From chapter "“Rebooting the World,” or The Destruction of All That Is"
We end on the plains of eastern Colorado, where as I write this a friend is trying desperately to protect prairie dogs. A “developer” wants to put in a mall on top of one of the largest extant prairie dog villages along Colorado’s Front Range. The village has 3,000 to 8,000 burrows.
Prior to this human supremacist culture moving into the Great Plains, the largest prairie dog community in the world, which was in Texas, covered 25,000 square miles, and was home to perhaps 400 million prairie dogs. The total range for prairie dogs was about 150,000 to 200,000 square miles, and population was well over a billion.
Now, prairie dogs have been reduced to about five percent of their range and two percent of their population.
Yet because yet another rich person wants to build yet another mall (in this economy, with so many empty stores already?), much of this prairie dog community will be poisoned. That community includes the twenty or more other species who live with and depend upon prairie dogs. The prairie dogs (and some others) who are not poisoned will be buried alive by the bulldozers, then covered with concrete. This includes the pregnant females, who prefer not to leave their dens.
If you recall, prairie dogs have complex languages, with words for many threats. They have language to describe hawks, and to describe snakes, and to describe coyotes. They have language to describe a woman wearing a yellow shirt, and different language for a woman wearing a blue shirt. They have had to come up with language to describe a man with a gun.
Do they, I wonder, have language to describe a bulldozer? Do they have language to describe the pregnant females of their community being buried alive?
And do they have language to describe the murderous insatiability of human supremacists? And do others? Do blue whales and the few remaining tigers? Do the last three northern white rhinos, all that’s left because some human supremacists believe their horns are aphrodisiacs?Do elephants? Did the black-skinned pink-tusked elephants of China? Did the Mesopotamian elephants? And what about others? What about the disappearing fireflies? What about the dammed and re-dammed and re-dammed Mississippi? What about the once-mighty Columbia? What about the once-free Amazon? Do they have language to describe this murderous insatiability?
And perhaps more to the point, do we?