Saturday, October 21, 2006

More of the flies

Originally posted 5/17/06


I touched on this subject yesterday, but today I’m going to full-on molest it.

Ponder something along with me. Look at the two dogs above. The one on the left could get lost in the stool of the one on the right. And they are the very same species. Dogs come in a ridiculous variety of shapes, sizes, colors, hair lengths, etc., mostly from our own breeding practices over time (which makes the complaints against genetic testing laughable - we’ve been doing it for thousands of years).

But with all that variation and biological diversity, they are still all considered the same species.

Yesterday, I wrote about how 12 different species of Hawaiian picture-wing flies have been put on the Endangered Species list. The only thing that separates the different species is the color patterns on their wings. Other than that, they seem to behave similarly, breed the same, they basically just look a little different. And for some reason, they’re considered totally different species.

But the two dogs above are the same species.

You know how the road you drive down to get to work every day that’s perfectly fine, no potholes or anything, suddenly one day a construction crew is out there digging it up and resurfacing it for no reason whatsoever, and you’ve got to find another way to get to work for a few weeks and it totally messes up your life? And you know there was nothing wrong with that road and the only reason they did it was so the Transportation Department can pad their budget and get more money next year?

Ever get the feeling the EPA is just making up endangered species so they can get more money in their budget?

Because there’s probably plenty of picture-wing flies in Hawaii, but not that many with spots on the wings! We’ve got to save those flies! They’re one of the most important endemic invertebrates in Hawaii!!

They’re F*CKING FLIES!!!

Now, you won’t find more of a granola-eatin’ tree-huggin’ hippie than the Idiot. My car gets over 40 miles a gallon and I fill it with Bio-fuel. I’m all about the environment. But whenever I see reports saying that we’re losing thousands of animal species every year, I can’t help but think about things like the picture-wings. Because they say all these species are dying and it makes you think it’s something big, like say bears. But no, it’s always some Andean mountain tortoise that only lives on the north slope of Mount Charurimako, which can be identified by its front claws being half a millimeter longer than other Andean tortoises.

And what’s more likely, that the planet will spiral out of control without the long-clawed tortoises on Mount Charurimako or the Hawaiian picture-wing flies with the dots, or that a government bureaucracy is trying to make a little more money?

Being a lover of the environment, this bothers the Idiot. Because I want the EPA to do its job effectively, and this kind of crap just undermines it.

Granted, these are the musings of a layperson. The idiot is no scientist, but he’s no idiot, either... In a manner of speaking...

But look at those two dogs again. Do you really see those two mating? If two creatures are in the same species, shouldn’t they be able to get down? Maybe the definition of a different species should be whether or not the two of them could actually mate.

Of course, by that definition, people and sheep are the same species.

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