I’m just saying, if 5,000 birds fell on Indianapolis, I’d be pretty freaked out. It would look a little like Doomsday if 100,000 fish washed up on the banks of the White River. And if 40,000 putrid deceased crabs were stinking up my front yard, it would seem a lot apocalyptic.
So what to make of these and other animal deaths all over the world in recent days?
- Little Rock, Arkansas: 100,000 drum fish.
- Beebe, Arkansas: 5,000 red-winged blackbirds.
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 500 red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings.
- Sweden: 100 jackdaw birds.
- Kentucky: several hundred grackles, red wing blackbirds, robins and starlings.
- New Zealand: hundreds of snapper fish.
- Kent, England: 40,000 devil crabs.
- Chesapeake Bay, Maryland: 2 million spot and croaker fish.
- Brazil: 100 tons of sardine, croaker and catfish.
- Port Orange, Florida: hundreds of dead mullet, ladyfish and catfish.
- East Texas, hundreds of coot birds.
Also rumors of turtle doves in Italy falling from the sky. Add to that the honeybees suffering Colony Collapse Disorder, frogs “leaping to extinction” from chytrid virus and a million bats dead from white-nose syndrome, and we’re not even to the end of the week.
If you read all these stories, there are a couple of themes. “Experts” are dismissing them with some sort of semi-plausible explanation, such as that fireworks have caused the bird deaths. Hello? If that is the case, why don’t we have mass bird deaths every Fourth of July? But what do I know. Then, of course, there are rumors of the end-times, for which (apparently) many people are waiting because, hey! we trashed the Earth and won’t have anywhere left to go.
I’m speculating that the rapidity of gathering news may have something to do with so many people being freaked out about all this. Pre-Google, we’d have no idea there were so many similar incidents going on all over the world, so no one would have been worried about it. Now, we can google the search term “bird deaths” and get Realtime info on that topic and related stories from news organizations, blogs and tweets. The links above are from presumably credible news organizations (in my book, those that have editors).
I wonder, however, why these animal deaths aren’t a top story on every newscast and above the fold of every newspaper. The top three stories aggregated on Google News when I got home from work this evening were all about U.S. politics. So John Boehner has a bigger gavel than Nancy Pelosi, and the Right Wing-Nuts are lying to the American people AGAIN about healthcare. We live in a truly screwed up world that pays more attention to this bullshit than to the delicate fabric of our ecosystem, on which we all depend for our very lives.
God help the birds, fish, frogs, bats and bees. And God help us.