Ron Waitman’s letter of Feb. 5 opines that the world has managed quite well without passenger pigeons, dodos and T. rex after their extinctions, so what’s the big deal about adding an “insignificant” species like the pocket gopher to the list. After all, he reminds us, gophers and spotted owls haven’t made much of a contribution to society.
Really? And have you, Mr. Waitman? How many symphonies, or masterful paintings, or cures for disease can we credit to you? This is not a “balance-of-nature” issue. This is playing God, and we’re on a slippery slope that has left most of the earth’s creatures in trouble. Will this be your answer, too, when we kill off the last elephant, tiger and rhinoceros?
To presume no species deserves the right to live unless it adds to human culture is as ridiculous as it is arrogant.
Humans have overpopulated beyond the carrying capacity of this planet and are engaged in an impending mass extinction of species that have as much right to survive as we do. We have claimed every square inch of the earth’s surface for ourselves, other species be damned, and we’re looking at a future of sprawling, impoverished humanity with their surviving cows, dogs, cats, rats, roaches, mosquitoes, and probably an ornamental tree or two.
As we continue to exterminate our fellow creatures, keep in mind that the world we’re currently trashing can also manage quite well without us.