Sunday, November 02, 2008

First They Came for the Amphibians, and I Said Nothing, Because I Was Not an Amphibian


[N]ew evidence shows that the herbicide atrazine—widely sprayed on crop fields throughout the region—is killing the frogs by helping parasitic worms that feast on them.

That may explain why amphibians are on the decline worldwide. As many as one third of the nearly 6,000 known amphibian species—frogs, toads, salamanders, even wormlike caecilians—are threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Such herbicides are present in 57 percent of U.S. streams, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and it is that water pollution—not inbreeding—that is the prime suspect in the high rate of deformity in U.S. amphibian populations, according to new research from Purdue University.

But national parks and other areas protected from pollution and development are providing no refuge. The frogs and salamanders of Yellowstone National Park have been declining since the 1980s, according to a Stanford University study, as global warming dries out seasonal ponds, leaving dried salamander corpses in their wake. Since the 1970s, nearly 75 percent of the frogs and other amphibians of La Selva Biological Station in Braulio Carrillo National Park in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica have died, perhaps due to global warming.

But the really bad news is that amphibians may be just the first sign of other species in trouble. Biologists at the University of California, San Diego, have shown that amphibians are the first to respond to environmental changes, thanks to their sensitivity to both air and water. What goes for amphibians may soon be true of other classes of animal, including mammals.

Scientific American


If they were human, we would call it genocide.

It's not global warming -- it's human change of the earth on a wholesale scale. We have introduced new chemicals into air and water and earth; we have divided up ecosystems with roads and fences; we have changed the climate; we have exploited "resources" that starve the rest of their ecosystems.

It's wholesale war. If these amphibians were just from a minority group -- a human minority group, that is -- we could feel pity.

But instead, it's just a consequence of our lifestyle as we move toward universal progressive freedom equality wealth entertainment religion whatever.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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