the aims of preservation

Point Reyes oysters are as famed an institution as the verdant peninsula’s happy cows and incongruous elk, but the succulent bivalves might soon become a thing of legend, at least as far as human palates are concerned. The question is raised: are National Parks meant to prevent the imprint of humans on choice bits of nature or is the goal one of harmonious interaction? The debate, of course, is nothing new; , there has been a sharp divide between the conservationists and the preservationists – those that would see nature safeguarded and efficiently used and those that would see it entirely free from the print of humanity – since the first federal act safeguarded a small patch of wilderness.

These are the issues which pit the spiritual mountain girl against the foodie within me. But, in the end, I think I come down the side of the conservationists – Teddy, I’m with ya. Perhaps this is purely species-ist of me; I might just be siding with my kind. But, if I’m honest, it’s because the places that I find truly beautiful are those that are impossible to use for any sane human purpose. The top of Mt. Dana isn’t suitable for human industry, neither is the plain of jumbo rocks in the heart of Joshua Tree. In the end, if conservation was the universal watchword and sustainable methods of farming, irrigation, ranching, and slaughter were used, there would be more open, untouched land to go around. And the land used for industry wouldn’t look – or be – too bad either.