Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why I am a fan of extinction


As much as I want to see one of these...

File:Conuropsis carolinensisAWP026AA2.jpg
...Or one of these....
(also, neither of the above pictures are mine)

I understand that I cannot.  They are extinct.  Extinction is an interesting occurrence in nature.  There have been massive extinctions and small ones.  Extinctions have played a role in opening niches and spaces for new species and adaptations to occur in our environment.  Recently, there's been a lot of news about the idea and prospect of bringing back certain species to the planet.  This news strikes me as odd and rather unusual.  The idea is certainly attractive and amazing.  Seeing rare animals is exciting enough, heck, seeing common animals is exciting!  Can you imagine seeing Tasmanian Tigers, Passenger Pigeons, Carolina Parakeets?  That would be a thrill beyond thrills.

But here's my problem.  What does extinction teach us?  Why should we become fans of extinction?  To put it simply, if we can reverse extinction, what's to push us to value the world we have now?  I think the idea that can "undo" the damage we've done to our world is good in principle but if it means that we just ignore efforts to preserve the world we have, then it becomes a dangerous one indeed.  We need to value the world we have, we also need to value the world's we lost.  It is for this reason that I question the potential effects of bringing back extinct species to life.  I don't want us to use the natural world like a playground to benefit our own curiosities.

Washington Post Article - Click here - Passenger Pigeon & Click Here- General Article

No comments:

Post a Comment