Killing of this hawk in Chemainus senseless. (Photo submitted)

Killing of this hawk in Chemainus senseless. (Photo submitted)

Overpopulation a huge problem on Earth today

Human indifference and greed contribute to diminishing wildlife

I always find it quite interesting, humorous almost, when stories persist about how people – most often in Oak Bay, it seems – are annoyed by the increasing deer or rabbit populations or some other form of wildlife.

The cries ring out to have them culled or relocated or something because of the outrageous numbers.

Oh, those poor gardens are going to suffer from the raids by these critters.

There are a lot of things we should be alarmed about today and this isn’t one of them.

The simple fact of a few too many different types of wildlife isn’t a huge problem compared to the human population that’s spiralling out of control. In fact, we need to maintain the diminishing types of wildlife we still have left before they all wind up extinct.

It appears the only creatures we actually care about right now are the more ‘fashionable’ types, if you will.

People are suddenly concerned about the few remaining members of the southern resident orca whale population. Shouldn’t we have thought about this a few decades ago?

There is a limited amount of food left for these large mammals to eat, mainly because we’ve overfished salmon stocks. And when restrictions are imposed on our fishing, there’s a huge outcry because humans are so hard done by to be forced into conservation measures.

So we should save the whales, but kill off the deer and rabbits. It depends what species we feel doesn’t incovenience us too much.

We’re way beyond the point of when we should have come to the rescue of animals. Too many are killed needlessly and nothing is ever done about it.

One resident of Chemainus wrote to tell us she and her husband were entering their driveway when they saw a dead hawk laying on the ground. It had been shot in the head.

The couple buried the hawk in their yard out of respect for the creature.

This kind of senseless slaughter for whatever joy it brings to someone has to stop. And the fact a person is wielding a gun of some kind in neighbourhoods to do this is rather scary in itself, but that’s another story.

This is not just our planet and if we have to share to sustain the balance of nature we should be making more of an effort.

The reality is this Earth is severely overpopulated by people. Global warming is a serious problem because of it and Mother Nature can only absorb so much of our waste or our garbage.

The world population is approaching 7.7 billion. A whopping 1.4 billion of that is in China, with another 1.3 billion in India.

We’re finding it more difficult in many parts of the world to ensure supplies of clean water, food and generally sanitary living conditions.

It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better because humans are in control. People are living longer and the birth rate continues to exceed the death rate so there will be a projected 9.7 billion people on the Earth as of 2050.

We continue to encroach on wildlife habitat because there’s always more money to be made and we need more space. More, more, more. It’s never enough and profits from housing developments keep skyrocketing to fuel the incentive.

Bear and cougar sightings aren’t really news anymore, they’ve become so common. No wonder, we keep devouring more forests they inhabit and the amount of land being burned up from wildfires not only here in B.C., but places like California, is staggering.

Combined with horrific floods from record-setting hurricanes and typhoons that have wildlife fleeing and the expanse of their environment is shrinking. This world may seem like a big place, but…

It’s getting hard to even recognize Vancouver and Victoria anymore because so much of the nature we previously saw has been destroyed to make room for more housing to accommodate the growth. A large part of this is because no stipulations were ever placed on foreign investment from countries that are exploding their borders and have enormous financial wealth, until now.

It’s obvious business leaders and investors will never be happy with stable growth. If returns aren’t outrageously high, they’ll find a way to make it happen.

But what is the real expense?

The planet itself could hold the answer and sometime in the future we’re not going to like the outcome if human indifference continues.

(Don Bodger is the editor of the Chemainus Valley Courier).