Long live the king? Hardly, he's been hung by the neck until dead. His crime: nest-building in a city park. And gathering manmade nesting material that is lethal unless you read the directions. This Western Kingbird could not read the directions. Anyway, they'd been thrown away already, before this bird found the fecklessly discarded fishing line.
I took this picture of the hung Western Kingbird in an Oregon city park. There the dead bird's mate now searches for a new partner. The breeding season is now. It cannot be postponed, or held over until the next staff meeting.
So there we have a capsule of man as Master of the Universe. Use and abuse nature, then move on. Fishing is great but I can't be bothered to think about what my discarded fishing tackle might do. Human trash on land and sea is killing birds from condors to albatrosses. Is there a greentech solution?
For those who find nature to be dirty and complex and irrelevant, I wanna point out this Kingbird would have eaten hundreds of insects over its breeding season in Oregon. Along with its mate it could have raised a half dozen similar Kingbirds to also eat flying insects. That means bug-averse humans would have needed less pesticides, requiring less petroleum be imported. This is a national security issue obviously. I'm with Dick Cheney on this one: let's start waterboarding fishermen until we get some answers. GREENTECH SOLUTIONS?
Even I know that fishing tackle, bottle caps or six-pack binders cannot be made to dissolve in water. But could one greentech solution be plastics that disintegrate in sunlight? Or maybe break down in contact with CO2 in the air? We are certain to have plenty of CO2 for decades to come.
How about some huge, ground-cleaning Roomba? A vaccuum that goes out onto the playgrounds and fishing grounds of the planet and sucks up everything that is not alive? Solar-powered, of course. And then a marine Roomba to clear off the surface of the oceans?
Now I come to my favorite solution: nano-chip in the brain. Not of the Kingbirds. They seem highly evlolved to do what they do best: migrate thousands of miles annually, raise more Kingbirds, eat lots of good-sized flying insects, chase away hawks and crows. Chips in the human brains of potential fishermen. With each purchase of fishing tackle, a chip is implanted. Perhaps the fisherman's whole family have the nano-chips. Fishing seems to be hereditary. Anway. the nano-chip sends a message to the little brain: thou shallt not throw fishing tackle into the water or onto the ground. Thou shallt put it in a closed container. I take it on faith: the holy-sounding syntax would be critical for nano-chip use in America.
OK, you got a better suggestion? We humans seemed determined to eliminate all creatures who can't live in parking lots and golf courses. One tropical bird is being driven to extinction by cocaine-farming! Can't we find a way to make cocaine from petroleum instead of farming it? Then Venezuela and Saudi Arabia could supply the world oil AND cocaine. [poll id="134"]