Las Vegas Sun

January 23, 2018

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letter to the editor:

Animals don’t need help from humans

The modern cockroach is believed to have been around during the Cretaceous period, 144 to 66 million years ago, although earlier fossilized remains have been identified from the period — 354 to 295 million years ago, according to Wikipedia.

The cockroach survived the demise of dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex after the impact of a meteorite or a comet, about 66 million years ago, caused what is commonly known as the Cretaceous-Paleocene extinction event. The T. rex is believed to have survived for about 2 million years before extinction by that major pollution event, which blotted out the sun over much of the earth.

Humans are believed to have been around for anywhere from about 6,000 to about 200,000 years, depending on your preferred method of calculation. During our relatively short time on earth, we have managed to find numerous ways of creating deadly pollution in the portentous interest of advancing our civilization and the fortunes of a few. Does anyone doubt that we humans will manage to extinguish ourselves through pollution before too many more years of continued greed and short-sighted political gridlock?

Now comes Mike Reese, of the Southern Nevada Coalition for Wildlife, who argues in the Sun on May 25 that humans are necessary to the management of animals. Pollution killed the T. rex after about 2 million years of life, and humans had nothing to do with it.

Do we really believe animals are better off with human management? Many of them have already done better than we are doing without our help, and it seems to me that many of them, especially the cockroach, will survive us and do fine after we are gone.

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