The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


June 3, 2014

Primus Mootry: About the birds and the bees

“And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over ... all living things that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26

It’s not what you think. Usually, “birds and bees” is code for providing sex education to children. In Chicago, for example, the public school system recently has decided to start this education with kindergartners.

The sense of it is “the sooner, the better.” After all, children are curious little people, and if they don’t learn about sex from a parent or teacher, they will learn it in what is often the most ruthless of schools — experience.

As important a subject as this may be, however, I’m not talking about birds and bees as a way of providing sex education to school age children. I’m talking about real birds and real bees.

The nature of this problem, and the larger context in which it presents itself, hangs like a dark shadow over all our day-to-day cares and woes. It runs to the question of the continued existence of human beings in their drive for so-called progress.

In larger context, we exist within an ecosystem, defined as “a localized group of interdependent organisms together with the environment that they inhabit and depend on.” A recent Associated Press story in The Herald Bulletin, “On The Brink,” said: “Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before human beings arrived on the scene. The world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction.”

When animal and plant organisms in our ecosystem are threatened, we, as organisms, are also threatened. So we should be alarmed by the news of millions of birds falling from the sky. Concerned scientists are researching possible reasons why, in the last decade, this worldwide phenomenon apparently is accelerating. Other observers call it “the aflockalypse.”

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