"....The truth is out there."
-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Monday, August 28, 2006
-- Re-visiting Some Quotes --
Seems like a good time perhaps to re-visit some prior quotes --
First, this famous one from John James Audubon describing Ivory-billed country:
"I wish, kind reader, it were in my power to present to your mind’s eye the favourite resort of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Would I could describe the extent of those deep morasses, overshadowed by millions of gigantic dark cypresses, spreading their sturdy moss-covered branchses, as if to admonish intruding man to pause and reflect on the many difficulties which he must encounter, should he persist in venturing farther into their almost inaccessible recesses, extending for miles before him, where he should be interrupted by huge projecting branches, here and there the mossy trunk of a fallen and decaying tree, and thousands of creeping and twining plants of numberless species! Would that I could represent to you the dangerous nature of the ground, its oozing, spongy, and miry disposition, although covered with a beautiful but treacheous carpeting, composed of the richest mosses, flags, and water lilies, no sooner receiving the pressure of the foot than it yields and endangers the very life of the adventurer, whilst here and there, as he approaches an opening, that proves merely a lake of black muddy water, his ear is assailed by the dismal croaking of innumerable frogs, the hissing of serpents, or the bellowing of alligators! Would that I could give you an idea of the sultry pestiferous atmosphere that nearly suffocates the intruder during the meridian heat of our dogdays, in those gloomy and horrible swamps! But the attempt to picture these scenes would be in vain. Nothing short of ocular demonstration can impress any adequate idea of them."And then this, from another weblog from October last year:
"The reappearance of the [ivory-billed] woodpecker seems like a second chance -- a chance to expand its habitat, to get it right this time. Maybe that's what links the big surprises of 2005, this sense that there can be another unexpected round, the tenth inning in which the outcome could be different; that failure and devastation are not always final.......Amen
The woodpecker was a spectacular thing unto itself, but also a message that we don't really know what's out there, even in the forests of the not-very-wild southeast, let alone the ocean depths from which previously uncatalogued creatures regularly emerge. Late last month, University of Alaska marine biologists reported seven new species found during an expedition under the arctic ice that uncovered a much richer habitat with far more fauna than anticipated...
The woodpecker is a small story; the big environmental story of our time is about extinctions and endangerments, about creatures and habitats moving toward the very brink this bird came back from; but this small story suggests that there are still grounds to hope -- to doubt that we truly know exactly what is out there and what is possible. Hope is not history's Barcalounger, as is often thought: it requires you get back out there and protect that habitat or stop that war. It is not the same as optimism, the belief that everything will probably turn out all right despite your inactivity, the same kind of inactivity that despair begets. Hope involves a sense of possibility, but with it comes responsibility." ( -- Rebecca Solnit)
p.s. -- if you haven't taken Floyd Hayes Ivory-bill survey yet (see post for Aug. 25), just a reminder to do so, especially if you're a goil : - ) Some days back Floyd wrote at another website, "So far so good: 66 responses in 3 hours. The only surprise so far is the highly skewed ratio of men to women." (a couple days later he was approaching 300 respondents)