Monday, May 16, 2005

Nature of the Bush

Well, it's been over a week since I started this thing. I thought I'd have so much to post, but I've been too busy and there hasn't really been any news that pissed me off enough to rant. It's been slowly building, so here's my rant.

In today's Chicago Tribune there was an interesting commentary by Derrick Jackson titled "Bush policy drives out the butterflies and the bumblebees." Now I happen to love monarch butterflies. Nothing defines a great summer day more than spending it in front of the Lincoln Park Zoo watching them flutter about in the garden. They're also fun to watch out on the lake as they float past the boat. I'm always amazed that they're able to go that far out on to the water.

Jackson's article spoke about how the monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles every year from Mexico to the United States using a highly specialized system based on UV light. The Peggy Notebart museum also has a good display showing how they're able to do this and the route they take.

So what do butterflies have to do with President Bush? Well Bush is working to lift the road ban in forests and open them up to logging destroying yet more wildlife. This doesn't affect the monarch's directly, but it does lead to more areas of wilderness that the monarch's have to navigate around. They are already loosing large amounts of their wintering homes in the Mountains of Mexico due to illegal logging. Jackson quoted a biologist from Sweet Briar College in Virginia who said he was in an area of Minnesota last August where there was noting but soybeans for miles. Even with binoculars he couldn't spot a single weed in the crop. He also didn't see a single bumblebee in a 2-mile walk. All this shows that the use of pesticides and industrialized agriculture is eliminating natural pollinators on a national scale.

He concluded the commentary by saying that all the sophisticated navigational gear in the world won't do much good if the monarch butterfly has nothing to eat and nowhere to go and that it might be 20 years before we lose the monarch migration at the current rate of habitat loss. Decisions like Bush's to reopen the forests to road building only speed up the the destruction of the environment.

So my questions are will my children or my grandchildren get the chance to experience the joy of spending a lazy afternoon in a garden watching monarch butterflies flutter about from flower to flower? My other question is how does George Bush have so much power in the short time he's been president to do so much destruction to the policies that protect the environment?

I think we as a society need to take a look at what we are doing to our world. We need to encourage our lawmakers to pass legislation that will help to preserve our environment. Mother nature has taken millions of years to give us beautiful and wonderful creatures yet we're able to destroy all of it in what seems like the blink of an eye. Shouldn't future generations have the opportunely to see and experience the wonder's of nature that our generation takes for granted?

No comments: