(fish gotta swim)
Two disclaimers- I have PMS, and I had my first algebra test yesterday, so I'm feeling pretty tender around the gills right now. But this article brought tears to my eyes.
Mitsubishi (yes, that Mitsubishi) has cornered the market on deeply endangered southern bluefin tuna, Thunnus maccoyii. They are in the process of fishing, processing, and deep-freezing as much bluefin as they possibly can. Why? So they can cash in when it goes extinct. And bluefin tuna's extinction is probably going to occur very soon.
Why is it going extinct? The easy answer is overfishing. The slightly more complicated answer is: Because there is a sushi joint in every strip mall and every grocery store in every burg in every industrialized country in the world. And humans are greedy, short-sighted primates in strong possession of the conjoined-twin attributes optimism and denial.
There are 90% fewer fish in the oceans today than there were just 10 years ago. Optimism says: "Oh, it'll be ok! Somebody'll figure it out!" Denial says: "My eating sushi once a week can't possibly hurt the situation." It's the tragicomedy that is us.
And meanwhile, human population is growing exponentially. Right now, there are 1,000,000 new human babies born every 4 days. That's a lotta mouths to feed.
I had my first sushi in 1987. 1987 was the year human population reached 5 billion. Now, there are 6.7 billion people in the world. We'll have 7 billion by 2012. At least a few of them will love sushi. They will also need other sources of calories, clean water, housing. How can this be possible, except to the destruction of all else?
Well, it's probably not possible. On the bright side, oil depletion will probably bring a Malthusian catastrophe (See? I'm an optimist, too). It will also bring into check our 100-year rampage only made possible by oil, including our destruction of so many critters who share this amazing space with us. I know it runs against human nature, but we can't have it all.