Here's a letter that I wrote to and got published in The Rocky Mountain News. I'm not too proud, considering the idiotic content they are willing to display. One example was a man complaining about the EPA claim that one gallon of gasoline produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. "How can something that weighs less than 10 pounds produce 20 pounds of gas? Sounds like pseudoscience to me!" (Not verbatim.) He was schooled shortly thereafter, with a lesson in basic high school chemistry. But anyway, on to the letter:
In Sunday's commentary section two letters bashed recent efforts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to preserve four fish species. The arguments were simply fallacious -- "many species have gone extinct before," and "we could be spending our money on better things." The fact is that the majority of natural extinctions occurred through catastrophic events, like asteroid impacts. We live in an ecosystem where every organism exists only because of other organisms. When a stellar object collides with the Earth and annihilates a majority of living species, it takes eons for the ecosystem to return to equilibrium. If we as a species hope to exist long into the uncertain future, we must keep the ecosystem as stable as possible, or we stand a fair chance at extinction ourselves. Since we've been living in a relatively sound equilibrium since recorded time, we tend to see nothing wrong with the occasional extinction of a single species. The very limited perspective we have on our planet gives us an illusion of safety, despite the radical changes we continually impart upon the environment.
Most of us agree that humans are at the "top of the food chain," but fail to realize that in order to be on top, something else must inhabit the bottom. We thrive because of other species, and vice versa. If anything is truly at the top of the chain, it's micro-organisms like HIV and the flu virus, which exist at our expense as parasites. Many species are going extinct not because of naturally moderated processes, but because of excessive human influence. It is difficult to have a full perspective of how intimately our existence ties in with other life; but keeping the planet's life cycle stable should be one of our most pressing concerns.
Most, if not all of that "food chain" evil was edited out, this is the draft I sent them.