So everyone’s all scared to death over this whole “avian flu” thing. President Bush even rolled out a $7.1 b, as in BILLION, plan to combat it. Scientists estimate that it could wipe out 50% or more of the world’s human population. Ouch. Well, lucky for you, The Objective Observer is here to save the day. I can tell you how to pretty much cure this whole annoying flu thing once and for all and for much, much less than $7.1 billion. Want to know how? Listen up!
First, you have to understand that the term “avian flu” is kind of a misnomer in so far as this actually refers to a general class of flu, influenza A viruses, not a PARTICULAR, individual flu strain. You see, there are three general influenza genera, A, B and C. B and C only infect humans. Influenza A infects other mammals and birds as well as humans and is otherwise known as avian influenza. Epidemics and pandemics are far more likely to be caused by influenza A because it can undergo something called antigenic shift where two flu strains combine to form a new strain that can be problematic for our immune systems to combat. Influenza B and C only undergo antigenic drift, which is the natural mutation over time. Now, the second thing you have to understand is that wild birds are widely held to be the source of influenza A in all other mammals and humans.
So, obviously, all you have to do is wipe out all the birds on Earth and POOF! no more influenza A, no more flu epidemics, no more flu pandemics and no $7.1 billion dollars. I mean, hell if these damn birds are really the descendants of dinosaurs, then they should have gone extinct 65 million years ago right? We already thought they were all dead so now we’d just be making sure of it. Now, sure, at $.40 per shotgun shell and even with 100% accuracy, wiping out 250 billion birds would run you $100 billion but poison is WAY cheaper than shotgun shells. Besides, you could factor in the sporting aspect of it and maybe some meat sales and you could maybe even come out ahead financially.
Now, I am sure that there are some mamby pamby environmentalists out there whose eyes are just about bleeding right now. They’ve got the veins bulging out of their temples and nearly sucked their computer keyboards down their throats gasping in horror. And I am sure that even some of you reasonable people out there are having second thoughts. I mean no more fried chicken, no more Thanksgiving turkey, say it ain’t so!! Sure that would suck, but would it suck more than an avian influenza pandemic wiping out 3 billion people? Not likely.
But, what about the children you say? Meaning; of course, all of the little chicks and chicklettes. Isn’t wiping out almost 10,000 species of birds a little inhumane you say? Not at all. You see, you aren’t being rational and OBJECTIVE about the matter. You are getting all gooshy and sentimental about things. Or worse, you have bought into all this environmentalist nonsense about the “unnaturalness” of “human-caused” extinctions. Pish-posh. You see there is nothing unnatural about extinctions. 99.9% of all species that have ever existed on earth are extinct. What’s more natural than THAT?!? The only thing unnatural about extinction would be to NOT go extinct. THAT, would be unnatural.
But, you are going to say that while extinctions may be a perfectly natural part of the life cycle, humans causing extinctions is “unnatural”. That is, without a doubt, one of the most IGNORANT ideas ever conceived. No small surprise that environmentalists dreamed up that WHOPPER of an idiotic notion. How in the world they have been able to pull this one off for so long, the world may never know, but it ends today.
Think about it. Do you REALLY think that if, oh; say, a land shark were to evolve and start eating people that it would worry one whit about whether or not human beings went extinct? KNOCK! KNOCK! “Candygram.” NOOO!!! In fact, that is the way it works in “nature”. Basically, everything competes for ecological niches, eat or be eaten. If certain species become vulnerable to a particular adaptation and do not adapt quickly enough to overcome that vulnerability, guess what? That’s right, they go extinct. And NATURE does not give any quarter or exhibit one iota of regret or sentimentality. Nature is a harsh ass world. You show even the slightest weakness and BAM!! You’re history. Thanks for tryin’ out, have fun becoming a fossil.
You people need to understand, everything may LOOK nice and pleasant sitting here at the top of the food chain, but this is just intermission. Evolution and nature are still out there and they will eventually come back for another round, with a VENGEANCE! Whether you know it or not, we are in a war for survival every day of our lives. Lizards, birds, insects and all the rest haven’t just given up on their quest to be the biggest and the baddest. Mammals, we have just temporarily achieved the upper hand. Hell, we humans aren’t even safe within our own Class or even our own Genus. Cripes, we just took Neanderthal out less than 30,000 years ago! And you better believe a mountain lion, given the chance, is going to eat your sorry ass, fancy jogging jumpsuit or not! All it would take would be one little stumble and BAM!! Nature would be on us faster than the cancellation of a Chevy Chase late night talk show. Oh yeah, THAT fast.
We are fools, FOOLS, I tell you for not IMMEDIATELY wiping out any and all animals that pose a significant threat to our existence, or even might POSSIBLY pose a significant threat. We need to wipe them out before they wipe us out.
Some may say that I am a cold-hearted bastard. I say, the passenger pigeon and the dodo were a good start.
Originally published November 2005