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When I was younger I never really understood why some people wanted nothing more than a tiny little piece of the planet in a tiny little corner of the world far away from most of what was going on. To my young, adventurous mind it was an attitude I found to be terribly limiting. I once knew a farmer who told me that his dream in life was to live in the last house on a dead end road in the middle of the woods. I had trouble figuring out how that could possibly be a good thing.
It's amazing the changes that time can make. Now, at this time of my life, when the world is undeniably shrinking metaphorically with every passing year, I find myself thinking that it is not necessarily a good thing and that last house on the dead end street is looking much more attractive to me than it did when I was young.
I got to thinking about this listening to a news story about blue crabs. Evidently, climate change and the warming of the oceans is causing species that live in the seas to suddenly pop up in places they really shouldn't be and hence, there are blue crabs in the waters off the coast of Maine where blue crabs have no business hanging out. I recall blue crabs from when I lived in the southeast and although they are indigenous to the Maryland coast, the icy waters off the coast of Maine should not be their vacation spot of choice. Yet, here they are and it is causing some problems. Evidently, a group of scientists are now meeting to discuss what should be done about it. Obviously, there is very little hope of getting rid of them. You can't deport a bunch of blue crabs and send them back where they came from, and you can't really blame the poor little blue guys, apparently it has become so warm back home that they are desperately seeking a way to stay cool. >From what I could gather, these scientists have tracked 36 species of fish that ordinarily live in tropical waters and discovered that 70% of them are migrating north to beat the heat. Unfortunately, they have a major impact on the existing ecosystem and some decision needs to be made concerning how to handle it. Good luck, I say.
It isn't just the blue crabs, of course. Invasive species from Asia are turning up everywhere, in the seas, the lakes, and the rivers of North America, and they are not very nice. In fact, they are pretty aggressively horrifying. Asian bugs are killing all the Ash trees in the south and the manufacturers of baseball bats are pretty upset. In fact, from what I can gather, any species of bugs or fish from Asia are incredibly nasty. It can almost make you wonder how anything or anyone survives over there.
Unlike the poor overheated blue crabs, most of the species from other continents currently devouring our indigenous plants and animals were brought here by people. Can't blame them, really, they were just along for the ride. Anacondas in the Florida swamps didn't get there because they bought a timeshare and a ticket. Like a lot of things terribly wrong with this planet, it can be traced directly back to the responsibility of human beings. Go us. Too bad we are in such a hurry to bring about an apocalypse. I guess we just don't have the patience to wait for some volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, or rogue asteroids to make it happen. We like to get the jump on things.
People are leaving where they started out and spreading around the world and bringing all sorts of fun stuff with them and there is no stopping it. What will be, will be. Like all things having to do with humans, I imagine it has both its good and bad consequences. No more ash baseball bats is kind of sad, but not a global tragedy, after all. The trouble with anything involving people is that we insist on dragging everything with us, not just some bugs, plants, and fish, but also all our old prejudices, hatreds, superstitions, and fears. The bugs and fish don't have any baggage, they just continue to do whatever nature is telling them to do no matter where they are. Survival is everything. For people, it is a lot more complicated. We have these big brains that make us believe in stuff and care about stuff that has absolutely no meaning in nature at all and when we board the train we pull behind us the biggest baggage car in the universe filled with some stuff that is pretty cool, but more stuff that is just crazy, irrational, angry, and sometimes evil. Let's face it, we're hoarders and a lot of what we hoard is explosive and very, very dangerous. The whole mix, bugs, fish, plants, and people, is kind of scary.
With this in mind, having that little corner of the planet hidden in the woods doesn't seem so crazy to me now. Not that I want to be a hermit or anything, but I wouldn't mind having a small spot where I can escape the bugs from the other side of the world that want to eat my trees, or the fish that want to avoid boiling in their own environment. I don't blame them for wanting a better place to swim, they are just trying to survive, but something tells me that the blue crabs and the red lobsters might not see eye to eye on things. I fear there may not be unity, even among crustaceans.
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