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Sci Tech    H4'ed 10/29/18

Base of Our Food Chain Largely Gone

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I have long been reading and learning about extinctions, "little ones" such as the Furbish lousewort, to the grander extinctions that have punctuated evolution on Earth--such as the one that led to the demise of the dinosaur and the rise of mammals and Homo sapiens (five or more of which the genus Homo kicked off some time ago, many of them being here far longer than our self-named "wise selves" so far).

The wipeouts of large animals around the planet by humans, including by Native Americans, are beautiful examples, and for a truly grand display, the wipeouts of Australian plants and animals, with the introduction of species from England, that the British couldn't live without. Need I even mention passenger pigeons and the dodo, or the birds used for women's hats in Grand Paris? The rats in Hawaii?

It is often and typically the little characters that matter most. As the counselor for my Wildlife Merit Badge inscribed on my brain, over half a century ago, "Even that little fly that's bothering you has a purpose here on earth."

Or consider the microscopic plankton that are 40% gone since 1950, thanks to us, even it is they who provide 40% of the oxygen we breathe.

Anyone who thinks about it and has been paying two bits of attention over the years has noticed the diminishing of insects around their environment. This video looks to me like a small yet literal sampling of the crumbling foundation beneath us.

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)

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