Conservation and preservation of the natural world is good and positive. I hope we agree!
Documentaries like ‘Life on Earth’ have taught us of the fragility of nature. There are species which are in danger because of mankind and there are species in danger through other circumstances.
Allocation of resources requires scrutiny.
One glaring example of questionable allocation of resources is the giant panda or panda bear.
There are about 1600 wild pandas in their native China. They are fairly unique in that they were carnivores; now they are herbivores, though have been known to eat some rodents and fish. They spend their lives chewing on low energy bamboo. The Chinese do not believe that the species can survive without assistance. Pandas may have taken a wrong turn.
As the symbol of the Worlwide Fund for Nature, the WWF, the panda is an important icon in conservation. The allocation of resources to this species is off the scale as a result. Nobody seems willing to be forthcoming with the costs associated with panda preservation but you can be sure it is several million dollars per year.
The Chinese government charges $1million per year for the loan of a panda to a zoo or wildlife park. Zoos pay because pandas get the turnstiles turning.
There are critical situations with many other species which need attention. Bees, directly and indirectly, are involved in the production of about 70% of our food resources. The health of bee populations in the past century has declined to critical levels.
Does the life of one bee matter more or less than the life of one panda or one ‘wide’ rhinoceros or one golden eagle?
They all matter, of course, but reality bites. Raising money on the back of a cuddly black and white panda is easier than on the back of a buzzing bee which might sting!
Monsanto, possibly the most evil company on the planet, would be happy with no bees!
Image credits: Sir David Attenborough, BBC; Panda, Juan Carlos Munoz; WWF logo, WWF; Bees, Daksh Popat.