Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Don't Think So!

Foiling Pteranodon Takeoffs Since the Cretaceous!

So the lead story at Yahoo News tonight is the plane crash in the Hudson. What upset me about their little post was their encapsulation of the story as a link to read more.

It read: Birds to blame

Excuse me? Birds? Those cute little fluffy descendants of dinosaurs that have been on earth say, a hundred million years???? While we humans have been polluting up the sky some oh, one hundred? That's one hundred, period. Not one hundred thousand. Not one hundred million. Nope. Using 1903's Kitty Hawk launch, I'd say we were the brash newcomer here, wouldn't you? Not like we've each developed the ability to 'see' the earth's magnetic fields or anything, eh?

Anyhoo, nice to know no one was killed. Well, except for those birds! In the waning days of the Bush administration, I'm sure this incident will be blamed on Hummingbird Hamas or Al-Queda Kites or something... see the NY Times Daily Intel to prove I'm not alone on this airstream.

But my outrage goes on: while researching the whole bird evolution question, I typed in "When did birds appear on Earth" into Google.

Oh, WikiAnswers, that looks good, I thought.

Not so much. Nothing like being fundamentally right.

What to do? Well, frankly this group scares me: Bird Strike Committee USA

They certainly dramatize the 218 people killed by birds striking aircraft, but catch this little line:

About 90% of all bird strikes in the U.S. are by species federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

look closer, and see that it was preceded by:

The nesting population of bald eagles in the contiguous USA increased from fewer than 400 pairs in 1970 (2 years before DDT and similar chlorinated-hydrocarbon insecticides were banned) to over 11,000 pairs in 2007. Over 100 bald eagle strikes with civil aircraft have been reported in USA, 1990-2007. Mean body mass of bald eagles = 9.1 lbs (male); 11.8 lbs (female).

Ah-Ha!! Just remove federal protection from Bald Eagles and California Condors and voila! Problem solved. We can shoot them within a five hundred mile radius of any airport. Call Sara Palin! There's some huntin' licences to be issued!

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