Thursday, December 12, 2019
#346 / Let's Not Get Outfoxed!
The image above came in an email asking me to subscribe to National Geographic. The text of the email told me that foxes are "vanishing before our eyes."
I was somewhat taken aback by this news, though not exactly surprised. We are, as I hope we all realize, in the midst of a mass extinction event - the Sixth Mass Extinction in the history of the planet. You can click right here to get a brief summary of the five earlier mass extinction events. Unlike those events, the current mass extinction event is essentially human-caused. No asteroid from outer space has been needed to put most of the species of life on our planet in desperate peril. We are taking care of that ourselves!
On the day I got the "foxes are vanishing" email, I was actually thinking about bird extinctions. The United States and Canada have lost three billion birds since 1970, according to recent reports. I had been thinking about that - and also about the insect extinctions that threaten the collapse of nature. Now, I learn that we have to add foxes to the ever-growing list of endangered species.
You may remember (if you read this blog regularly) that I have been making reference to reindeer, as a way to talk about how our refusal to submit ourselves to the primacy of the Natural World is putting human civilization in danger. After I heard about the 200 dead reindeer, which starved to death, I heard about the insects; then I heard about the birds. Of course, birds and insects do go togehter. No insects, no birds. That's pretty clear. Now, I am adding foxes to the list of species that we should be trying to keep around.
As our human activities take us toward a "collapse of nature," it is always appropriate to realize that we're next!
You could say that our commitment to human activities that help advance species extinction is a demonstration (smart as we think we are) that we are just outfoxing ourselves!
I have heard from a couple of people who read this blog post that the animal pictured above is NOT, in fact, a "fox," but is a "red panda." I must say, a full-face picture of a red panda does lend credence to that observation, which I was obviously not astute enough to make on my own. The picture included in the blog posting IS the picture that came with a National Geographic pitch for a subscription claiming that "foxes are vanishing before our eyes." Maybe that was a kind of "in joke." The fox that one might have expected to have illustrated the appeal from National Geographic "vanished," only to be replaced by that red panda! My appreciation for those who brought the actual facts to light! They were definitely not "outfoxed!"