Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bad News and Killer Carp

Bad news loves bad news. This week, the earthquake deaths in Hati mount, and confronting the breadth of human suffering brings us face to face with a misery we know we deserve as much as anyone else. Democrats lose their supermajority in the senate to a nude centerfold with a fancy pickup truck, and are ready to throw in the towel and stop trying to do what is right. The supreme court guts campaign finance reform, making the world safe for corporations to fully express themselves by purchasing our government.

But 100 pound fish are invading Lake Michigan? And we're not allowed to close off the canal that is their entryway? This is a joke, right?

The supreme court has refused to issue an preliminary injunction to close the canal that is allowing the asian carp into the great lakes from Chicago's waterways. The Obama adminstration is also against closing the canal, as it would presumably be "bad for business." Bad for the shipping business in Chicago, that is. But if it stays open it will be bad for the living business in Michigan and Wisconsin, but I guess they are throw-away states at this point.

The carp eat up to 1/5 of their body weight in plankton each day, and kill off all other fish species by eating all the food. The carp grow to up to 110 pounds, and are attracted to swimmers and small boats, often leaping onto them, causing serious injury. So if they invade the great lakes, there will be no commercial fishery there, no sport fishery, and tourism will go to hell. The state of Illinois has responded to Michigan's court cases by dumping unprecedented amounts of poison into the canal in the hope of killing all the fish species in the waterway. Of course those dead fish are eaten by birds, and passed up the food chain, and the poisoned water itself is flowing into Lake Michigan, but no matter...

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