Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

21 November 2008

White Thanksgiving?

At a diner somewhere in Philadelphia right now, some schmuck is saying to another schmuck: "There's no such thing as global warming. Look! It's snowing on Nov. 21." And the schmuck's friend will agree, thus adding to the ranks of the moron brigade that doesn't think the climate is so totally screwed. I mention this because it's snowing this morning and if the globe was really warming, well, wouldn't it be 80 degrees out today? Take that, stupid science.

In any event, I'm A.C. bound today (the two-year anniversary of the discovery of four dead prostitutes off the White Horse Pike), so I'll leave you with a quick thought from this week's Sports Illustrated and be on my merry way. It's about how we, as a people, have gotten all moral about hunting and, as a result, we're pretty much becoming the hunted.

The news of hunting's decline will no doubt cheer those who see it as a cruel pastime. But what the critics do not realize is that as the hunters have stepped back, the animals (especially predators) have come forward—with potentially disastrous consequences for all.
Valerius Geist, a professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Calgary and an expert on the behavior of large mammals, calls what is happening "the recolonization by wildlife." The first sign, he says, "was when the herbivores returned," a reference to the overabundance of deer, moose and elk in North America. After the herbivores, Geist says, the carnivores are never far behind. "We are just now beginning to experience that phase," he says. As recently as 1994 there were about 50 wolves left in the Yellowstone region (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming), but the population there now stands at more than 1,500; in Minnesota wolves climbed from about 500 in the 1950s to more than 3,000 today.
The third phase of animal recolonization, Geist says, is "the parasites and diseases returning in full force."

Chew on that one while you gnaw on Tom Turkey next week, sapsuckers.


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