Monday, October 01, 2007

We have met the enemy

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Hamlet's words (or were they Horatio's?) have always been a challenge to us to explore the unknown. Like the tousands of plants and animals that were unknown when I was a kid, or the dozens of "new" elements that never made it into the periodic tables when I was a student. New nations keep appearing, so that the globe I once had in my living room is completely out of date, with few places in the world we're slowly learning to accept today.

I once had a small dinosaur family, tiny plastic creatures that I loved: Tyrannosaurus Rex -- I called him "Tyranny" and took him on adventures with me, along with Brontosaurus, Diplodicus, and all their friends, who were friends of mine, too.

One recent book, "Memoires of a Monster Hunter" by Nick Redfern (New Page Books, 2007) in pop-scientist style, tells of the author's attempts to locate such critters as the Loch Ness monster, or "the terrifying chimpaberra, a razor clawed, glowing eyed beast that is part giant bat and part vampire," and so on and so on. Unfortunately, the book is mostly about his treks into the wilderness and his adventures there.

Frankly, I've found it more fun to visit the real-life animals at Wolf Creek, where the big, very personable wolves are quite shy, particularly around men, but always alert and curious, protective of one another, and quite harmless to humans, although they see dogs as competitors for their territory.

Humans have a long history of destruction, far more devastating to our world heritage than anything less than the incredible planetary collision that destroyed the dinosaurs. We are at the center of a planetary disaster. Unfortunately Redfern's book shows little concern for the real disasters ahead. As Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

John M. Morris

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