Friday, September 23, 2011
a walk with Crow
This morning as susan and I strolled along the beach she mentioned that my absence from her blog had been noted. This is true and I do apologize if this has caused any consternation. The fact is I've been sequestered in my library for long hours in a vainglorious attempt to write a book for my animal friends on the subject of human intelligence. After copious rewrites the only thing I have to show is a pamphlet. Yes, yes you people have made huge strides in all sorts of ways that benefit you - I won't argue that. Yet I wonder who among you wouldn't agree, if asked to take my point of view, that so much of this achievement has a hollow ring. Let me spell out a few of my concerns for you in brief.
You'd think, given a planet that's 70% covered in water and 10% covered by mountains, deserts, and snow covered wastelands in a solar system with no other habitable biospheres that people would be careful of the real estate. You'd think they'd develop an intelligent approach to land use. You'd think they wouldn't fight stupid little wars over useful areas of terrain, wouldn't deploy weapons and energy generating systems that could render the land useless for human and animal habitation for centuries to come. You wouldn't think they'd knowingly pollute their water with poisons. You wouldn't think they'd fill the air with chemicals and the crops with genetically modified pesticides - what you call a pest is dinner to many of my friends. You'd never imagine a sensible race would chop down forests and pave the continents with asphalt and pipelines. Well, you wouldn't, would you?
The worst effects of human depredations could be overcome if you acted in concert to live in harmony with your environment as all other animals do. The trouble is that many of you aren't able to come to this conclusion on your own. The birds I've spoken with have told me you interpret their cries as simple bad temper rather than the urgent communication about danger they've been trying to establish.
We may have come up with a solution. Not only have the birds been studying you but now the parrots who have lived closely enough with humans to learn your languages have returned to the wild to teach the flocks how to speak. Perhaps when the day of reckoning comes it won't be zombie armies or hordes of robot warriors bearing deadly cleaning implements. Instead, you may witness the cockatoo apocalypse when millions of birds the world over stand outside your windows to shout:
I bid you a temporary farewell as I retire once more to my library with a fresh pot of espresso, an old fruitcake, and a snifter of Remy. This search of my files for anecdotes about human intelligence is a trying procedure. Meanwhile, susan has agreed to forward any remarks you see fit to leave for my attention.
Salutations, dear friends.