Ignorance and Unintended Consequences: TAKE ACTION


Photo Credit – Alaska Wildlife Alliance

A butterfly flaps its wings and thus begin monumental changes in weather patterns as cataclysmic as tornados. The “butterfly effect” clearly details the power of unintended consequences on our infinitely complex world. In the case of this theory, it’s looking at the impact of actions that not only don’t intend the consequences the actions themselves are not “intentional”. The butterfly doesn’t mean to do anything that has consequence, that’s just how things roll when you’re talking about deeply intertwined and entirely interdependent ecosystems like that in which we live.

So the world itself is a delicately balanced tapestry of flora and fauna – all of which has a naturally occurring balance which, if given space and left to its devices, trucks along nicely.

Until humans get involved.

Oh sure you can point to conservancy efforts and the like, and no question that we have saved some species and managed to rebuild ecosystems that faced destruction. Here’s the thing – in most of those cases our efforts were needed, because man had been the catalyst screwing things up in the first place. Overfishing, overhunting, overfarming — over over over over … Man is notorious for entering an ecosystem and sucking it dry. Rather than honoring the symbiosis prevalent in an ecosystem, man has a knack for coming in, taking more than is needed, and in so doing throwing the whole thing out of whack.

Wow. Bleak, right? Pretty dark and negative view of humanity, right?

It’s not all dark. In fact, in recent years monumental progress has been made on the front of conservation across the board. During the last Administration there were major moves to protect Federally-held land from National Parks to conservation areas. The private sector also catalyzed substantial progress – from companies like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to a host of others you can read about here and here.

And then things changed.

The platform on which the current Administration ran was one decidedly anti, well, anti environment for sure. The most recent move took place just this week when the GOP driven US House of Representatives took aggressive action to remove protections for Bears and Wolves.

Here’s the thing – even hunters appreciated and applauded these protections. Get that? Even people who hunt, saw the value in not destabilizing the ecosystem. They understand that the responsibility is to maintaining balance as best possible. Unfortunately an Administration led by someone whose sons have a deep passion for trophy hunting, and who has zero understanding of, well, anything, has empowered those who are eager to drive policy away from progress made in the last Administration for no reason other than they just disliked the last guy.

Who suffers in this? The animals, of course. But ultimately my friends, we all do.

Witness this video that in a very short time details the monumental impact that wolves had in Yellowstone National Park. They didn’t move mountains, but the wolves quite literally moved rivers.

In studying the work of renowned wolf biologist, Gordon Haber, the impact of indiscriminate population control of wolves has catastrophic impact not only on the wolf population itself but in short order the overall ecosystem in which they live. Killing random wolves from a pack doesn’t just reduce the single group number, rather in almost all cases it results in the complete destruction of the group.

So allowing this indiscriminate killing can and will have cataclysmic impact.

And you can do something about it. The US Senate still must vote on this resolution for it to take effect so CALL YOUR SENATORS. If you don’t know who your Senators are (and if you don’t, I’ll refrain from chastising you, for now) you can find their information here.

The Butterfly Effect is real and so take action, let the flapping of wings that changes the course of environmental history be the flying of your fingers across keypads.