Friday, June 15, 2007

'Common' birds vanishing in U.S., study finds

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

The populations of 20 common American birds — from the fence-sitting meadowlark to the whippoorwill with its haunting call — are half what they were 40 years ago, according to an analysis released Thursday.

Suburban sprawl, climate change and other invasive species are largely to blame, said study author Greg Butcher of the National Audubon Society.

"Most of these we don't expect will go extinct," he said. "We think they reflect other things that are happening in the environment that we should be worried about."

Click here for the rest.

Okay, so common birds are disappearing and bee colonies are going missing. Clearly, something really fucked is happening with the environment. Unless this is yet another manifestation of some big liberal conspiracy to keep the rich from getting richer. Of course, I'm joking about that, but it worries me that the potential public reaction to this now endless stream of news stories concerning subtle environmental shifts, like glaciers melting or super-hurricanes, is so easily diluted by right-wing disinformation campaigns. I mean, attitudes do seem to be changing. The fact that Al Gore is now something of a superstar is evidence of that. But are they changing quickly enough? The birds and the bees are fucking disappearing, for Christ's sake!

I don't think alarmism is out of line here.