A happier story offered about poisons


April 13, 2023

To The Eagle:

A contributor’s letter asking “Who’s shaking the jar?” reminded me of the parable of the 6 blind fellows who each handled a separate part of an elephant’s anatomy before likening the beast variously to a wall, snake, spear, tree, fan and a rope. They couldn’t individually encompass the whole of it.

I’m not blind. I write frequently and forcefully to describe the many parts making up the whole, terrible nature of that symbolic elephant now trampling upon our civil liberties and national discourse.

A different writer stated that “we achieve true social justice by treating everyone equally as human beings. A good place to start would be to stop using identity labels.” I agree with the former, but not the latter.

It’s important to strip away the anonymity of those”shaking our jar,” by naming those promoting discrimination and inciting division. Hateful agitators have tried to project their own bad behavior upon liberals, claiming it is they who are actually the ones promoting discrimination and inciting division, by identifying their perpetrators. GOP poison needs to be properly recognized, labeled and contained.

Here’s another, happier, story about poisons. The Ospreys have returned! Pandion haliaetus, the ‘fish hawk,’ leaves our area in September, migrating to Central and South America for the winter. They reliably return in early April. They are a 20th century miracle story of salvation from near extinction.

By the 1960's, Osprey populations had fallen to fewer than 1,500 breeding pairs. Biologist - naturalist Paul Spitzer of Great Island Connecticut watched as Ospreys almost disappeared.

His pioneering experiments established that the pesticide DDT was causing their decline. DDT was biomagnifying; becoming concentrated in ospreys and other fish-eating birds, and causing females to lay eggs so fragile that they cracked under the incubating parent’s weight.

Rachel Carson’s parallel research, and the 1962 publication of her landmark book Silent Spring, launched the environmental movement, calling on people to notice birds like the Osprey and to realize the damaging effect of pesticides. She didn’t live long enough to celebrate the federal ban on DDT in 1972.

Rejoice! Enjoy our now prolific Ospreys whose story might be our own--saved through the vigilance of dedicated people, fighting to purge this nation of its poisons.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island


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