Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Bush Declares War on Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Five days after sightings in Arkansas of the ivory-billed woodpecker, a species long believed to be extinct, were confirmed, the Bush administration has placed a bounty on the elusive creature’s head, offering a reward of $10,000 to anyone who can bring in an ivory-billed woodpecker in its postmortem state. “We’ve been trying to whittle the endangered-species list down since my first day in office, and I’ll be gosh-darned if some critter is going to be added to the list on my watch,” Bush fumed at a hastily called news conference. “I want that bird gone, and I want it gone now.” After years of persistent reports — many by respected naturalists — of the bird’s presence in the Big Woods area of eastern Arkansas, its identity was confirmed on the basis of video footage shot on April 25, 2004, by David Luneau. Asked by a reporter about the ethics of destroying a rare example of a species long believed to be extinct, Bush replied, “Well, it should have stayed extinct, or we wouldn’t have this problem.” Told by another reporter that the creature obviously could not really have been extinct, since once a species is gone it is gone forever, the president replied, “My head hurts.” According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the striking, red-crested bird, whose wingspan can approach three feet, was once a fairly common presence in undeveloped southeastern woodlands, but was driven to the bring of extinction by logging and hunting. It takes about three square miles of mature forest to sustain a breeding pair, and the last confirmed sighting was more than 60 years ago. A paper about the discovery, co-written by the Cornell lab’s director, John Fitzpatrick, was published April 28 in the online version of Science magazine. In response to the sightings, the Nature Conservancy, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and other groups have joined forces to form the Big Woods Conservation Partnership. The group aims to protect some 200,000 acres of forest habitat in the area from development over the next 10 years. Bush noted that protecting 200,000 acres from development would protect 200,000 acres from development. “We can’t have that,” he said. “Some of my best friends are developers. I’m talking jobs here — good American jobs for good American people. Hotels, restaurants, theme parks. I’m not sure what a logger is, but if they have anything to do with cutting down trees, and they have money, I’d be glad to talk to them.” As for the alliance that hopes to protect the area, Bush added, “Just let me get my hands on those granola-crunchers. They make me so mad.” At this point, presidential adviser Karl Rove approached the lectern, and whispered something in Bush’s ear. “What?” Bush said. “Who cares if millions of people are devoted bird-watchers, and aboriginal peoples all over the world believe there is a web of life in which all things are connected, and many Americans are beginning to understand that this is essentially true, and that a threat to any component of an ecosystem threatens the global ecosystem as a whole? How many woodpeckers can you see at one time, anyway? Seen one woodpecker, you’ve seen ’em all. And what the heck’s an ecosystem?” Again, Rove whispered something in the president’s ear. “I don’t care about some rinky-dink publisher in Vermont with a series of books about birds around the world,” the president said. “What did you say their name was? Selsun Blue?” Again, Rove whispered something in the president’s ear. “Chelsea Green,” the president sighed. “Whatever. I say we bring that bird to its knees, and get back to business.” With that, the president turned away from the lectern and walked into a broom closet.


The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com