Reflections on the Surface

July 30, 2007

Too little oxygen.

Several weeks ago, several hundred Yellowstone Trout died in a sudden and inglorious manner in the Firehole river in Yellowstone National Park. With water temperatures rising to record levels in the heat wave that scoured the West, the oxygen in the river water became rapidly depleted and within hours the fish were dead.

It has been the largest fish kill in recorded history in Yellowstone.

Meanwhile, to the East, the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico is, thankfully, a few thousand square miles smaller than had been anticipated, but an anoxic area the size of New Jersey is hardly promising.

But then, history will look back on these decades with contempt, as fragile ecosystems the world over are systematically and callously stripped of biodiversity by the onward march of ‘progress’.

Malthus wasn’t wrong. This beautiful planet cannot sustain an indefinitely spiralling population without changing beyond all recognition.

Treasure it while you can.


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