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Before we were so rudely interrupted by the rotting corpse of the Republican Party and the celebrity vultures feasting on its bowels, this column was engaged in a mission of Profound Ecological and Social Significance.
The Hardyville Committee for the Rearrangement – of – Everybody – Elses’ – Environment – Whether – They – Like – It – or – Not – Because – That’s – the – Way – They – Treat – Us – So – There had proposed to restore the once – great wetland at latitude 38:54:18N and longitude 77:00:58W and to halt the spread of the predatory waste species now dominating that ecosystem.
For the cartographically-challenged, we are speaking of an ecological disaster area in the Potomac River Valley now known as the District of Criminals. And I must say, when asked to contribute ideas on how to restore D.C. to its former beneficent grandeur as a malarial swamp, you…well, you swamped us.
First of all, a big thank you to the many readers who wrote to suggest particularly … um …striking solutions. I want to assure you I’ve deleted your e-mails, triple-wiped them and undergone several sessions of advanced electronic hypnotherapy to ensure I don’t remember a thing. Not a thing. Furthermore, I have no such devices; I don’t know where to get such devices; and when Agents Smith, Jones and Brown show up at your door, it’s probably your ISP who sent them.
Suggestions for restoring the wetland varied, to say the least. But nearly everyone agreed the project was worthy of our greatest efforts, however difficult it might be. Endorsement came from certifiable experts.
Although he works as a “mere” M.D. today, Douglas Edwin Greer has academic credits in marine and fresh water ecology that take longer to list than mine took to acquire. He also knows wetlands, in the most personal way, by living at the edge of Francis Marion’s Edisto River Swamp. Dr Greer proclaims, as only someone with multiple degrees in whatever-ologies could:
You are quite right! Not only has Bureaucraticus messicus completely displaced Anopheles sp. and Plasmodium vivax, but its obligate symbiote Welfare staticus var. ubiquitous has multiplied to the point that this trash ecosystem is threatening the rest of the North American ecosystems! The correct solutionto this dreadful problem is to replace the trash species with specimens captured in areas where native species populations still abound. Unfortunately, to this date none of these have been found in a pure form! Such is the tremendous toxicity to other species and ecosystems of B.messicus and it’s symbiotes!
Sterilization of the entire disaster area would be doomed to failure, as population pressure from the outer boundary ecosystems, themselves already fatally infected with trash species, would just flow into the void, resulting in precisely the same mess as existed before the sterilization.
The only forlorn hope I see is the recreation of the former native ecosystem in some remote area and, when mature and stable, transplantation in-toto to the disaster site (after site sterilization); or, more logically, just abandon the disaster site in favor of the newly establishednative population site. The ecological disaster site could then be cleaned up later when priorities allowed. Naturally, the disaster site would have to be quarantined rigidly until the ecologists determined the site suitable for inhabitation by native species of the original ecosystem.
Charles Bloomer added, “We could relocate the usurper species to somewhere where they can’t do any more damage — say, the Sahara Desert.” Unfortunately, the committee was unable to persuade Mali or Senegal to accept these vicious predators — although they did say we could send all the D.C. aid money we happened to turn up during the project.
Diane Alden suggested battling both the Potomac waste species and eco-busibodies everywhere (presumably not including the Hardyville Committee for the Restoration of Other People’s Particularly Annoying Habitats) by fighting the junk species with one of its own weapons:
I have decided to file a class action suit against environmentalists because under ADA I believe I have eco-phobia — fear and loathing of spoilt, bored preservationists with too much time on their hands and too much money, who want to mess with other people’s lives and property. This fear has caused me to use my inhaler on more than one occasion especially when Carole Browner or Bruce Babbitt… tells me the sky is falling and everyone who lives in the West should be removed and the land turned over to critters and/or a “special few” who know how to take care of ecosystems.
I developed panic disorder when I found out that nearly 90 percent of the state of Nevada and 67 percent of the state of Idaho is government land which they choose to call “public” but which really isn’t. People who live in the former “great wetland” and have despoiled and covered this area with concrete need to be held accountable and their property should be sold at public auction… in order to pay for the health care of people like me who have been made to bear the physical and emotional costs of their addiction….
As I puff my Albuterol and wheeze, they are talking about “buying” yet more land in the West “to save” it for the “wildlands” project which will mean human beings kept behind fences while critters gawk and throw peanuts. They must learn they can’t have it both ways. They must learn that their homes and property are an abomination to the Wetlands they and their ancestors have so cavalierly screwed up…
Consider me as one who is going to take this fight to the bitter end — that is when the Hamptons are evacuated and Alec Baldwin and Kim and Barbara et al. have seen the error of their ways and turned the land back to the critters.
Engineering student Bill Grazier also suggested using another of the Potomac waste species own characteristics against it:
Is there any chance that we could prosecute all the politicians under the current environmental laws? $100,000 per square foot in a city the size of Washington D.C. would sure put a dent in the lobbyist’s pocket, not to mention the potential jail time they’d face.
Perhaps the most poetically just suggestion came from the pseudonymous Peregrine:
There is only one appropriate methodology to be used in a situation such as this. We merely reverse the process and flow of all the wondrous projects, regulations, rules, directions, laws, and lies that have flowed outward from the area all these years. In other words, we hook up all the sewer systems of all the cities and counties in the USA and pump the entire raw output back into the Potomac Valley.
On the basis of such stunning and intelligent support, the Hardyville Committee on Et cetera Et cetera, was preparing to offer Dr. Greer executive directorship of our project at the annual salary of $0,000,000. However, at that very moment, our hopes were quashed by messages from a pair of geologists.
First, the Hon. John E. Sebastian, P.G. wrote to protest that our effort conflicted with his long-standing plan to convert the entire area into a nuclear waste dump. Although he generously suggested that our revived malaria parasites could play a role in wiping out any of the waste organisms that mightchance to survive his radiation, the second geologically correct message informed us of the futility of our entire effort.
Paul S. Boyer, Ph.D., Professor of Geology at Fairleigh Dickinson University and amateur entomologist said flatly,
…restoring Washington, D.C., to a malarial swamp would not be much of a change, because 1) it’s a certifiable quagmire in any case, and 2) before and after, the place has been and is inhabited by blood-sucking insects.
So, alas, we must abandon the Once-Great Wetlands Project. Yet, all is not lost! Brilliant readers suggested a number of other worthy undertakings:
Emmett Bean of Hardyville, Vermont wrote: “While you’re at it, how about doing something about the Sierra Clubbers? They’re the folks in Marin County who sit in their redwood hot tubs on their redwood decks and try to stop the logging.”
A.N. Moose describes his own project, already under way in California:
…Mountain lions live mostly in the rural areas where they eat livestock, deer, pets and children. For some reason, residents of these rural areas are not entirely sympathetic to the lions’ dietary habits…. On the other side of the coin, California residents of the urban areas tend to love mountain lions, and they like to pass initiatives that express this love by making it a crime for anyone (i.e., rural residents) to shoot a lion…. I have what appears to be a win-win solution. Whenever a lion in a rural area becomes unwelcome… we will have the Department of Fish and Game capture the lion alive and… release it in Golden Gate Park.
Never fear, friends of Hardyville, Nature will prevail! And we will help it along in any way we can.