Baderstaff Wheneverly Volume: 2 Issue:3

Environmental Ramblings - Camille

Emvironmental ramblings - Camille

Well, I was told to write an article for this newspaper, however, I have no idea what to write!  There are so many things that I could write about but how many of you would actually care?  I have strange tastes.  So, I figure, that I'll bore you to death anyhow!  Enjoy my lovely but decrepid depiction of the world as I see it.

Humans are the most devastating thing that has ever happend to planet Earth.  You may disagree and say that the huge meteor that smashed into the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago, wiping out all the dinosaurs was more devastating but, at least that was near instantaneous (give or take a few years) death!  Here we are, prolonging the suffering of the Earth and all its creatures and the best part is, most of us don't even notice!

There are obvious signs of destruction causing animals to go extinct practically on a daily basis but there are other extinctions that go unnoticed.  A wonderful example is that of the Peregrin Falcon.  It is a story of dispair AND hope.  As you may know, the Peregrin Falcon was on the verge of extinction but now its numbers are increasing steadily.

In the late 1940's scientists invented a miracle chemical, DDT.  Its purpose was to erradicate all crops of unwanted pests, an effect that would cause a substantial boom in the agricultural industry across North America.  It was deemed to be safe and business men even dived into vats of the stuff to prove to consumers that it was as safe as water.  Naturally, everyone across the globe began to use it and a few years later, strange things began to happen.  Fish being caught in the Great Lakes were deformed and eagle and falcon populations were delining drastically.  By the 1970's Peregrin Falcon populations dropped 90% leaving only 1500 in the US and Mexico.  In 1972, DDT was banned in the US and recovery efforts released more than 6000 falcons into the wild 2 years later.  August 25, 1999, the Peregrin Falcon was removed from the endangered species list and is now doing quite well.

Unfortunately, many organotoxins, including DDT and atrazine, are still being used around the world, especially in North America.  ALthough, the story of the Peregrin Falcon is hopeful, we are still threatening numerous species.  Amphibians are most directly affected by our chemical love-affair and by 2010 we may not have any left in the world.  This is a huge problem because the loss of even one species effects an ecosystem drastically; imagine the loss of a whole order of species!  And if these chemicals are having this effect on amphibians, imagine what they are doing in your body right now.

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