Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Haiku: On Extinction - I

Giants walk the earth.
Slow thoughts process blinding light.
Futures become dearth.

The red sky, it churns.
Food and breath are hard to catch.
Ow, extinction burns.

Scaly and hungry,
Earth has lived another life.
The product? Oily.

1 comment:

  1. The problem of climate change relates to the ESA because the ESA, in actuality, is about restoring abundance of any given species.

    The contrast to this is, of course, a decrease in abundance, which at some point triggers the data-driven assessments of threatened, endangered – and extinct.

    I am thinking of a neighbor of mine, a cattle rancher whose land has long supported one head of cattle for every twenty acres of grassland. Where he happens to live, in NW California, is hot and dry in summer.

    If climate change drives up temperatures, even a little, and if climate change decreases, even a little, annual rainfall in the area, then my neighbor's grasslands will support less than one head of cattle for every twenty acres. Will he and his family be viable if the number drops to 1 for every 22 acres? 25 acres?

    No amount of "regulatory relief," that conservative panacea, will help him if his land no longer supports enough cattle for his operation to be viable.

    And so: will he and his operation become extinct because climate change pushes him past a carrying-capacity tipping point? Will more of his fellow ranchers in the region become extinct in this way because of climate change?

    At what scale of demise – of ranchers or Mississippi sandhill cranes – do we begin to care?

    According to experts who write my essay for money, climate change is affecting any given life form's ability to produce and to reproduce in service to a measure of abundance that assures its own resilience, and thus persistence, long-term. Climate change will so too affect any given rancher's (or farmer, or resource producer) ability to produce enough abundance that assures its own resilience, and thus persistence, long-term.

    Rancher and sandhill crane alike need an ESA that engages climate change so as to promote and enhance abundance and resilience of habitats and species, but not at the expense of each other.