I've been sick with some brain-numbing, happiness-sucking, chest-congested cold.
I've been feeling very grim, and while I do know that this is the illness speaking, I somehow managed to muster the energy to treat Robb to a full-on rant about how I fear that our country has gotten into the habit of thinking very selfishly. It seems to me, in my unhealthy state of mind, that we've lost our capacity for compassion, for imagining ourselves in another person's circumstances. Instead, it seems, we've taught ourselves to say, "What's in this for me? If I don't benefit, then screw the other guy."
Does anyone but me know about the banning of the insecticide DDT? DDT was a synthetic insecticide that was hugely popular in the middle of the 20th Century, and which was shown to travel up the food chain, and destroy the eggs of larger birds. It was banned in 1972, at the birth of the environmental movement.
I was wondering aloud to Robb whether in today's America, anyone would give a shit about a bunch of stupid useless birds, or if we would just keep dumping this highly effective pesticide on the crops, because it was cheap and easy. I really had my doubts.
And then, today, I read that the Brown Pelican made such a successful recovery, that it was going to be removed from the Federal Endangered Species List.
These magnificent pterodactyl-like birds had almost been destroyed by humans who filled their diets with egg-ruining poisons, who hunted them for their feathers, and who changed the shorelines so drastically that there was nowhere for pelicans to breed.
Over the past thirty-some years, thanks to the work of some humans, these birds have bounced back.
There's hope, after all.