Thursday, February 12, 2015

War of the Wolves
B.C. Should look to Yellowstone Case before Wolf Cull

Video: Wolf cull in B.C. | A War on the Wolf   
Source: CBCNews
“Nature needs no help, just no interference.”
~ BJ Palmer
Source: The Greatest Inspirational Quotes Nature
Today we look at a contentious issue again, one which rattles people on both sides of the argument: human interference or non-interference with nature?

Should human beings overtly get in the way of natural processes, systems—ecosystems—extinctions, even? It is a contentious and emotional issue. After all, as people we tend to get pretty attached to one of two deciding factors in the argument:
  1. Nature First:be it a moral position of superiority over human judgment; or, an ethical statement on the rights of animals and plants to exist free from suffering. 

  2. Humans First:be it our position of moral superiority (being “conscious,” the most “evolved” of all animals, and/or divinely assigned the role of guardian and custodian of the planet and all life on it; or, a pragmatic secular statement on humanity’s rights to exploit nature however and whenever it deems necessary; that this, too, is survival of the fittest.

These two positions are not mutually exclusive.  In the case of the proposed B.C. wolf cull discussed in the video which opened today’s article, advocates of the cull are claiming good ecological stewardship, claiming they have the best interests of the “endangered” caribou at heart—a “beloved Canadian symbol.”

We can’t help but wonder if those considering this cull have looked into the Yellowstone case for what the large-scale impacts that top-level predators have on ecosystems.

Video: The importance of predators, the Yellowstone case 

We wish to try and be somewhat balanced in sharing this information; so for the sake of balance, we should point out that even the Yellowstone “success story” has its detractors. One man’s success is another man’s disaster. This should come as no surprise.

Video: Crying Wolf: Exposing the Wolf Reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park – Preview 

Good or bad, right or wrong, for better or for worse, one cannot debate that the re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone was a human intervention…albeit reversing previous human interference which included culling wolves and/or driving them from Yellowstone in the first place.

The point is, human beings have an ongoing and unquestionable knack for intervening in nature which leads to highly disruptive if not all out disastrous results.  The planet even has a continent which more than any other has served as a massive experiment in species introduction, relocation, and interference…Australia.

Video: Human interference with nature - it doesn't work! - BBC wildlife 

So where do we end up? Species introduction bad? Species reintroduction good? In the final analysis, these questions of good or bad, right or wrong have no place in the discourse of nature. We should, by now, know all too well that nature does not share humanity’s ideas of morality, nor does it function on a purely binary code of conduct.

At times life appears sacred to nature, and we see it nurturing and fighting to protect life at all costs from all threats. At other times, nature appears callous and uncaring, partaking in wholesale destruction of entire species.

Nature is mysterious that way, and the thinking human doesn’t like mysteries…the thinking human likes to be in control. We like to think we have the answers, and want to believe we know what we’re doing. Humanity like to think ourselves masters of the universe, whether we are scientists manipulating genes in test tubes, or spiritual gurus professing ourselves to be one with the Source of the Universe.

The problem is precisely our point of view…not which point of view we have, but the fact that we have one at all. It’s the very notion of imposing what we think—from our subjective perspective—needs to be done on what operates on a fundamentally objective paradigm.

Say what you will about nature, it at times appears fair and other times unfair…but what it is not is biased. Nature is what it is. And truthfully, it’s only from this level of consciousness that anyone can hope to approach any problem in nature and hope to get it right.

Intervention? Non-intervention? Who knows? Here’s what we do know: you’re never going to think it through…like so many of our experiences of nature, you have to feel it, but not subjectively in the mind (“poor caribou, poor moose, poor wolves”), but objectively: what is most beautiful.

You can fill countless textbooks on the ecological effects of this or that; using statistics, satellite imagery, head-counts of fauna, and every conceivable metric to stimulate the mind in an attempt to convince it of what is right or wrong. But to know what’s most beautiful you only need your imagination...

Australia overrun with foreign invaders? Yellowstone returned to her former glory? Unknown consequences to B.C. ecosystem?

Just feel it. What feels right?

No comments:

Post a Comment