KAMLOOPS — When God gave humans stewardship over all creatures great and small, She really screwed up.
According to scientists, some 322 species of birds, mammals and reptiles have gone extinct in the past 500 years, thanks to humans.
We’re all familiar with the passenger pigeon — which once numbered in the billions — and the Dodo bird. We ate both of them into extinction.
Twenty thousand species of plants and animals are at high risk, and we’re losing several species every day.
We’re always taking one step forward, and two back. In B.C, where we have about 15,000 grizzly bears left, the NDP government will ban grizzly bear trophy hunting effective the end of next week.
But… and it’s a big one… outside the Great Bear Rainforest they can still be hunted for meat, meaning you can shoot them for sport if you don’t take the trophy parts home with you. Environmentalist David Suzuki calls it a “political sleight of hand.”
Then there’s the wolf cull. There are 8,000 or so wolves still alive in B.C. but we’re doing our best to kill them off. In the last two winters, more than 200 have been gunned down from helicopters in the name of protecting caribou, which, of course, are popular with recreational hunters.
Environmentalists say the only proper way to save caribou herds is to protect them from resource industries like logging and mining.
By the way, BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is on record as supporting the wolf kill. How’s that for being green?
And, of course, a week can’t go by without something ridiculous happening in Washington. So, Donald Trump’s administration announced that restrictions on importing endangered African elephant trophies would be removed.
Thankfully, in the face of public outrage, the president quickly reversed course and put the decision on hold.
Like so many things in life, our treatment of other species is largely driven by economics. As long as there’s money involved, we’ll keep on killing them off.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.